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Employing Your Mission: Building Cultural Competence in Reentry Service Agencies Through the Hiring of Individuals Who Are Formerly Incarcerated and/or in Recovery

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2011
32 pages
This toolkit is intended for use by reentry service agencies to assist them in their efforts to find employment opportunities for individuals recently released from incarceration and/or in recovery.

Previous research has found several interrelated issues that affect the successful reentry back into the community for individuals recently released from incarceration. These issues include the disproportionate effect of incarceration on low income communities and people of color, the need for stable employment, and the need to incorporate the experiences and realities of those facing reentry into the services provided by reentry service agencies. This toolkit is intended for use by reentry service agencies to address these issues through the development of culturally competent hiring practices. These hiring practices stress the need for service agencies to hire formerly incarcerated individuals to reflect the experiences and realities of this population and provide them with services in a more effective manner. The toolkit is divided into four sections. Section I provides an overview of the literature and research examining the reentry crisis, the employment barriers faced by the reentry population, current efforts to protect this population against job discrimination, and examines the research on culturally competent hiring practices and the impact they have on reentry service agencies. Section II contains a case study of the work and experiences of the Fortune Society, a New York City-based reentry agency whose staff members have histories of incarceration, substance abuse, and/or homelessness. Section III of the toolkit provides a case study of a London-based service agency that adopted the practices of the Fortune Society. The final section of the toolkit, section IV, provides an overview of promising practices and lessons learned about how to develop a culturally competent workforce at a reentry services agency. References

Date Published: November 1, 2011