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Employment and Vocational Training

Resources for Crime Prevention and Improved Reentry
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Are you an individual in need of employment, employer looking to hire, or an industry looking for services and products? If so, the resources below may be able to assist you.

American Job Centers

Helpline: 1-877-US-2JOBS (TTY: 1-877-889-5267)

American Job Centers are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof. The centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services. Customers can visit a center in person or connect to the center's information online or through kiosk remote access.


The mission of Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (now operating under the trade name UNICOR) is to protect society and reduce crime by preparing inmates with job training and practical work skills for reentry success. The program operates at no cost to taxpayers and benefits communities across the nation creating safer prisons and reducing inmate recidivism.

Featured Resources

Federal Hiring Mythbusters: What is the federal policy on hiring individuals with criminal records?

U.S. Office of Personnel Management (2019)

Federal agencies have renewed their focus on initiatives for the reentry population. Reentry intersects all aspects of an individual’s well-being, and also the well-being of their community. This fact sheet clarifies existing federal policies related to the hiring and employment of formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.

Highlighted Resources

Case Management Models for Pre- and Post-Release Employment Services: Issue Brief – Lessons from LEAP 

U.S. Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office (2018)

This brief explores the different models used to deliver case management through jail-based AJCs and community-based American Job Centers (AJCs) and service providers, the benefits and drawbacks of those models, and strategies used to help establish continuity of services after release.


From Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Transformation, Reentry and Connections to Employment for Young Adults

U.S. Department of Labor, Compass Rose Collaborative (2020)

Too many young people cycle in and out of prison, jails, and detention centers and face probation and parole conditions that keep them locked out of opportunity. This resource offers practical programmatic solutions that support second chances for young people and raise policy and systems considerations to address equity, collateral consequences, and opportunity. The report features insights of best practices from nine communities that are part of the Compass Rose Collaborative (CRC).


Nondegree Credentials in Correctional Education: Status, Challenges, and Benefits

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (2016)

This report discusses the findings of a study to gain a better understanding of the status, challenges, and benefits of offering career and technical education (CTE) programs that can improve their chances of obtaining a job after release and lower their recidivism rates.


Engaging Participants in Workforce Services after Release from Jail Issue Brief – Lessons from LEAP

U.S. Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office (2018)

This brief presents lessons on engaging individuals after release from incarceration, drawn from the experiences of workforce and corrections agencies that established American Job Centers (AJCs) in jails to serve individuals and link them after release to community-based services.


The Reentry-Focused Performance Excellence Guide

U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

This guide was developed using a systems approach to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, improve offender success, ensure sustainability, and enhance correctional industry operations. The guide’s components focus on program relevance, financial sustainability, maximizing participation, increased employment and job retention of former offenders after release, collaboration within the communities, and more.


Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance and U.S. Department of Labor (2013)

Employment is a point at which the goals of the criminal justice, workforce development, family services, health and human services, and social services systems can converge. This white paper is meant to facilitate discussions across systems by introducing a tool that can create a framework for better coordinating the correctional supervision, treatment, supports, and other services to improve outcomes for individuals returning to their communities and their families.