Workforce Development

There is a relationship between employment and crime: studies have shown that having a job with adequate pay is associated with lower rates of re-offending. Unfortunately, having been incarcerated reduces the employability of a person because employers are less likely to hire someone with a criminal record. Also, being out of the labor force for a period of time prevents an offender from learning or maintaining viable skills.

Preparation for release should begin early in the period of incarceration.

Each individual should have a comprehensive re-entry plan, developed through a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach. The plan should address employment, housing, and continuity of care for health, addictions, and mental health needs along with supervision conditions and requirements.

Individuals who may qualify for state or federal benefits should be identified prior to release, and pre-qualified for those benefits when possible.

Work release and halfway house settings support a gradual and supported return to community living. Halfway houses provide the greatest benefit for those with multiple needs, the fewest resources, and/or the highest risk to recidivate.

Job programs for offenders that address not only vocational skills, but also address motivation and attitude have been more successful at improving employment during re-entry.