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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2009

    The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in the last three decades. Today, more than 2 million people are incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, and almost 700,000 people are released from state prisons each year. Corrections costs exceed $65 billion per year, with most of this total borne by state and local governments.

    Men and women released from prison often face daunting obstacles as they move back to their communities. They frequently have difficulties finding jobs and housing, and experience problems reconnecting with family and other social supports. In addition, former prisoners are concentrated in a relatively small number of distressed urban neighborhoods that lack resources to assist in the reentry process. Not surprisingly, many end up returning to prison, a disastrous result for them, their families and communities, taxpayers, and public safety.

    Prisoner reentry has attracted increasing attention in recent years, as states seek ways to reduce recidivism and control surging corrections costs. While most...

    The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in the last three decades. Today, more than 2 million people are incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, and almost 700,000 people are released from state prisons each year. Corrections costs exceed $65 billion per year, with most of this total borne by state and local governments.

    Men and women released from prison often face daunting obstacles as they move back to their communities. They frequently have difficulties finding jobs and housing, and experience problems reconnecting with family and other social supports. In addition, former prisoners are concentrated in a relatively small number of distressed urban neighborhoods that lack resources to assist in the reentry process. Not surprisingly, many end up returning to prison, a disastrous result for them, their families and communities, taxpayers, and public safety.

    Prisoner reentry has attracted increasing attention in recent years, as states seek ways to reduce recidivism and control surging corrections costs. While most experts believe that stable employment is critical to a successful transition from prison to the community, there is little hard evidence about which program practices are effective at promoting successful transitions or reducing recidivism.

    This policy brief describes an ongoing initiative, the Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration, that seeks to learn what works best to help former prisoners make a successful transition back into society. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Redcross, Cindy; Bloom, Dan; Valentine, Erin; Manno, Michelle S.; Muller-Ravett, Sara; Seefeldt, Kristin; Yahner, Jennifer; Young, Alford A. Jr. ; Zweig, Janine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, is testing employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC is leading the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focuses on transitional jobs (TJ) programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups.

    In 2007-2008, more than 1,800 men who had recently been released from prison were assigned, at random, to a transitional jobs program or to a program providing basic job search (JS) assistance but no subsidized jobs. Both groups are being followed using state data on employment and recidivism. Random assignment ensures that if significant differences emerge between the two groups, those differences can be attributed with confidence to the different types of...

    The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, is testing employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC is leading the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focuses on transitional jobs (TJ) programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups.

    In 2007-2008, more than 1,800 men who had recently been released from prison were assigned, at random, to a transitional jobs program or to a program providing basic job search (JS) assistance but no subsidized jobs. Both groups are being followed using state data on employment and recidivism. Random assignment ensures that if significant differences emerge between the two groups, those differences can be attributed with confidence to the different types of employment services each group received.

    This is the first major report in the TJRD project. It describes how the demonstration was implemented and assesses how the transitional jobs programs affected employment and recidivism during the first year after people entered the project, a period when the recession caused unemployment rates to rise substantially in all four cities. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Mead, Lawrence M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Yahner, Jennifer; Zweig, Janine M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD) a rigorous evaluation of the TJ model, designed to test its effectiveness compared to a standard set of job search (JS) activities for recently released prisoners (Redcross et al., 2010). More than 1,800 male former prisoners were randomly assigned to either a TJ program or JS program in each of four states, and their employment and recidivism outcomes were followed two years after random assignment. Despite this somewhat discouraging picture of the first-year follow-up results from the overall TJRD evaluation, it is still possible for specific TJ program strategies to have functioned successfully as mediators affecting client outcomes--and practitioners in the field are hungry for such information. Program implementers want to know about the relative contribution that different program strategies within the TJ model--such as length of time in a transitional job, receipt of job readiness/development assistance, case management services, and supportive payments--make to participant outcomes. The TJRD study provides a unique...

    The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD) a rigorous evaluation of the TJ model, designed to test its effectiveness compared to a standard set of job search (JS) activities for recently released prisoners (Redcross et al., 2010). More than 1,800 male former prisoners were randomly assigned to either a TJ program or JS program in each of four states, and their employment and recidivism outcomes were followed two years after random assignment. Despite this somewhat discouraging picture of the first-year follow-up results from the overall TJRD evaluation, it is still possible for specific TJ program strategies to have functioned successfully as mediators affecting client outcomes--and practitioners in the field are hungry for such information. Program implementers want to know about the relative contribution that different program strategies within the TJ model--such as length of time in a transitional job, receipt of job readiness/development assistance, case management services, and supportive payments--make to participant outcomes. The TJRD study provides a unique opportunity for us to explore the comparative effectiveness of these specific TJ program components. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Launched in 2010, the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration evaluation from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration evaluation from the Department of Labor are studying 13 subsidized employment programs in 10 locations across the United States. The programs encompass three broad categories: Modified Transitional Jobs Models, Wage Subsidy Models, and Hybrid Models.

    The goal of these complementary large-scale projects is to evaluate the effectiveness of the latest generation of subsidized employment models that aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. This report introduces the projects and presents some preliminary findings about implementation of the demonstrations. (author abstract)

    Launched in 2010, the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration evaluation from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration evaluation from the Department of Labor are studying 13 subsidized employment programs in 10 locations across the United States. The programs encompass three broad categories: Modified Transitional Jobs Models, Wage Subsidy Models, and Hybrid Models.

    The goal of these complementary large-scale projects is to evaluate the effectiveness of the latest generation of subsidized employment models that aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. This report introduces the projects and presents some preliminary findings about implementation of the demonstrations. (author abstract)

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