- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

POLLOCK, La. (AP) - U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite visited a federal prison in central Louisiana on Wednesday to highlight the Justice Department’s efforts to assist inmates on the verge of completing their sentences and re-entering society.

Polite toured Pollock Federal Correctional Complex for his New Orleans-based office’s observation of National Reentry Week. The week marks efforts to help the hundreds of thousands of inmates released each year from state and federal prisons.

Polite said in a telephone interview that he met with a group of roughly 100 inmates who are due to be released within six months. Many of them have gotten job training behind bars, but Polite said a recent cut in the prison’s budget for educational services has led to a long waiting list for its reentry program.

“They would absolutely like to expand it,” Polite said of the program.

Polite said he was accompanied on the prison visit by Hakim Kashif, a former federal inmate from New Orleans who is due to graduate from college this year and is heading to law school.

Polite has been U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana since 2013. He said he was the first sitting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana to visit the prison in Pollock.

“We really just tried to put a different face on the Justice Department” for inmates, he said.

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