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Reentry - Employment & Housing

Walter, Rebecca J., Jill Viglione, and Marie Skubak Tillyer. Housing Policy Debate 27, no. 5 (2017): 1-17.

“Many public housing authorities have not updated their admission policies for using criminal backgrounds and still adhere to the one strike philosophy. In response to new guidance from HUD, housing agencies are trying to find a balance between screening practices to identify demonstrable risk but avoid discrimination and violation of the Fair Housing Act. This research examines several questions critical to assisting housing providers to address the new guidance from HUD (p. 1).”

Bae, John, Finley Kate, Margaret diZerega, and Sharon Kim. Vera Institute of Justice (New York , NY).

“A growing number of public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country are implementing reentry programs and changing their policies to help formerly incarcerated people secure housing. This report highlights 11 PHAs doing this work and examines best practices and lessons learned from their experiences—including key factors of program design and implementation (such as partnerships, program model, and funding), as well as ways to sustain programs once implemented. This guide is intended to serve as a resource for PHAs that are considering their own reentry programs or those that are exploring ways to strengthen existing initiatives.”

This brief, from the CSG Justice Center, is designed to help state and local officials better support young adults in the justice system. It identifies these young adults’ distinct needs, summaries the limited research available on what works to address these needs, and provides recommendations for steps that policymakers, juvenile and adult criminal justice agency leaders, researchers, and the field can take to improve outcomes" (website). Part I—How Young Adults Are Developmentally Different from Youth and Older Adults: how young adults are distinct from youth; how young adults are distinct from adults; and young adults by the numbers--arrest rates, incarceration rates, and recidivism rates. Part II—Opportunities and Challenges to Meeting Young Adults' Needs: young adults under justice system supervision have distinct needs and few programs exist that are proven to effectively meet these needs—criminal thinking and behavior, education, employment, mental health and substance use, and transition to independence; young adults face systemic barriers to meeting their needs—aging out of protective networks and lack of coordination across service systems, and collateral consequences. Part III—Recommendations: four recommendations; and promising models for young adults under justice system supervision—Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults (MST-EA), and the Roca nonprofit organization in Massachusetts; and increasing cross-systems coordination to improve outcomes for young adults in Iowa—the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development (ICYD).

Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Young Adults in the Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice Systems cover

Annie E. Casey Foundation (Baltimore, MD).

“This report covers the challenging terrains of incarceration, reentry and work. It draws on expert interviews, dozens of resources and two decades of strategic investments by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Readers will learn what employment barriers people commonly face after exiting prison or jail and how to help these individuals pursue — and maintain — family-supporting jobs.”

“Failure to become employed after release is a major factor contributing to the high rate of recidivism. Having a record of arrest, conviction or imprisonment functions as a significant barrier to employment since employers generally view ex-offenders as potentially untrustworthy workers and insurance companies usually designate ex-offenders as being “not bondable” for job honesty … The bonds issued by the FBP [Federal Bonding Program] serve as a job placement tool by guaranteeing to the employer the job honesty of at-risk job seekers. Employers receive the bonds free-of-charge as an incentive to hire hard-to-place job applicants as wage earners. The FBP bond insurance was designed to reimburse the employer for any loss due to employee theft of money or property with no deductible amount to become the employer’s liability (i.e., 100% bond insurance coverage). The USDOL [U.S. Department of Labor] experiment has proved to be a great success, with over 42,000 job placements made for at-risk job seekers who were automatically made bondable. Since approximately 460 proved to be dishonest workers, bonding services as a job placement tool can be considered to have a 99% success rate.” Information is provided for: program background; highlights of the Federal Bonding Program; what to do if you are seeking bonding; procedures for bond purchases and management; Directory of State Bonding Coordinators; marketing tools; and news and resources.

The Federal Bonding Program: A US Department of Labor Initiative Cover

Looney, Adam, and Nicholas Turner

Brookings Institution (Washington, DC)

“In this paper, [the authors] offer a more comprehensive view of the labor market opportunities of ex-prisoners in the U.S. by linking data from the entire prison population to earnings records over a sixteen year period. These data allow us to examine employment and earnings before and after release and, for younger prisoners, their family income and neighborhood in childhood. After release, only 55 percent of former prisoners have any earnings and those that do tend to earn less than the earnings of a full-time job at the minimum wage” (p. iii).


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