Prison re-entry programs, particularly those focusing on job placement, play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of recidivism and empowering ex-offenders to build productive lives.
If you have a felony conviction, one of the programs listed below may provide you a way to get a fresh start on life, by gaining new skills and access to employment opportunities you would not be able to find on your own
Prison Reentry Programs
Here is an updated list of prison re-entry programs across the US. Keep in mind that this is a small sample of the reentry programs available in different states.
Always check what is available through your state and local resources and none-profit organizations.
1. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Reentry Services
The BOP provides various re-entry services to federal inmates, including education, vocational training, and pre-release programs to enhance their prospects for successful reintegration into society.
2. Second Chance Act Programs
The Second Chance Act, enacted by Congress, supports various re-entry initiatives. Programs funded by the Second Chance Act aim to reduce recidivism by providing support services, employment assistance, and substance abuse treatment.
Ready4Work is a national initiative operated by the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). It offers employment services, including job placement, skill development, and support for individuals with recent criminal convictions.
Hope for Prisoners:
Operating in Las Vegas, Hope for Prisoners focuses on re-entry and reintegration by providing comprehensive services, including job training, mentoring, and support groups for individuals reintegrating into the community.
Roca is a nonprofit organization with programs in Massachusetts and Maryland. It targets high-risk young adults involved in the criminal justice system, offering job training, life skills, and employment opportunities.
Located in Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries provides a range of services, including job training and employment opportunities, for individuals who have been involved in gangs or the criminal justice system.
5. Delancey Street Foundation
The Delancey Street Foundation operates in multiple locations and focuses on rehabilitation and re-entry. It offers a residential program that includes vocational training, education, and work experience.
7. Reentry First Stop Center – Montgomery County, Ohio
This program provides a centralized location for individuals re-entering society to access various services, including job placement assistance, housing support, and substance abuse treatment.
8. Safer Foundation
Based in Chicago, Safer Foundation provides services to individuals with criminal records, including job training, employment services, and advocacy for policy reforms that promote fair hiring practices.
9. Georgia Department of Corrections – Inmate Work Programs
The Georgia Department of Corrections offers various work programs for inmates, providing them with vocational training and skills development to enhance their employability upon release.
10. America Works
This is not a church or a non-profit. America Works is an employment agency. They specialize in placing workers into many fields that are hard to recruit available help. And they have a policy of hiring from former prison populations. America Works has offices in California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin and Washington, DC.
11. San Diego Second Chance Program
This non-profit works to transform lives through providing opportunity for behavioral changes and the acceptance of personal responsibility. They offer both job training and placement as well as drug rehabilitation and mental health services to those in need in the San Diego, CA area.
12. Exodus Transitional Community
Founded in 1999 by a former convict, Exodus is a faith-based reentry program in New York, NY. It offers employment services, career training and placement as well as other services targeted to help former felons find a successfully life after incarceration.
13. Operation New Hope
Based in Jacksonville, FL, this program provides job training and job placement for ex-felons. Selected participants undergo a 4 to 6 week career training program and the organization works to place its graduates in jobs through its many community partnerships.
14. Safer Foundation
This Chicago non-profit works with private companies that hire those with criminal records. Safer offers job training programs and help you to get your GED if you do not have a high school diploma. They also operate several residential transition centers, providing housing to those leaving prison while employed in work release jobs.
15. Word of Hope Ministries
This ministry is located in Milwaukee, WI. It offers a prison reentry program including mentoring and job placement for former felons as well as many other social services.
Benefits of Prison Re-entry Programs
Here are the top benefits that you can gain from participating in a prisoner re-entry program.
Many ex-offenders lack the necessary skills and qualifications to compete in the job market. Re-entry programs often offer vocational training, educational opportunities, and skill-building workshops to enhance employability. These initiatives aim to equip individuals with the tools they need to secure and maintain employment.
Job placement programs provide personalized counseling to help felons identify their strengths, interests, and career goals. By tailoring assistance to individual needs, these programs increase the likelihood of finding suitable employment, aligning with the individual’s skills and aspirations.
Collaboration with local businesses, community organizations, and employers is essential for the success of re-entry programs. Partnerships can result in job opportunities, apprenticeships, and internships that provide practical experience and increase the chances of successful employment placement.
Transitional employment opportunities, often offered by re-entry programs, serve as a bridge between incarceration and mainstream employment. These positions allow individuals to gain work experience, rebuild their resumes, and demonstrate their ability to contribute positively to the workforce.
Job placement programs often provide a range of support services, including counseling, mentorship, and financial guidance. These services address the multifaceted challenges felons may face, increasing the likelihood of sustained employment.
Getting an Education
In all cases, getting a proper education can be a powerful tool to help you find meaningful and suitable employment after serving time.
This can set you apart from others and position you to get a better job that you could not otherwise get without a degree.
If you find that attending a 4 year college or university is out of your reach financially, consider looking into vocational and technical school training, as this is usually far cheaper and more accessible.
The good news here is that in pursuing an education there are in fact federal grants that can help you accomplish better preparing yourself for entering the workforce.
About The Author
Joe is the founder of HireFelons.org. Having had friends and co-workers who have a felony conviction, Joe Hunter decided to use his expert knowledge in starting a successful business to launch HireFelons.org and teach as many former felons as possible how to earn a decent income, when finding a traditional job is simply not an option.