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					Safer Communities

  Well-designed and well-
  delivered programs can
   reduce recidivism……..

(Lowenkamp & Latessa, 2005; Andrews & Bonta, 2003; Andrews
et al., 1990; Cullen & Gendreau, 2000; Gendreau, Smith, &
Goggin, 2001)
                   CDOC Re-entry Objectives
        Target known risk factors
        Address criminogenic needs
        Evidence based / Research driven

Partnerships for Change

                     Partnerships for Change
  Partnerships for Change

Colorado Department of Corrections Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections and YOS
Pre-Release Program Structure

                    Family and
                  Support Systems

                                       Community                  Community and
                                         Parole                     Faith Based
         Healthy Lifestyles             Officers                   Organizations

                                                   Program                                          Employment

          Living Under
                                    C.D.O.C. Facility                  Community
                                    Staff/Programs                      Re-Entry

                        Victim                                                               Management


  Community                                                  Partnerships for Change

  Transition Plans
 Encompass each of the pre-release modules.

 Utilize strength based assessments, goal setting and
timelines to identify and eliminate barriers to re-entry.

 Include specific and relevant community resources,
supports and contact information.

 Serve as a bridge of communication between Pre-
Release and Community Re-Entry.

 Relieve the anxiety experienced in the transition to the
Pre-Release Career and Community
Resource Center Resources and
  Statewide Community
 Curriculum updated daily
  Computer Based Learning Tools, Courses
 and Tutorials
 Career Assessments and Exploration Tools
  Job Search and Resume Writing Tools
  Online Job Application and Internet
  Education, Training and Apprenticeship
 KeyTrain and Career Skills
                        Continuity of Service
                        and Program Content

   “Many believe that reinforcing what offenders
    have accomplished in placement by employing
    the same treatment approach after they are
    released increases their likelihood of success in
    the community.”

    (Altschuler 1984; Coates, Miller and Ohlin 1978; Empey and Lubeck 1971; Haley 1980; Whittaker 1979;
        Wolfensberger 1972)
  Partnerships for Change

Colorado Department of Corrections Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections and YOS
              Intensive Service Delivery
   Medical needs
    –   Diabetic
    –   Disabled
    –   require wheel chair or oxygen
   Long term care or hospice care
   SSI/SSDI application follow up
   Medicaid/ Medicare
   Functionality Assessments
   Provisional benefits (pre-determination to
    receive SSDI/Medicaid benefits)
                             Service Delivery
   Employment Assistance
     – Resume
     – Job Search
     – Work tools/clothing
   Education/Vocational Assistance
   Benefit Acquisition Assistance
     – Social Security Disability Insurance
     – Vocational Rehabilitation
     – Veterans Assistance
     – CICP
     – AND
   Housing Assistance
   Medication Assistance/ Health Care Referral
   Transportation Assistance
   Clothing/Hygiene
   Identification Cards
What do the stats say
about ex offenders and

      89% of offenders who
    violated probation or parole
      were unemployed at the
  Division of Criminal Justice
30% of the new workers returning
      to the workforce are
        former offenders.
          -Department of Labor

   More than half (55%) were
    employed less than 6
    months in the year prior to
   In Colorado, close to 1/3
    (32%) of offenders have
    never been employed for a
    full year.
          -Piton Foundation, 2007
       What do
employers say about
 hiring ex-offenders?

   Increased use of background checks over the past

   Willingness to hire varies according to industry and
    position, type and severity of offense, and work
    experience since release.

   Employers are not always consistent in what they say
    versus what they do when it comes to hiring former
   Criminal Background Checks

In a recent survey of 196 businesses:
 44 percent always check.
 18 percent check sometimes.
 38 percent never check.

HOWEVER, most employers perform some level of employee
   –   Verifying education
   –   Checking previous employment
   –   Checking references
   –   Conducting drug testing
   –   Examining criminal records
   –   Inspecting motor vehicle records
   –   Checking credit
   –   Examine social networking sites
            Employer Concerns

 Theft
 Physical harm to employees
 Damage to reputation and client
 Legal liability
                               How Many Hire?

   Over 40 percent of employers indicate that they would “probably
    not” or “definitely not” be willing to hire an applicant with a
    criminal record.

   About 25 percent of employers indicate that they would
    “definitely” or “probably” consider an applicant with a criminal

   About 35 percent of employers indicate that their response
    depends on the crime of the applicant.

           That’s about 60% of employers willing to
           consider a former offender.
    Without exception, all
   employers made hiring
 decisions of former offender
candidates on a case-by-case
 How do you work with
offenders to prepare them
     for employment?

                 Career Exploration

Career exploration can help you
 learn more about your…

 Interests
 Abilities
 Work Values
 Career Goals
                    Educational and Vocational

   GED
   College
   Apprenticeships- “Earn while you learn”
   Vocational Training
   Key Train Employment Skills

     An estimated 70% of people with a criminal
     history have not graduated from high school
     (Freeman, 1992, Travis Solomon and Waul, 2001).
    Get Prepared

   Become comfortable speaking to employers
    about their criminal background.

   Create a job search portfolio:
     – Resume which details work experience and
       job related skills.
     – Completed Job Application with accurate
       dates and contact information for previous
     – List of References: Identify at least 2 personal
       and 2 professional references who they have
       informed and prepared to speak on their
Career and Community Resource Center

 Statewide Community      Online Job Application and
Resources                  Internet Simulator
 Career Assessments and    Education, Training and
Exploration Tools          Apprenticeship Resources
 Job Search and Resume     Key Train Work Skills
Writing Tools              Program
Computer Based Courses     JobView (20,000 jobs)
The Visible Job Market

  – Newspapers- 5-10% success
  – Recruiters/Agencies- 10-15%
  – Job Fairs- 5% success
  – Internet- 5-10% success
  – Cold Calling/Yellow Pages
The On-Line Job Search

  The internet is an exceptional
  tool for:
  •Researching a company
  •Finding current job postings
  •Emailing your resume
  •Submitting on-line job
  •Looking up addresses,
  directions and bus routes
    The Hidden job market

   Networking is proven to be
    the most effective job
    search method.

      60-80% of jobs are
         found through
    Your Attitude is Important!

Employers describe attitude as
   one of the most important
 factors in hiring and advancing
The Incarceration Speech

“Out of respect to you and my possible
employment here, I should share an unpleasant
part of my past.” Or, “As I pointed out on my
application form, I have been convicted of a
crime and I’d like to discuss it.”
    “I understand you might be hesitant hiring
    someone with a background. But I want to be
    straight forward and open with you. What do
    you need to know to feel comfortable hiring me
    for this position?”
Soft skills were identified as being more
important than technical skills.

    Good Communication
    Interpersonal Skills
    Ability and Willingness to Learn
    Attention to Detail
    Reliability
    Punctuality
Character Traits Sought By Employers

   Most employers seek employees with traits that will
    increase productivity and company morale including:
     – Stability
     – Honesty
     – Creativity
     – Problem Solving             Develop a specific
     – Positive Attitude           example for each
     – Teamwork                    trait to support your
     – Dependable                  claim.
     – Enthusiastic
     – Ambitious
   “I’m a hard worker.”


        “I’m a hard worker and my bosses have
        always counted on me to get the job done. I
        used to work as a concrete form setter and
        that job requires you to work hard and
        quickly. I would do whatever it took to get
        the job done, whether it meant working long
        hours, working in uncomfortable conditions
        and weather, or picking up the slack if we
        were short-handed.”
Bonding Program

   The U.S. Department of Labor has a bonding
    program for returning ex-offenders to aid in
    finding meaningful, fulltime employment and
    to protect employers against theft, fraud,
    forgery, larceny or similar events
Tax Credit Program

   The Internal Revenue Service can authorize
    up to a $2400.00 tax credit for employers.
   This is an incentive to hire ex-offenders and
    was formerly known as the Work Opportunity
    Tax Credit (WOTC)

                     “Survival Jobs”

   It is very common for offenders to begin
    employment after leaving a correctional
    facility with a low-paying job.
   This condition results in the need to work
    overtime to make enough money to survive.
    The overtime work contributes, in turn, to
    family problems and general fatigue.
Common Job Loss Indicators

Expressions of Job Dissatisfaction 84%
Substance Abuse 83%
Unstable Living Arrangements 81%
Chaotic Family Life 81%
Missed Work or Appointments 80%
         Back up plans (Contingency)

To create this backup, or contingency plan:

    identify the job loss triggers.
    develop appropriate responses to job loss
    develop multiple options
    (If A happens, I can do Plan B or Plan C.)
    In advancement planning, an offender employment
    specialist works with an offender to develop a plan
    that will result in some degree of career progression.

    Advancement planning occurs when the
    offender and the employment specialist:
   set employment goals that are
    incremental and achievable.
   create a plan to achieve those goals.
The famous “Felon Friendly” list

   The distribution of industries among those
    most willing to accept offenders is skewed

    –   Manufacturing
    –   Construction
    –   Transportation
    –   Industries that likely have fewer jobs that
        require customer contact
Employment Resources

   Personal and Professional Network
   Previous Employers
   Community Job Fairs
   Statewide Community Re-entry Programs
   Workforce Centers
   Incarcerated Veterans Training Program –IVTP
   Employment First Programs
   Colorado Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
   Community and Faith Based Organizations
   Temporary Employment Agencies
Additional Resources

National Institute of Corrections - Offender Workforce
  Development Specialist Training


US Department of Labor – LMI – Career Onestop

Thank you!
    Heather Salazar, MPA, MCJ
    Colorado Dept. of Corrections
    Div. Adult Parole, Comm Corr, &