Describes the ways in which the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration project was implemented and assesses how the transitional jobs programs affected employment and recidivism during the first year.

"The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, is testing employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC is leading the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focuses on transitional jobs (TJ) programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups" (p.iii).

"The cost of providing transitional jobs program services, for the average length of time in the program of four months, was about $4,300 per TJ group member. Nearly half of those costs consisted of direct payments to participants in the form of transitional job wages, participant supports, and job retention bonuses" (p.115). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• "85% of the men who were assigned to the [Transitional Job] TJ programs worked in a transitional job, reflecting a strong motivation to work. On average, participants worked in the TJs for about four months; • “At the end of the first year, only about one-third of the TJ group…was employed in the formal labor market; • About one-third of each group was arrested and a similar number returned to prison [most being] for violations of parole rules, not new crimes." (p.iii) (Abstractor: Author)