Successful workforce reentry for felons is one of the most elusive solutions facing the criminal justice system. The Tennessee Department of Corrections released almost 15,000 inmates last year. Local jails and correctional facilities across the state contributed thousands more to that number.
Whether convicted or not, each of these men and women face similar challenges when attempting to enter the workforce. There are dozens of programs designed to help, but finding the right mix of supervision, training, continued rehabilitation and effective job placement has proved very difficult. In fact, many job readiness programs have no positive effect on recidivism for their participants.
One success story highlighted recently on The New York Times Opinionator Blog is the Center for Employment Opportunities (C.E.O.) in New York. Using a unique peer-based approach to training and job placement, it has been successful in reducing recidivism and saving on incarceration costs for New York.
Read all about it and tell us what you think about programs that train felons and place them in the workforce. Does it make sense? What are we doing wrong?