A New Approach for Reducing Reincarceration and Joblessness Among Adults with Criminal Histories
On September 19, 2013, the Council of State Governments Justice Center released Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness, a white paper that provides a new tool that can be used as a starting point for cross-systems collaborations to reduce reincarceration and unemployment among adults with criminal histories. It presents guidance to policymakers, corrections and community supervision administrators, and workforce development providers on how to make the best use of scarce resources by using objective, assessment-based approaches that take into account individuals’ risk of future criminal behavior, level of job readiness, and their need for services in order to produce better reentry, employment, and public safety outcomes.
The paper was developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, with additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. It builds on work done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Center for Employment Opportunities, as well as work done by the policy research organization, Public/Private Ventures.
With expert guidance from a diverse advisory committee made up of researchers, reentry practitioners, workforce development practitioners, and policy experts, the paper provides the following:
- An overview of the “Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) principles,” which are used by criminal justice professionals to identify individuals’ risk of recidivism and to allocate resources and deliver tailored services accordingly
- A summary of workforce development program components for improving employment outcomes for hard-to-employ individuals, particularly for adults with criminal records
- Five principles of effective service delivery that can be applied to employment programs to address the distinct needs of adults involved in the corrections system
- A new “Resource-Allocation and Service-Matching Tool” to help guide the decision making of workforce and corrections policymakers and practitioners.
On Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, along with the Council of State Governments Justice Center and its partners at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, will hold an invitation-only forum entitled Bridging Reentry and Workforce Development: A Shared Approach to Strengthening Communities, hosted by DOL. This forum will feature an overview of the white paper and will also include discussions among national and state policymakers and practitioners on how this new shared approach can improve job-readiness and successful transitions from incarceration or supervision for people with criminal histories. CSG Justice Center will livestream this forum at http://csgjusticecenter.org/reentry/the-reentry-and-employment-project/
Complementing the paper’s findings, CSG Justice Center will unveil at the forum its new one-stop, online toolkit on reentry and employment, developed in partnership with key agencies across the country and providing the latest information on legal, policy, and other common barriers faced by the reentry population, as well as tools and resources to help the policymakers and practitioners understand how to address these barriers through policy and practice.
To read the white paper, view the online toolkit or to watch the livestreamed event, click here. The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government. It provides practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies—informed by available evidence—to increase public safety and strengthen communities.