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This document briefly reviews the strong link between offender employment and recidivism. "Extensive research has demonstrated that strong ties to work can lead to desistance of offending. Based on the scientific evidence, education and vocational training programs work. They increase the rate of employment for ex-offenders, and meaningful work is an important contributor to less offending. More importantly, the evidence clearly shows that they reduce recidivism and provide a positive return on investment."

Executive Summary: Research Supporting Employment as an Important Component of Evidence-Based Practice Cover

This document highlights the roles of and activities performed by six federal agencies in the provision of apprenticeships for federal offenders. The cooperating agencies are U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Pretrial Services, U.S. Probation, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Community Corrections Centers, and U.S. Probation.

Implementing Apprenticeships: A Transitional Approach with Offenders (Pre-plea to Release from Supervision) Cover

This worksheet helps a person to determine whether the job they want to get is right for them. This is done by answering some questions regarding the desired occupation. Responses are determined for: common names for the occupation; current number of jobs in the occupation; anticipated 10-year growth rate for the occupation; average annual job openings for occupation; license requirement for the occupation and whether individuals with a criminal conviction are excluded; certification availability for this occupation and whether persons with criminal convictions are excluded; federal restrictions ; state or local restrictions; short-term training opportunities for this occupation; and apprentice opportunities for this occupation. Each answer can be found using the related online resource.

Labor Market Information Worksheet Cover

"Many employers are apprehensive about hiring persons with criminal convictions, but employment specialists tolerate some failed hires only if they have had some successful job placements and found community-based corrections employment specialists to be responsive to their concerns. "It is important to remember that these relationships are mutually beneficial. The employment specialist who works with justice-involved individuals can help employers meet critical staffing needs at little or no cost, and employers can provide these job seekers with an opportunity to earn a sustainable wage, which research shows can reduce recidivism, thus improving public safety. It can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

"The foundation for these relationships must focus on benefits provided to the employer. Long-term success of partnerships with employers depends on good communication, excellent customer service, and employee retention" (p. 1).

This publication explains how optimal partnerships between the offender employment specialist and employer. Sections cover: the Employer-Driven Model—address employer needs, prepare job seekers, and engage partners; how employment specialists can initiate relationships with business owners/employers; how employment specialists can most effectively communicate with employers about the benefits of hiring job seekers with criminal records; effective practices; tips; and resources.

The Employer-Driven Model and Toolkit: Strategies for Developing Employment Opportunities for Justice-Involved Individuals: Address Employers' Needs and Expectations cover

"No single agency can meet all of the workforce development needs of justice-involved individuals returning to the community. A systems approach that expands beyond the criminal justice system is essential for maximizing employment outcomes for this population. You must identify and engage stakeholders in developing employer-driven initiatives that meet their workforce development needs.

There is also a need to share resources to increase efficiency and improve outcomes(p. 1). This publication explains how offender employment specialists can creates partnerships with other organizations that work with ex-offenders. Sections cover: stakeholders who may be potential partners, and what some of the benefits are provided through partnerships; how to identify the right partners; effective practices; tips; and resources.

The Employer-Driven Model and Toolkit: Strategies for Developing Employment Opportunities for Justice-Involved Individuals: Engage and Partner with Stakeholders Cover

"Employers face global competition in their drive to operate successful businesses in today’s marketplace. If the correctional system is to be successful in placing job seekers in meaningful employment that meets employers’ expectations, correctional practitioners must prepare them for the workplace well in advance of their release. Practitioner knowledge of employers’ staffing requirements contributes to the success of this mission. New tools and proven strategies can greatly assist justice-involved individuals transitioning to the community workplace. necessary for post-release success" (p. 1). This publication will explain how to use these tools. Sections cover: the types of assessment that are most effective at ensuring a good job match and successful placement; what job readiness is; barriers job seekers encounter and the resources that can help address these challenges, such as the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) "Thinking for a Change" cognitive-based program for offenders transitions back into the community; what can be done during the time of incarceration to teach job retention skills; what training is available for staff interested in building effective pre-release job training programs; effective practices; tips; and resources.

The Employer-Driven Model and Toolkit: Strategies for Developing Employment Opportunities for Justice-Involved Individuals: Prepare Job Seekers for Employment cover

"Using up-to-date labor market information is critical for identifying high-growth occupations, local and regional employment trends, and specific employers and industries that provide the best employment opportunities for justice-involved individuals. It also provides data essential for designing and implementing industry-recognized job training programs that help people develop the skills employers are seeking. 

"The job market is constantly changing; occupations that are in demand today may offer little opportunity for employment or advancement in the years to come, and occupations that do not exist today may emerge as in-demand occupations in the near future, so labor market information must be updated constantly. 

"The U.S. Department of Labor provides a wealth of information that can be used to assist you in helping others identify high-growth occupations and make informed career decisions. Given the vast amount of labor market information (LMI) available, job seekers will need assistance as they navigate their way through the career exploration process. This will require employment practitioners to be familiar with LMI resources and to know how to interpret the data" (p. 1). 

This publication will explain how you can do this. Topics covered include: where employment specialists can obtain the Latest Labor Market Information (LMI); and effective practices.

The Employer-Driven Model and Toolkit: Strategies for Developing Employment Opportunities for Justice-Involved Individuals: Use Labor Market Information to Target High-Growth Occupations Cover
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