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Offender Employment Retention Initiative - NIC Resources

"As justice-involved individuals move through the criminal-justice system, correctional staff use case management tools to monitor progress. Case management involves monitoring individuals to ensure their completion of court-ordered sanctions, such as community service hours, payment of fees, or restitution, without reoffending. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) also expands the definition to include evaluating and assessing the need to connect justice-involved individuals to appropriate services and resources based on their risk to reoffend.

"A new case management tool, the Employment Retention Inventory (ERI), is the focus of a study funded by the National Institute of Corrections. The study aims to: • Determine the effectiveness of the ERI in predicting job loss. • Identify and target the risk factors related to recidivism that also contribute to job loss.

"The tool and the results of the study may be useful for employment specialists working in the field of corrections, as outcomes may affect their ability to help justice-involved individuals secure and maintain long-term employment."

This fact sheet highlights what the ERI is. The ERI is being evaluated in collaboration with the Urban Institute until September 8, 2015.

Employment Retention Inventory Explores the Predictive Factors of Job Loss: Research Project cover

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 700,000 individuals are released from prisons yearly—with an additional 9 million adults cycling through local jails. Research indicates that employment is an important component of successful reentry, but most offender programs do not address the complex behavioral health issues that impact the offender’s ability to obtain and retain gainful employment while remaining crime free.

Offender programming should target individuals at high risk for recidivism, address the dynamic influences that predict crime, and provide interventions specific to the needs of offenders. During this national discussion sponsored and broadcast by the National Institute of Corrections on November 2, 2011, participants will explore evidence-based practices that increase public safety while helping to reduce recidivism.

At the conclusion of this broadcast, participants will be able to: define and describe an offender retention model; identify strategies, resources, and partnerships that improve retention outcomes; describe a process for developing effective offender services/programming; and identify collaborative partnerships that support increased public safety and effective reentry programs.

› Offender Employment Retention: Worth the Work [Satellite/Internet Broadcast] Cover

Results from a survey of offender employment and retention issues that utilizes close-ended questions regarding topics such as assessment, case management, follow-up, and relapse are analyzed. This report is comprised of the following sections: introduction; theory; assessment; case management; job retention relapse model; relapse prevention plans; and the future of offender job retention efforts by practitioners.

Offender Job Retention Cover

This report summarizes findings from the Urban Institute’s replication validation of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Employment Retention Inventory (ERI). This study was conducted under NIC Cooperative Agreement Award 16CS04GKU7 to determine the ERI’s ability to identify workforce detachment risks for employed and unemployed justice-involved populations in Indiana, New York, and Massachusetts. This study also examined practitioners’ use of the ERI in diverse community correctional settings.

From June 2017 to July 2018, 185 employed and 148 unemployed people participated in the study, completing the ERI during check-in meetings with NIC-trained Employment Retention Specialists. Most study participants were living in the community under probation or parole supervision or with a history of justice involvement; others were incarcerated in state prison. ERI baseline responses were quantitatively compared with employment outcomes approximately 3 to 6 months later for all participants. The relationship between employment and recidivism was also examined. Qualitative interviews with ERI-trained professionals provided insight into the instrument’s use in practice

Items in the ERI showed strong content and construct validity, meaning the tool conceptually covered the key domains related to employment retention, particularly for community-based participants. Predictive validity analyses demonstrated that the ERI yielded “good” and “excellent” performance ratings in predicting unemployment 3 to 6 months later for those in community settings. Analyses of the ERI’s validity for incarcerated participants were insufficient due to small sample sizes. For all participants, bivariate analyses supported a linkage between employment experiences and recidivism. ERI practitioners expressed that the instrument had strong utility and potential for their work.

Overall, validation analyses coupled with practitioners’ feedback suggests that the ERI, when implemented with motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral techniques learned through NIC’s Employment Retention Specialist training, could be a useful case management tool for community correctional populations.

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