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Reentry - Employment & Housing

Council of State Governments Justice Center .(New York, NY).

"Used in conjunction with other housing tools and services, this questionnaire can help reentry service providers improve clients’ housing success and create a foundation for improved reentry success and reduced likelihood of recidivism."

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Trone Private Sector and Education Advisory Council (New York, NY).

"The report details the ways companies can combat the ills of decades of mass incarceration, while at the same tapping into the potential energy of a workforce of millions ... The report lays out how by reducing barriers to employment and implementing fair hiring practices, companies can better provide employment opportunities to formerly incarcerated people to the benefit of all.'

“The Social Security Administration (SSA), through its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs, can provide income and other benefits to persons with mental illness who are reentering the community from jails and prisons. The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery program (SOAR), a project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a national technical assistance program that helps people who are homeless or at risk for homelessness to access SSA disability benefits. SOAR training can help local corrections and community transition staff negotiate and integrate benefit options with community reentry strategies for people with mental illness and co-occurring disorders to assure successful outcomes.” This document addresses: mental illness, homelessness, and incarceration; incarceration and SSA Disability benefits; role of transition services in reentry for people with mental illness; access to benefits as an essential strategy for reentry; SOAR collaborations with jails; SOAR collaborations with state and federal prisons; and best practices for assessing SSI/SSDI as an essential reentry strategy—collaboration, leadership, resources, commitment, and training.

Best Practices for Increasing Access to SSI/SSDI upon Exiting Criminal Justice Settings Cover

Green for All (Oakland, CA).

"Re-entry programs that prepare individuals with little work experience or marketable skills for employment, implemented at scale, have the potential to salvage generations of potentially productive members of society. This paper considers the unique opportunities that the green economy – and green re-entry programs – can offer this chronically underserved population to find gainful employment necessary to escape a cycle of poverty, crime and recidivism. Jobs in the burgeoning green economy, we argue, hold the promise of not just employment prospects but greater accessibility to career jobs that pay sustainable wages" (p. 4).

National Correctional Industries Association (NCIA) (Baltimore, MD) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC).

This guide "is specifically designed to empower each Correctional Industries organization, no matter the size or structure, to design and implement its program with an emphasis on maximizing system impact. The model supports implementing effective strategies through the context of work. The results are focused on increasing an individual’s success after release."

The Behavioral Health Framework developed to “help professionals in the corrections and behavioral health systems take a coordinated approach to reducing recidivism and advancing recovery” is explained (p. 2). Sections of this publication cover: building effective partnerships through a shared vision; health care reform and opportunities for expanded access to behavioral health services; prioritizing enrollment to facilitate transition; the risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model; implications for successful transition and reentry; Guidelines 1 and 2—Assess; Guidelines 3 and 4—Plan; Guidelines 5 and 6—Identify; and Guidelines 7 through 10—Coordinate. Appendixes to this document are: “Evidence-Based Practices and Programs for Individuals with Behavioral Health Needs in the Criminal Justice System”; and “Information Sharing in the Criminal Justice-Behavioral Health Context: HIPAA and 42 CFR”.

Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prison Cover

The IRES Pilot Project Process Evaluation Report details findings from the implementation of strategies to improve recidivism and job readiness for people returning to two communities from incarceration. Corrections, reentry, and workforce development administrators and practitioners from across the country can use these takeaways to facilitate conversations with key stakeholders about their own ability to integrate the efforts of corrections and workforce development systems to meet the reentry and employment needs of people returning from incarceration.



“Employment providers are already serving large numbers of individuals released from correctional facilities or who are required to find jobs as conditions of their probation or parole. Yet the corrections, reentry, and workforce development fields have lacked an integrated tool that draws on the best thinking about reducing recidivism and improving job placement and retention to guide correctional supervision and the provision of community-based services. To address this gap, this white paper presents a tool that draws on evidence-based criminal justice practices and promising strategies for connecting hard-to-employ people to work. It calls for program design and practices to be tailored for adults with criminal histories based on their levels of risk for future criminal activity” (p. v). Sections of this publication include: introduction to the relationship between employment and recidivism; what works to reduce recidivism—principles for improving outcomes among unemployed individuals with corrections system-involvement; proven and promising practices for improving outcomes for hard-to-employ individuals; and the resource-allocation and service-matching tool—an integrated approach to reducing recidivism and improving employment outcomes.

Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness Cover

Umez, Chidi, Jan De la Cruz, Maureen Richey, and Katy Albis. Council of State Governments Justice Center (New York, NY).

“This publication offers five broad, field-based practical considerations for incorporating mentoring into reentry programs for adults.”

CareerOneStep Business Center (Washington, DC).

"Each year, more than 700,000 men and women are released from prisons, and when we encourage these individuals and adjudicated youth to take advantage of services that help them become viable and successful in the workplace, everyone in the community benefits. One of the greatest challenges for many employers is trying to sort through myths and facts about these returnees. Below are several of the more common myths that have been highlighted and addressed" regarding life experience, soft skills, occupational training, and workplace advantages.


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