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Work After Prison: One-Year Findings from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration

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Publication Date: October 2010

Publisher(s): MDRC

Author(s): Janine Zweig ; Alford A. Young, Jr. ; Jennifer Yahner; Kristin Seefeldt; Sara Muller-Ravett; Michelle Manno; Erin Jacobs; Dan Bloom; Cindy Redcross

Topic: Labor (Employment and labor supply)
Social conditions (Social policy)
Social conditions (Discrimination and affirmative action)

Keywords: after-prison employment ; public safety; tough economic times

Coverage: United States


These findings from The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration were released with mixed results, indicating that more work is needed to ensure that these programs have the greatest positive impact. The study found no clear link between transitional jobs and increased long-term employment or reduced recidivism for former male prisoners, but it did yield some important insights.

For example, men coming from prison have a high motivation to work. Transitional jobs programs created an important period of stability for participants in the weeks immediately following release and immediate earned income in tough economic times. The study also points to directions for further research.

“This new research expands our understanding about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to helping recently released prisoners transition from prison back to society. This is very important—not just in the field of transitional jobs but to our society as a whole, given the importance of successful reentry policy on public safety and on state budgets,” said Joyce president Ellen S. Alberding.


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