U.S. Department of Justice

Transition and Offender Workforce Development

The Community Services Division coordinates the efforts of federal, state, local, and nonprofit agencies to improve employment programs for offenders and ex-offenders. The division assists corrections professionals who provide direct services to offenders and ex-offenders.

The Community Services Division:
  • Collects and disseminates information on offender employment programs.
  • Provides training for staff who provide employment services to offenders and ex-offenders.
  • Provides assistance to state and local agencies for improving job training, placement, and retention services for offenders.
  • Develops partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies to provide offender workforce development training in their home jurisdictions.


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Doug Burris, Chief U.S. Probation Officer for the Eastern District of Missouri, talks about his district's involvement in the Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) training program and the impact it has made on employment rates and revocation rates. The video is best viewed in Internet Explorer.

Direct Link: http://community.nicic.gov/files/folders/4991/download.aspx

Recommended Reading

Date Title Type
2011
Document preview
Administrative Guide: Offender Workforce Development Specialist Partnership Training Program
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
A description of the Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) Partnership Training Program is provided. “This administrative guide provides an overview of the training program, including its benefits and requirements…and information needed to make an informed decision for participating in the training program, including the criteria for selecting a qualified, multidisciplinary team of trainees” (p. 1). The following sections comprise this guide: overview of the training program; introduc... Read More
PDF
36 pages
2011
Document preview
Offender Workforce Development Services Makes an Impact
By Lichtenberger, Eric; Weygandt, Scott. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
Results from an ongoing evaluation project on the effectiveness of offender workforce development (OWD) services are presented. “Drug and alcohol abuse and/or not continuing substance abuse treatment was identified as almost a universal barrier to post-release success” (p. 67). Those individuals that receive OWD services have a recidivism rate 33% lower than the comparison group.... Read More
PDF
2 pages
2010
Document preview
Career Resource Centers: An Emerging Strategy for Improving Offender Employment Outcomes
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC); U.S. Dept. of Justice (Washington, DC); U.S. Dept. of Education (Washington, DC). National Institute of Corrections. Transition and Offender Workforce Development Division (Washington, DC).
“This bulletin highlights the ways career resource centers are being used in jails , prisons, and community supervision offices to improve the long-term employment prospects of offenders” (p.1). Sections of this publication include: common elements of career resource centers; getting started; working with inmate career clerks; building community ties; role of assessment in career resource centers; technology resources; finding champions and overcoming resistance; and future directions. Also i... Read More

18 p. + 1 computer disk; DVD-ROM
2008
Document preview
Simulated Online/Kiosk Job Application
National Institute of Corrections. Offender Workforce Development Division (Washington, DC).
Each year, more and more employers are requiring job applicants to apply online or at a computer kiosk. Offenders in prisons, jails, parole and probation offices, faith-based agencies, and community-based organizations can use this CD-ROM to practice completing an employment application using a computer that does not have access to the Internet. This simulation training program provides basic information about computerized employment applications, tips for completing online job applications,... Read More
ZIP
1 CD-ROM
2009
Document preview
Creating a Workforce Development Culture to Reduce Reincarceration
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC); U.S. Dept. of Justice (Washington, DC); U.S. Dept. of Education (Washington, DC). National Institute of Corrections. Transition and Offender Workforce Development Division (Washington, DC).
This document highlights Vermont’s Workforce Development Program. Male participants that successfully completed the program lowered their reincarceration rate from 74% to 59% at six months following release, females lowered their rate from 63% to 38%. Topics discussed include:
  • Creating a unique workforce culture
  • Habits of Mind curriculum
  • Workplace application
  • Evidence of effectiveness
  • Program replication
  • Future of the program
  • ... Read More
PDF
12 p.
2009
Document preview
Using Labor Market Information to Promote Positive Employment Outcomes for Offenders
By Rakis, John. National Institute of Corrections. Offender Workforce Development Division (Washington, DC). National Institute of Corrections. Offender Workforce Development Division (Washington, DC).
“This instructional disk is intended to provide you with a comprehensive overview of Labor Market Information (LMI) and give you the informational tools to increase short-term and long-term employment outcomes for the offenders under your supervision.” Users will be able to: understand labor market information concepts and terms; identify key LMI resources and to know how to access them; use LMI to assist offenders in making career choices; use LMI to identify occupations that will experience jo... Read More

1 computer disk; CD-ROM
2008
Document preview
Building Tomorrow's Workforce: An Effective Reentry Strategy [Satellite/Internet Broadcast held August 2008]
National Institute of Corrections Academy (Aurora, CO).
This program focuses on the history and benefits of correctional industries and ways to balance competing interests. Employment is a critical factor in successful reentry. Career assistance, life skills, and job training prior to release from jails or prisons increases the likelihood of success as individuals reenter the community. This, in conjunction with support from employers, social agencies, and faith-based community organizations, provides the foundation for individuals to remain in socie... Read More

2 DVDs (172 min) + 1 CD
2010
Document preview
Employment and Female Offenders: An Update of the Empirical Research
By Flower, Shawn M.. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“The purpose of this bulletin is to explore the literature and summarize the empirical evidence related to the impact of employment on the criminal behavior of women” (p. 2). Sections comprising this publication are: female offender demographics; barriers to employment—overview, the role of the family and the community, time-management skills, and the role of agency; correctional education and vocational programs—education programs, vocational/technical programs, overall effectiveness of these p... Read More
PDF
24 pages

Available Training Opportunities

  • Available Online - Offender Workforce Development Specialist Partnership Training Program
    This training addresses numerous competencies, including career development theory and application, ethics training for the career development facilitator, and transition interventions for the offender population.
  • Available Online - Workforce Development and Women Offenders
    This e-course is intended for individuals working or volunteering in prisons, jails, community corrections, community and faith-based organizations, U.S. Department of Labor One-Stops, and other governmental organizations such as health and human services who are interested in workforce development issues specific to women offenders.
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