Last month, the Council for Court Excellence published sobering statistics in its report, “Unlocking Employment Opportunity for Previously Incarcerated Persons in the District of Columbia.”

The council found that the unemployment rate for ex-offenders in Washington, D.C., is as high as 46 percent. According to the report, 8,000 individuals were released from prison or jail into the District last year, and it is anticipated that about 4,000 of these individuals will re-offend, finding themselves back behind bars in the next three years.

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The New Year: Improving Public Schools

As 2011 makes way for 2012, I am reminded that Mayor Vincent Gray was sworn into office a year ago, after having placed fairness, high standards and community engagement at the heart of his education plan. One year on, how close has he come to realizing the plan that helped his campaign succeed?

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The District of Columbia continues to struggle with unemployment rates above the national average despite more jobs than residents. That has D.C. leaders trying to figure out how to better prepare Washingtonians to compete in the job market. Commentator Martha Ross, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, says the city must work to give students alternative.

Unemployment and economic opportunity in the District are both in the news a lot these days.

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