Participants' Perspectives During Reentry Project Programs

Participants' Perspectives During Reentry Project Programs

Published: Nov 30, 2022
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

Reentry Projects Grant Evaluation: Serving Justice Involved Adults and Young Adults

Time frame: 2017-2024

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office


Leela Hebbar

Sergio Martinez

Key Findings
  • Participants learned about RP services through word of mouth, community organizations, and RP program outreach.
  • The service that participants reported as most useful for their future was training and certifications.
  • One of the biggest barriers finding work was their background with the justice system. They explained that they perceived their backgrounds as eliciting a negative bias from employers, a belief that certain types of prior offenses precluded them from certain fields, and a belief that they were denied jobs because they did not pass the employer’s background check.
  • Participants’ reasons for needing to immediately enter employment included meeting a requirement of their probation, earning an income to meet their own basic needs (such as for housing or food) or those of their family, and because jobs were perceived as an important component of their readjustment.

This issue brief describes the types of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities offered to Reentry Projects (RP) participants, RP programs’ experiences providing WBL, and lessons learned from offering WBL. The brief draws on a variety of data collected for the RP implementation study, including a grantee survey, virtual site visit interviews, and information reported by grantees in the Workforce Integrated Performance System (WIPS).

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