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Inmate industries

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

The Community Services Division coordinates technical assistance, specialized training, and other programs related to probation, parole, and other forms of community-based corrections.

The Division also sponsors the development of publications and materials on topics of interest to community corrections practitioners, and it coordinates an interdisciplinary effort to assist jurisdictions in developing a more rational, cost-effective, and coordinated system of criminal justice sanctions and punishments.

Technical assistance related to Community Corrections is provided on issues such as caseload management, victims programs, employee safety, classification and assessment, and intermediate sanctions. The Division also provides specialized training and other programs that focus on: Executive Leadership and Development; Women Offenders; Evidence-Based Offender Interventions; Inmate Transition to Communities; Workforce Development; and Responding to Probation/Parole Violations.

Division Chief: Holly Busby

As indicated by Schmitt & Warner, incarceration may improve an offender’s labor market prospects if the time in prison or jail has a rehabilitative effect and/or leads to the offender receiving additional education or training. In practice, Correctional Industries provides offenders a real-life work experience that helps them develop the skills needed to compete in today’s job market successfully. (Schmitt and Warner, Ex-Offenders and the Labor Market, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC, 2010)

The NIC Correctional Industries Initiative serves as a catalyst to provide Industries staff and their stakeholders with the information, expertise, and capacity needed to identify relevant organizational priorities, establish strategic objectives, identify measurable goals and objectives, create partnerships, and respond to the reentry needs of the offender population. Additionally, the practitioners learn to use current labor market information to help them provide offenders with specialized services and programming that support the offender’s long-term attachment to the labor force.

Training

  • Correctional Industries Director’s Training-

    During this training 40 hour blended-training course, Correctional Industries administrators will develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to identify relevant organizational priorities, establish strategic objectives, identify measurable goals and objectives, establish collaborative partnerships, utilize current labor market information, and provide specialized services and programming that support the offenders’ long term attachment to the labor force.
     

  • Workforce Development Regional Training: Enhancing Correctional Industries’ Role in Reentry-

    In this three-day session, participants will learn how to: administer informal assessments, learn strategies for collaborating with stakeholders, and establish a Career Resource Center.

See NIC's Public Training Catalog

This report summarizes the first national review of the recidivism and post-release effects of the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) engaging state prison inmates in private sector jobs since 1979" (p. 6). Sections following an executive summary are: abstract; introduction; methods; key findings and discussion regarding how PIECP participation increases post-release employment and reduces recidivism; and policy recommendations.

Correctional Industries Preparing Inmates for Re-Entry: Recidivism & Post-Release Cover

Results of a cost-benefit analysis of correctional industries programs are provided. Sections of this report are: research methods; research results; benefits and costs; and conclusion. "We find that correctional industries programs for adult offenders in prison can achieve a statistically significant reduction in recidivism rates, and that a reasonably priced program generates about $6.70 in benefits per dollar of cost (p. 2)."

Correctional Industries Programs for Adult Offenders in Prison Cover

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 model provides a holistic approach to evaluating where you are and how to proceed with recommendations based on promising and evidence-based practices. Implementing this model will result in long-term sustainability for the organization and reduced recidivism for the system. It will develop a culture of offender development and employability, preparing an individual for gainful attachment to the workforce."

"The guide was developed using a systems approach to achieve the following: Reduce Recidivism; Increase Public Safety; Improve Offender Success; Ensure Sustainability; [and] Enhance Operations."

Access is provided to the following sections: About This Guide--systems thinking and focus, why a correctional industries program should use this model, components at a glance, the journey begins, and a glossary of terms; Components—incorporate strategic planning, maintain financial sustainability, recruit/develop/retain staff, engage stakeholders, replicate private industry environment, implement certificate based soft skills training, provide certified technical skills training, maximize offender job opportunities, create a culture of offender employment readiness and retention, and provide post release employment services; and Resources—studies, articles and reports, and websites.

Correctional Industries screenshot

Correctional Industry programs contribute to the successful reentry of offenders by providing a structured environment for participants to learn the skills needed to obtain and retain post-release employment. Guided by evidence-based practices, Correctional Industries distinguishes itself by providing services that make an impact in reducing inmate recidivism. See how they make a significant difference in the lives of the offender population they serve and hear from national experts, correctional practitioners, and former offenders about the promising and evidenced-practices that impact recidivism.

At the conclusion of this program broadcast on October 5, 2011, participants will be able to: describe the evolution of Correctional Industries from “producing quality products” to “developing individuals who produce quality products”; explain how the incorporation of evidence-based practices helps improve program outcomes; identify how Correctional Industries provides offenders with the skills they need to successfully obtain and retain post-release employment; and identify evidence-based training opportunities that promote professional growth and development.

Correctional Industries: A Working Solution [Satellite/Internet Broadcast] Cover

This program focuses on presenting new reentry strategies and highlight specific programs around the country that reflect best practices. Imagine a reentry program that reduces recidivism, changes lives, and makes prisons and jails safer with little or no cost to taxpayers. Such a program has been around for decades. It is correctional industries, an effective model for preparing offenders for employment upon release. The elements of this strategy include skills certification, positive change, collaboration with businesses and the community, and a focus on career development and job retention. Participants in this broadcast will be able to identify: the growing role of correctional industries in the reentry process; best practices in innovative correctional industries related to successful reentry; strategies for promoting collaborations that increase the effectiveness of correctional industries on reentry; positive reentry outcomes resulting from correctional industries; and the future of correctional industries.

This program is Part 2 in a series on correctional industries; Part 1, Building Tomorrow's Workforce: An Effective Reentry Strategy (#023255), focuses on the history and benefits of correctional industries and ways to balance competing interests. 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.

Innovative Reentry Strategies: The Emerging Role of Correctional Industries Cover

Contents of these proceedings are: introduction; key themes; session highlights; opening remarks; open forum; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) Program; contract services; media relations; workforce development; Legal Issues in Jails--2008; LJN business; final meeting agenda; participant list; and index of past LJN meeting topics.

Large Jail Network Meeting, March 2-4, 2008, Aurora, Colorado Cover

The effectiveness of Pennsylvania Correctional Industries (PCI), a state-run prison business, in planning efforts and managing operations is assessed, while identifying obstacles to mission statement fulfillment and operational efficiency. This audit is comprised of the following sections: results in brief (executive summary); introduction and background; objectives and methodology; seven findings and recommendations; and observation. Appendixes include: results of surveys of potential PCI customers and existing and former PCI customers; and responses from the DOC. PCI "let sales slide, charged higher prices, and used irregular accounting to help its own Department of Corrections" (p. iv).

Performance Audit of Pennsylvania Correctional Industries of the Department of Corrections Cover

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