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Promote Workforce Strategies for Reintegrating Ex-Offenders

When formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into the community, they face a number of barriers to employment.  By providing ex-offenders with the supports and services they need to find and maintain employment, states can reduce recidivism.  Participation in comprehensive education and employment programming while incarcerated and a continued connection to education and employment services after release have been shown to reduce recidivism. [1] Using strategies such as progressive sanctions that hold ex-offenders accountable but that also keep them in the community connected to family and employment, can be just as effective, if not more effective, than a costly revocation. [2]  When ex-offenders are productively engaged in their communities, working and supporting their families, the community is safer and their families are more economically secure.

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The Second Chance Act authorized the National Reentry Resource Center, managed by the Council of State Governments, which contains a complete online library of programs and information.

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Gender specific information and resources are key to the success of women returning to their communities. An important example is the Reentry Services Center in New York that provides women with employment training and placement, job coaches, housing, peer mentors, legal representation and other critical supports.

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The National Conference of State Legislatures' report on innovations to reduce crime and recidivism.

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Read our accompanying report on workforce wtrategies for reintegrating ex-offenders.

A PBS video "From Ball and Chail to Cap and Gown" on prison education.