This study looks at whether focused activities and increased coordination between the public workforce system and local correctional facilities prior to release may substantially improve employment outcomes for former inmates.
Individuals who have been incarcerated face daunting challenges in re-entering society and in their lives following incarceration. Many lack education, work experience, family support, and housing. In addition, substance abuse and mental health problems are common. Without adequate supports, recidivism is likely.
We study programs and services to improve education and employment outcomes, strengthen family relationships, and provide health and financial supports for individuals involved with the justice system. Our researchers are evaluating initiatives for multiple populations, including youth offenders, adults in jails and prisons, and former offenders. Our work provides insight into the effectiveness of interventions occurring at many points of contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems, including violence prevention programs, bail programs, and juvenile justice reform efforts in cities and counties across the country.
Stable employment is a key factor in preventing recidivism. We are evaluating programs that seek to improve employment outcomes, such as the Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release program, which provides individuals in correctional facilities with jail-based employment supports and job training and links to public workforce systems. We also studied an initiative that provided former offenders with employment, mentoring, and housing assistance to help them make a successful reentry to society. Because youth with juvenile records face particular challenges completing education and job training and finding employment, we are examining efforts focused on improving their outcomes, such as the Evaluation of Grants for Youth Offenders and the Youth Offender Demonstration Project Evaluation.
Because strengthening family relationships is key to many support programs, our Parents and Children Together evaluation is looking at ways to support fathers, including many participants who are ex-offenders, to help build healthy relationships with their children and partners. In addition, we are testing the effectiveness of programs that aim to increase employment for noncustodial parents—including many ex-offenders—with substantial child support arrears. We have also examined efforts such as Health Link, which help connect inmates to health services.
Connecting Inmates to Public Workforce Services Prior to Release: The Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release Grants
Reentry Employment Opportunities Evaluation: Serving Justice-Involved Youths and Adults
Mathematica is designing and conducting an evaluation to build evidence about effective strategies and approaches being implemented as part of the REO grant program.
Mobilizing Communities to Prevent Violence: Evaluation of Oakland Unite
This study includes (1) annual evaluations of the 25 programs funded through Oakland Unite, (2) annual evaluations of program strategies (life coaching, education and economic self-sufficiency, and violent incident and crisis response), and (3) a four-year impact evaluation.
Preparing Young People for the Future: Evaluating the Impact of the YouthBuild Program
We are designing and implementing surveys of grantees and youth to evaluate impacts, costs, and operation of this program that helps young people learn construction skills to help build affordable housing and other community assets, such as community centers and schools.
Improving Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System
Mathematica is conducting a developmental evaluation of the Local Deep End Initiative, including process and outcome analyses in 12 communities.
Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR)
CLEAR’s mission is to make research on labor topics more accessible to practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the general public so that it can inform their decisions about labor policies and programs.
Helping At-Risk Youth: Evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program
The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program aims to improve the education, life skills, and employment potential of these dropouts. In this evaluation, a rigorous random assignment study will determine the program’s effectiveness by measuring changes in participants’ outcomes, and an implementation study...
Addressing the Critical Needs of Youth Offenders: Evaluating the Impacts of Grant-Funded Programs
This study examines a new Department of Labor (DOL)-funded program that combines promising workforce strategies (career pathways) with promising juvenile justice strategies (expungement and diversion services).
The Faith-Based Beneficiary Choice Program: A Path to Employment for Young Ex-Offenders
This study evaluated the Beneficiary Choice Contracting Program, a demonstration to help young, recently released ex-offenders get employed and stay free of crime with the help of faith-based and community organizations providing individualized support.
Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED)
The National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration is testing the effectiveness of programs that aim to increase employment among noncustodial parents, with the ultimate goal of increasing the likelihood that they meet their child support obligations.