LEAP Issue Brief Compendium: Delivering Workforce Services to Justice-Involved Job Seekers Before and After Release
Connecting Inmates to Public Workforce Services Prior to Release: The Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release Grants
U.S. Department of Labor
This compendium presents a summary of findings from the planning and implementation phases of the Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release (LEAP) pilots, and includes 10 issue briefs organized around key themes that emerged during the evaluation of LEAP (see Box 1 for more information).
The LEAP pilots are intended to break the cycle of recidivism by linking participants to the workforce system early––while still in jail––and then immediately upon reentry into the community. To accomplish this goal, corrections and workforce development agencies partnered to establish American Job Centers (AJCs) within jails and then connect participants to community-based AJC’s upon release. This innovative venture required overcoming many challenges inherent to providing services within a jail environment, including the short average length of jail stays, often unpredictable timing of release, and other logistical challenges such as limited internet access. These pilots provided workforce and corrections partners with the opportunity to troubleshoot these challenges, identify promising practices, and develop strategies to sustain the jail-based AJC services beyond the life of the DOL grant.
This compendium draws on information gathered from the first round of 20 LEAP grantees. Five of the briefs describe grantees’ experiences during the early planning period while five describe experiences during implementation. The briefs will provide useful information to DOL as well as the broader workforce development and corrections communities in their efforts to help justice-involved job seekers transition to life outside jail.