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D.C. mayor announces resources to help ex-convicts

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Local,DC,Eric P. Newcomer

The District announced Wednesday that it is creating a hub, called the One City Re-Entry Resource Center for Returning Citizens, for the city's ex-convicts.

The center is meant to help previously incarcerated D.C. residents reintegrate into society by assisting them in finding jobs and seeking out government services.

Mayor Vincent Gray said at a news conference Wednesday that the program is meant to connect ex-convicts with already existing services.

"We owe everybody an opportunity to put their lives back on track," said Charles Thornton, director for the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs.

Asked how much a new collaborative effort to help ex-convicts would cost, Gray said it would be difficult to assess. "We're tapping into the government's resources at a generic level," the mayor said.

The announcement comes after Councilman Marion Barry pushed last year to pass legislation preventing employers, in most instances, from discriminating against residents because they were convicted of a crime. That legislation did not pass the council.

Gray did not offer an opinion on Barry's proposal at the press conference, saying, "I really haven't looked further at that."

enewcomer@washingtonexaminer.com

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