Cuyahoga County has funded programs to give prisoners help and hope trying to re-enter the real world after serving their sentence.

On Thursday, County Executive Armond Budish announced the county is launching its own first program to help male prisoners learn job skills, deal with substance abuse issues and strive for more education.

Edwin's Leadership and Institute, a pioneer in reentry placement, is one of the organizations involved.

Budish said, "When we talk about workforce, too often one group is entirely forgotten: those with a criminal record who are looking to re-enter society...We need to give those who want it a chance to make a change."

The program is being offered to male prisoners serving sentences and housed at the old Euclid jail.

Ken Mills, Director of Regional Corrections, said, "It is our charge to return offenders better prepared than when they entered our care."

The program is partly funded with a U.S. Department of Labor grant.

Budish hopes this can also save tax dollars in the long run by stopping the revolving door of repeat offenders who return to a life of crime.

He claims room and board for prisoners is about $85/day .

After they are released, former prisoners will keep getting job readiness training, case management and support services to help them re-enter the community and land a job.

To be eligible, inmates cannot have been convicted of a sexual offense other than prostitution.

Budish's new plans and priorities will be open subject of discussion on this week's edition of Between the Lines.

WKYC's Tom Beres will tackle this and other topics Saturday night at 7, with conservative WHK Radio Host Bob Framtz and Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Vice Chairman Blaine Griffin.