|November 4, 2008|
Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives
Prisoner Re-entry Resources
The following is a list of sites, documents and programs that may be useful in learning more about prisoner re-entry programs and how faith-based and community organizations are active partners in the re-entry process. This information includes other agency efforts and programs, training, and technical assistance opportunities and publications.
Helpful DOL Resources for Faith-Based or Community Organizations in Reentry
This manual provides guidelines and recommendations intended to address the challenges and to increase the benefits of mentoring adult ex-prisoners as part of their involvement in reentry programs.
This toolkit is a guide for faith-based or community organization interested in establishing or enhancing their prisoner reentry program. This document covers a variety of topics, such as recruiting, case management, job placement, mentoring, and forming successful partnerships.
This promising practices guide examines the early implementation of Ready4Work and reports on the best emerging practices in four key program areas.
Other Department of Labor Resources
Centers provide access to workforce information, job counseling and placement programs, and various other resources. One Stop Career Centers also provide education and job training support. There are also numerous electronic resources available through the program's website.
Founded in 1966, the FBP was designed to protect employers from fraudulent or dishonest acts by "at-risk" employees (i.e. candidates with a history of arrest or other morally questionable behavior). Since commercially available bonds do not protect businesses against these candidates, the FBP provides free protection bonds for the first six months of employment. These benefits are available to any employer in any state, and information on the application process is available on the organization's website.
This a federal tax credit that encourages employers to hire people who fall within eight targeted groups of job seekers, including ex-offenders, by reducing employers' federal income tax liability.
This program provides services to assist homeless veterans in finding meaningful employment. Job placement, career counseling, and job training are among the many services provided. HVRP works with various veterans' organizations as a means of reaching out to the veteran community.
This publication provides basic information on prisoner re-entry and faith-based and community organizations.
This publication provides information from the focus groups which DOL conducted with the business community to learn from their experiences in hiring ex-offenders.
Training and Technical Assistance
NIC is an agency within the DOJ that offers training, technical assistance, and information services to those who provide employment services to people with criminal records. Recently the NIC announced a three-day, DVD-based Offender Employment Specialist (OES) training course. Please see the links below for detailed information and contacts.
CNCS is an independent federal agency that provides training and support for volunteer organizations around the country, including faith- and community-based programs. The Resource Center (see below) is an excellent source for training tools and other technical assistance. Additionally, the website features access to live and recorded "webinars" discussing topics of crime prevention and prisoner reentry. For a guide on how to navigate the CNCS website and learn about training opportunities please see the link below.
Based on the success of the 2007 PSN Anti-Gang Training Conference, the Department of Justice will be offering several more anti-gang conferences in 2008. These conferences are intended to teach law enforcement officials state-of-the-art gang prevention techniques. The main site contains information on these conferences (including the calendar linked below), and various other resources.
Department of Justice Resources
This is a community-based, multi-agency strategy that involves a two-pronged approach: first, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in "weeding out" violent criminals and drug abusers. Secondly, public agencies and community-based private organizations collaborate to "seed" much-needed human services. These services include prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration programs. A community-oriented patrolling component bridges the weeding and seeding elements. This site includes a section on how faith-based and community organizations are involved in building partnerships to prevent crime and strengthen neighborhoods.
This choice-based program engages faith-based and community organizations in an effort to provide America's youth and offenders returning to the community with opportunities that help them resist gang involvement. The six cities selected to implement this program are: Los Angeles, CA; Cleveland, OH; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Milwaukee, WI; Tampa, FL; and the 222 Corridor that stretches from Easton to Lancaster, PA, near Philadelphia.
The purpose of this program is to incorporate federal, state, and local resources in the use of modern techniques of gang prevention, intervention, and suppression. There are currently four pilot program locations: East Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; North Miami Beach, FL; and Richmond, VA. The linked site provides information on the program, and other resources related to anti-gang activities.
This comprehensive program addresses both juvenile and adult populations of serious, high-risk offenders.
Some states currently have faith- or character-based initiatives. The purpose of these programs is to provide inmates with life skills, anger management, and other such services to ease their reintegration into society. Florida is one of the states pioneering this approach, and currently has three entire correctional facilities, or Faith-and Character-Based Institutions (FCBI's), in which the entire inmate population is a part of the FCBR initiative.
The Federal BOP offers several options for prisoner re-entry, including Residential Re-entry Centers (RRC), Comprehensive Sanction Centers (CSC), and home confinement options. RRCs are typical halfway houses, in which contractors monitor the activities of recently released prisoners, to ensure an effective reintroduction into the community. CSCs are more structured than RRCs, and utilize a five-step process to scale back oversight from 24 hour confinement to home confinement. Home confinement is simply the requirement that the newly released prisoners remain in their own homes during non-working hours.
The OJJDP is a Department of Justice Program, which provides support to local and state governments in an effort to improve the juvenile justice system. OJJDP will be hosting conferences in 2008 for faith-based and community organizations, with an emphasis on ways to access private and public grants and funding. The OJJDP Model Programs Guide is an excellent resource for anyone working in the juvenile justice system. It provides a database of past programs, and ideas for implementing new practices in the prevention and intervention of delinquency.
Other Prisoner Reentry Resources
SAMHSA is responsible for both the Access to Recovery program and the Center for Substance abuse prevention. Details on the individual programs can be found below.
ATR is a substance abuse recovery program similar to the Beneficiary-Choice Contracting Program that grants payment vouchers to those who are seeking substance abuse treatment. The vouchers allow the patient to choose his/her treatment site, with the hope that they will be better able to pick a site tailored to their needs. There are currently ATR programs in 14 States.
This site provides access to various educational resources and programs that focus on the prevention of substance abuse. Various tools, such as program planning, strategies for implementation, and other such resources can be found here.
Past offenders are allowed to live in Section 8 subsidized housing. More information on Section 8 housing can be obtained on the HUD website.
The Corporation for National and Community Service's VISTA program focuses on developing prisoner reentry programs that help recently released prisoners find meaningful work. Aside from the summary linked above, the VISTA program handbook has excellent information on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of prisoner reentry programs.
The Office of Probation and Pretrial Services has its own prisoner reentry supervision programs, which seek to put recently released prisoners back into a positive environment in the hopes of reduced recidivism. In addition to an assigned probation officer, who checks on the prisoner's progress with work, school, and so on, the office provides mental health, substance abuse, and other such treatment services. Other options for release such as home confinement are also programs sponsored by the office.
State-Focused Reentry Efforts
The NGA Policy Academy works with state governors and policy makers to develop new strategies to improve prisoner re-entry programs and recidivism rates. One of the program's main goals is to allow states to tap into the already existing programs (drug treatment, job placement, etc.) that will aid in the process.
The Justice Reinvestment Program is an initiative by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which aims to improve the way states think about prisoner reentry. The first step in the program is to analyze and identify trends in the prison population, like which neighborhoods or areas prisoners tend to return to. Then, state spending in these areas is assessed, to determine if there is a way to streamline and integrate multiple programs targeted at the same areas. The overall goal of this is to generate savings from this increased efficiency that can be reinvested in community programs. There are currently Justice Reinvestment programs in 8 states.
Additional Resources and Tools
The Urban Institute has compiled a body of research and information regarding prisoner re-entry. Included is their Re-entry Roundtable series which brought together prisoner re-entry researchers to share their findings and discuss relevant issues.
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has compiled this body of information including statistics on rates of recidivism, prevalence of imprisonment, comparisons of Federal and State inmates, and gender-related inmate statistics, as well as several publications covering different aspects of inmates and crime.
This site provides national and state annual statistics for all categories of crime.
This is the main site for the DOJ's Reentry program. It contains an overview of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative as a whole, with various links and references to other organizations and resources. The Reentry Resource Map is an excellent way to locate reentry resources around the country. The site also explains the implications of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative in relation to governments' dealing with Faith-Based Organizations.
The Reentry Policy Council was designed to assist state governments with various reentry issues. Its goal was to develop ideas and policies for state officials, and to improve information sharing among organizations. The RPC is organized into three groups: Public Safety and Restorative Activities, Supportive Health and Housing, and Workforce Development and Employment Opportunities. In 2005, the RPC published an extensive report, which reflects the results of a series of meetings among 100 of the most respected workforce, health, housing, public safety, family, community, and victim experts in the country.