Details a demonstration project’s initial results in providing ex-offenders with workforce readiness training, career counseling, and an intensive follow-up process, to prevent recidivism and to support the transition back into civic society.

“…[T]he U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration created the Beneficiary Choice Contracting Program, a demonstration that provided ex-offenders with workforce readiness training, career counseling, and intensive followup to help them successfully enter and remain in the workforce and stay free of crime. DOL awarded five grantees a total of $5 million for the first year of operations to serve approximately 225 participants each. DOL contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to evaluate the implementation of the program, the short-term outcomes of participants, and the costs of providing services. This report detailed the early implementation experiences of grantees and their program partners through the first 10 months of operations” (p.1).

Between $2,667-$4,489 was spent on each ex-offender participant. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Grantees relied heavily on their own experiences with specific organizations and the recommendations from their community partners to identify a pool of potential SSPs [specialized service providers]. This approach may not have reached providers that are out of the “mainstream,” such as those that offer faith-infused services” (p.25). • “To date, capacity-building activities with SSPs mostly focused on use of MIS and the process for submitting invoices. Limited effort has been made to identify and individualize technical support based on SSP service capacity or to provide activities to improve the quality of service delivery” (p.26). • “All grantees serve ex-offenders ages 18 to 29 who were released from prison within the past 60 days. Three sites, however, restrict participation of individuals who served time for murder or sexual offenses” (p.43). • “The majority of participants were African American men in their mid-20s” (p.63). • Despite the range of core and supplemental services available at SSPs, most service receipt was heavily focused on employment-based activities. This appears to be driven both by the demonstration goal of rapid employment and participants’ need for immediate income and desire to comply with supervision requirements” (p.77). • “Most participants receive workforce preparation and supportive services. By comparison, relatively few receive education and training services, or participate in community service activities” (p.77). (Abstractor: Author)