Bush Signs Into Law a Program That Gives Grants to Former Convicts

From The Washington Post:

President Bush yesterday reached across traditional political dividing lines to sign into law a broad program that provides federal grants for assistance to ex-convicts, pointing to his own struggle with alcohol addiction as an example of redemption.

The new law has broad support among prisoner advocacy groups, liberal criminal-justice organizations, and many Democrats who otherwise differ with Bush or his policies. It grew out of at least five years of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, partly about the participation of religious organizations in counseling financed by Washington, according to administration officials, lawmakers and others involved in the process.

The law would provide $326 million in grants to local governments and nonprofit groups for various programs aimed at departing or former convicts, including housing and medical assistance, drug treatment and employment services. Appropriations for the grants still await approval by Congress and Bush, however.