(1) The Vocational and Life Skills Program is created within the Department of Correctional Services, in consultation with the Board of Parole. The program shall provide funding to aid in the establishment and provision of community-based vocational training and life skills training for adults who are incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, or serving a period of supervision on either probation or parole.
(2) The Vocational and Life Skills Programming Fund is created. The fund shall consist of appropriations from the Legislature, funds donated by nonprofit entities, funds from the federal government, and funds from other sources. Up to thirty percent of the fund may be used for staffing the reentry program created under section 83-903 and to provide treatment to individuals preparing for release from incarceration. At least seventy percent of the fund shall be used to provide grants to community-based organizations, community colleges, federally recognized or state-recognized Indian tribes, or nonprofit organizations that provide vocational and life skills programming and services to adults and juveniles who are incarcerated, who have been incarcerated within the prior eighteen months, or who are serving a period of supervision on either probation or parole. The department, in awarding grants, shall give priority to programs, services, or training that results in meaningful employment, and no money from the fund shall be used for capital construction. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act. Investment earnings from investment of money in the fund shall be credited to the fund.
(3) The department, in consultation with the Board of Parole, shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the Vocational and Life Skills Program. The rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of programs, services, and training that receive funding and a reporting process for aid recipients. The reentry program administrator shall report quarterly to the Governor and the Clerk of the Legislature beginning October 1, 2014, on the distribution and use of the aid distributed under the Vocational and Life Skills Program, including how many individuals received programming, the types of programming, the cost per individual for each program, service, or training provided, how many individuals successfully completed their programming, and information on any funds that have not been used. The report to the Clerk of the Legislature shall be submitted electronically. Any funds not distributed to community-based organizations, community colleges, federally recognized or state-recognized Indian tribes, or nonprofit organizations under this subsection shall be retained by the department to be distributed on a competitive basis under the Vocational and Life Skills Program. These funds shall not be expended by the department for any other purpose.