Providing Services in a Jail-Based American Job Center

Issue Brief, Lessons from LEAP
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
May 31, 2018
Authors
Jennifer Henderson-Frakes

Key Findings:

  • Jail-based AJC services addressed diverse but interrelated aspects of both job and life skills.
  • Work readiness training, workforce information services, and career/life skills counseling were the most common pre-release services.
  • Participants valued opportunities to gain marketable skills, such as Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) certification, and to obtain supportive services, such as assistance getting official identification.
  • Staff felt that refresher activities just before release for participants who had completed pre-release programming with time left in jail could boost participants’ chances for post-release success.

In 2015, 20 LEAP grantees established jail-based AJCs to offer employment-related services to incarcerated individuals and connect them to further support immediately upon their release into the community. The jail-based AJCs provided participants with comprehensive case management; job-seeking services; and assistance with education or training. This brief discusses how jail-based AJC staff assessed inmates’ needs and goals, prepared employment and service plans, and delivered services to address participants’ barriers before their transition to the community and the workforce.

Project

Connecting Inmates to Public Workforce Services Prior to Release: The Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release Grants

Funders

U.S. Department of Labor

Time Frame

2015-2018