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Transition and Offender Workforce Development - NIC Resources

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 society and contribute to the community as productive citizens.

At the end of this broadcast, participants will understand the: benefits of correctional industries and workforce development; social and economic values of correctional industries; need to strike a balance between competing interests; relationships among workforce development, community organizations, and correctional industries; relationship between evidence-based practices and offender employment; and workforce development competencies and available training resources.

This program is Part 1 in a series on correctional industries; Part 2, Innovative Reentry Strategies: The Emerging Role of Correctional Industries (#024019), focuses on presenting new reentry strategies and highlights specific programs around the country that reflect best practices. Part 3, Correctional Industries: A Working Solution (#025293), explores how Correctional Industries make a significant difference in the lives of the offender population through testimony from national experts, correctional practitioners, and former offenders.

Building Tomorrow's Workforce: An Effective Reentry Strategy Cover

“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 included is a DVD with additional material. Resources contained on the DVD are: a PDF version of the bulletin; video interviews with many of the practitioners features in the bulletin; the CareerZone program; reentry guides from federal, state, and local correctional facilities; the Veterans Incarcerated Employability Workshop; a life-skills curriculum; virtual tours of career resource centers; links to Internet resources that promote the development of career resource centers; and career development documents that can be distributed to the inmate population.

Career Resource Centers: An Emerging Strategy for Improving Offender Employment Outcomes Cover

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
  • Program costs
Creating a Workforce Development Culture to Reduce Reincarceration Cover

“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 programs, and outcomes for female offenders in educational and vocational programs; employment and crime—the role of employment and desistance from crime, employment outcomes and female offenders, and exploring gender differences in employment and crime; and conclusion.

Employment and Female Offenders:  An Update of the Empirical Research Cover

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.

Offender Workforce Development Services Makes an Impact Cover

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, a printable worksheet that can be used to prepare offenders for using these systems, and a full-length interactive application with context sensitive help. At the completion of the process, the user can print out the information that was entered.

Simulated Online/Kiosk Job Application 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

“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 job growth in ones state; and use LMI in the design of workforce development programs for offenders.

Using Labor Market Information to Promote Positive Employment Outcomes for Offenders Cover
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