Eliminating Barriers
to Reentry
Victor Dickson
President & CEO,
Safer Foundation
October 23, 2014
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United States
United States Total Population
318, 872, 000
# of Prison Facilities in Operation
4,575 (International Centre for Prison
Studies)
Total Capacity
2,265,000 (ICPS)
Total People Incarcerated
2.29 million (2012 year end--BJS)
Operating at 99% Capacity (ICPS)
State Corrections Spending - $53.2
billion
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Illinois
(Location of the Majority of Safer Offices)
Illinois Total Population
12,830,632
# of Prison Facilities
29
Total Capacity
32,075 (BJS)
Total People Incarcerated
48,902 (IDOC October ‘14 quarterly
report)
Operating at 152% Capacity
Corrections Spending - $1.2 billion
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Barriers to Successful Reentry
Individual —people returning from incarceration are not properly prepared to
navigate life back in their home communities; beyond the myriad of preexisting issues consistent with most formerly incarcerated persons (e.g.
little education and work history, substance abuse issues) the journey
from prison to successful reintegration is often full of road blocks.
Families —often families provide shelter and a safety net for people
returning home, but frequently are struggling to meet their own needs &
may be ill-prepared to address those of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Systems— public (state, county, & city agencies) & private (service
organizations) institutions have not been pro-active enough in
coordinating efforts and support for this high-risk group of individuals.
Without such support, public safety, community stability, & individual life
outcomes remain at risk.
Community—entire communities are not properly prepared to meet the
complex needs of those returning home; the communities are weakened
both by the individuals’ criminal activities & their ensuing absence due to
incarceration, & then burdened by their return.
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Personal Barriers to Reentry
Employment
Education
Voting
Mental Health
Substance
Abuse
Financial
Healthcare
Transportation
Legal
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Housing
Incarceration & Employment
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•
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (Bureau of Labor, Sep. 2014)
•
“Black unemployment rate is consistently twice that of whites”
(Pew Research Center, Aug. 2013)
•
The likelihood of a callback for an interview for an entry-level position
drops off by 50 percent for those applicants with a criminal record
(Professor Devah Pager’s, The Mark of a Criminal Record,” American
Journal of Sociology 108(5), 2003: 937-975. 4)
•
More than one in four adults in the United States (70 million adults
with arrests and convictions) have a criminal record that will show up
on a routine criminal background check (National Employment Law
Project: March 2011)
•
Employers had 4.84 million open positions in August 2014 (DOL)
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The Individual Financial Costs of
Incarceration
(Taken From the Pew Report “Collateral Costs”)
• Two-thirds of male inmates were employed prior to incarceration
• Incarceration, above and beyond arrest and conviction, has the
most negative impact on an individual’s economic prospects post
release
• Serving time reduces hourly wages for men by approximately
11%, annual employment by 9 weeks, and annual earnings by
40%
• Family income averaged over the years a father is incarcerated is
22% lower than the family income was pre-incarceration. In the
year after the father’s release, family income remains 15% lower
than it was in the year before incarceration
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About Safer
Safer Foundation, a not-for-profit organization
headquartered in Chicago, is in its 42nd year.
Our mission is to support, through a full spectrum of
services, the efforts of people with criminal records to
become employed, law-abiding members of the
community and a result, reduce recidivism.
Our vision is that all people with criminal records will
have an equal employment opportunity.
8 locations in Illinois and 3 in Iowa
More than 250 employees on staff
A 63% reduction in recidivism rates with clients
achieving 30 days of employment
Over 4,200 job starts in FY13
$21 million budget in FY 14
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Davenport
Direct Services
Direct Services
Post-Release CommunityBased
Adult Services
 Employment
Readiness &
Placement
 Basic Skills/GED
 Assessment Case
Management Support
 Supportive Services
 Community-Based
Services
 Faith-Based: PRI
Youth Services
 8-Week Sessions
 Basic Skills/GED
 Peer Teaching
Methodology
 Case Management
 Employment
Services
 Life Counseling
President’s Reentry Initiative
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Secured
Community-Based
Adult Transition
Centers
 Outside Employment
 Job Preparedness
 Life Skills
 Community Service
 Education
 Case Management
 Mental Health Services
 Family Support Services
 Substance Abuse
Treatment
Secured
Institutional
State Prison
County Jail
 PACE Institute
 Safer Return
inside all state
prisons
Page 6
EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS
RETENTION SERVICES MODEL: AN INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK
Finding
Employment
Preparing for
Employment
Group Orientation
Job Ready Pathway
Intake and
Assessment
Mental Health
Substance Abuse
Career Scope
BESI
>7.0 TABE
>6 Months consecutive work
experience
Group 1: No credentials
Group 2: GED and/or
vocational credential
Keeping
Employment
Retention
Groups
Industry
Sectors
Job Readiness
Training
If <1 yr of
work
Career
Planning
Workshops
Candidate
Pool/Job
Search
If>1 yr of
work
Pathway
Placement
Transitional Employment
Pathway
On the Job
Groups
If in
Transitional
Employment
<7.0 TABE
<6 Months consecutive work
experience
Supportive Services
Pathway
Services heavily front-end
loaded towards retention
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Make needed referrals; monitor
services to meet required
thresholds
Refer to Pathway
Job Bank
Service
Industries
Manufacturing
Construction
Transportation/
Warehousing/
Logistics
Other Sector
Strategies
Safer’s Collaborations
Safer has fostered several partnerships over the years that have proved fruitful in
achieving our on-going mission.
Safer’s Partners Include:
Policing, Courts, Jails & Prisons
Elected Officials
Government Agencies – Federal, State & Local
Legal Aid Clinics
Human Service Organizations
Advocacy Groups
Academic and Research Institutions
Faith-based Organizations
Philanthropic Institutions
Businesses
Individuals
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.
3-Year Recidivism Results
IDOC Recidivism Rate:
47.0% (FY2011 Releases)
63% Reduction
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Results
COST DIFFERENTIAL
45000
$38,268*
40000
Safer
35000
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
Safer Foundation’s
Cost to Place Clients through
Currently Funded Programs
$3,200
0
*According to Vera Institute of Justice
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IDOC
Illinois
Department of
Correction’s
Cost to
Incarcerate
Employer’s
Cost to Use Safer
$
Results
IF PEOPLE GET JOBS
Use Safer
Photo
Businesses have employees who contribute
and are appreciative
Lower turnover rate
Fewer victims of crime
Tax base goes up
Taxpayer burden goes down
Families work toward a better future
Those connected to their families are less
likely to commit crimes
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What you should to know?
• Poverty, Unemployment & Low Educational
Achievement drive criminality
• Lawyers (Legislators, Prosecutors, Judges)
drive criminalization of behavior, punishment
& barriers to reentry
• Historical systemic discrimination in the US
has always been legal (Slavery Era, Jim Crow
Era, Mass Incarceration Era)
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What can you do?
• Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform in
your state; laws, sentences,
incarceration rates.
• Advocate for elimination of legal barriers
to employment.
• Advocate for greater investment in
reentry programs & services
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What can you do?
• Connect reentering citizens to
institutions with access to the breadth of
services needed.
• Hire reentering citizens
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Questions
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?