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Resources for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
Every day, people with histories of incarceration are getting new jobs that they want and succeeding in employment. A person who is motivated, and gets the support and resources that they need to succeed, can build a healthy new work life.
In addition to resources that are valuable to many people preparing to go to work (CTWorks, BRS, DMHAS, etc.), there are resources in Connecticut that have been developed to target the specific needs of formerly incarcerated individuals who are pursuing goals for employment.
- 2-1-1 Connecticut’s Community Re-Entry Directory of Services (can be searched by zip code or city, then for nearby Employment/Training resources)
- Connecticut Resources for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
- Resources for Workforce Professionals Working With Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
- Publications - the National Helping Individuals with criminal records Re-enter through Employment (H.I.R.E.) Network (topic areas: Employment, Barriers to Reentry, Benefits, and Juvenile Justice)
- Criminal Records and Employment: Protecting Yourself From Discrimination (2011)
- Tips for Working with Jobseekers Newly Released from Prison (National Transitional Jobs Network)
Quick Tips for Individuals with a Criminal History:
- Request a copy of your record
- Learn how to discuss your history in an interview.
- Do not offer too much/too explicit information.
- Begin the pardon process. Info on how to do this is located at: www.lac.org
Community-Based Services for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals:
Fresh Start Enterprise House is an innovative demonstration project designed to create sustainable community-based opportunities for successful reentry. Success is achieved by combining entrepreneurial employment and training, providing supportive services, interagency collaboration, and creating a community driven to succeed. Enterprise House creates an environment with high expectations for success and standards of behavior coupled with meaningful supports from role models, mentors, and the community. Enterprise House is a peer driven, professionally supported, positive pro-social environment that shifts the formerly incarcerated person from “incarceration dependence to community integration and self-sufficiency”.
Fresh Start Enterprises, LLC is a training and employment social enterprise for formally-incarcerated-persons. Fresh Start Enterprises creates employment opportunities that go well beyond a paycheck by using work as a powerful medium for initiating and sustaining positive change. The work environment creates positive support systems where trainees and employees gain marketable work skills, valuable experience, create supportive peer relationships, learn and practice social skills, build self-confidence and self-esteem, and begin to mentor each other through encouragement of positive behavior, challenging negative attitudes, and celebrating personal and business success. Fresh Start Enterprises creates jobs – the employees pay taxes, repay child support arrearages, and become responsible members of their families and productive citizens in their communities. In these ways “the power of work is truly realized” in the many benefits to the ex-offenders, their families, and their communities.
Program: ReEntry Works
Mission: Prepare people leaving prison to succeed in the workforce
Eligibility: Anyone on parole: probation if non-violent offender, or DOJ-Pre-release; walk-ins if non-violent and w/in 90 days of release.
Hours: M-F, 8:30 - 4:30; Job Clubs every Tuesday, 3 - 4 pm
Location: 350 Fairfield Ave, 3rd floor
Contact: Brian Roccapriore, (203) 953-3256, firstname.lastname@example.org
Services: Assessment, links to education and training, job matching, mentoring
Number Served/Capacity: 500 /yr, some eligibility rules apply.
Program: STRIVE/Career Resources
Mission: Transform hard to employ people into job-ready individuals, equipped to find and succeed in jobs that lead to financial independence.
Eligibility: No age, income or demographic requirements. Must understand program rules, sign contract, and participate as agreed.
Hours: Classes are M-F, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm for a 3-week cycle. Students must attend orientation the Friday before classes begin.
Location: 350 Fairfield Ave, 3rd floor
Contact: Gene, (203) 953-3275, email@example.com
Services: Participants must attend dressed in business attire. Intensive training focuses on developing positive attitudes and work habits for successful long term job retention. Training follows a national model featuring a highly effective job-readiness workshop in a simulated work environment. Participants are personally engaged and challenged to examine and change their behavior.
Number Served/Capacity: On average 15-25 people participate in three-week workshops. Graduates receive follow-up support for their first two years on the job.
Program: Fathers for Life/Career Resources
Category: Support Services
Mission: Promote positive involvement and interaction of fathers with their children, with emphasis on emotional and financial support.
Eligibility: Open to all non-custodial or non-resident fathers and parents. No age, income or residency requirements. Services are also available for couples.
Hours: M-F 8:30 - 4:30, except for Tuesdays Noon – 8:00; "24/7” Dads groups offered each Tuesday evening.
Location: 350 Fairfield Ave, 3rd floor
Contact: Javier Santiago, (203) 953-3269
Services: A 12-week Tuesday evening group curriculum teaches parenting, health relationship, and life skills. Individual case management is also provided. Offering arrearage adjustment to parents meeting requirements, and also paternity establishment.
Number Served/Capacity: The program serves approximately 120 fathers per year. Each group has a maximum size of 30 but space is generally available without the need for a waiting list.
DOJ Project STARR: CPA, as a lead partner in collaboration with the City of Hartford, has secured a $569,000 Second Chance grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to initiate Project STARR (Striving To Achieve Recidivism Reduction), which will build upon the strengths and experience of PREP and continue to address the re-entry needs of the City. (2010)
DOJ Project STARR
716 Windsor Street
Hartford, CT 06120
Tel: (860) 882-1397
Carlos Ruiz, Program Manager
In New Haven:
Project M.O.R.E., Inc. addresses the needs of ex-offenders through various programming and services that cater to the complexities each individual faces while transitioning back into the community.
In New London County:
Project Employment (OIC): OIC's Project Employment provides training and employment support services to ex-offenders and their families as they re-integrate into the community and assist them in becoming productive, responsible citizens.
Basic life and self-management skills are stressed as necessary to securing and maintaining employment or any other social relationship. Many possible barriers to employment are dealt with during the classes.
- Bus tickets are supplied for classes and job search.
- Students receive all class materials for further review and use.
- Clients are assisted by knowledgeable staff in their job search.
Follow-up with each client is provided for least one year, as well as ongoing support for updating resumes, reference sheets, cover letters and job search help.
ALL Project Employment participants are required to attend the program's Employability Skills workshop in order to receive on-going services and support.
CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTANCE:
- Arrest Record
- New London County Resident
- Economically Disadvantaged
Eligible clients must come to OIC's New London offices at 106 Truman Street to complete an application and schedule an intake interview. Subsequent appointments may be held at either our New London site or our offices at 80 Broadway in Norwich.