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Returning to Work After Prison: Final Results for the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2012
78 pages

This final report provides an assessment of how the Joyce Foundation’s transitional jobs program affected employment and recidivism during the two years after participants joined the study.


The author of this report presents findings on the impacts of the Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD) project, which was designed to help fill a gap in knowledge about which strategies are effective in helping former prisoners find and hold jobs. This document builds on an earlier report which presented the TJRD results after one year; this update provides an overview of the TJRD evaluation and briefly describes the implementation of the TJRD employment programs. Key findings include: the program substantially increased employment early in the study period by providing jobs to many who would otherwise not have worked, however gains faded as men left the transitional jobs and the programs did not increase regular unsubsidized employment during or after the program period; the transitional jobs programs did not significantly affect key measures of recidivism over the two-year follow-up period; also, financial incentives for participants may improve earnings impacts, and employment findings suggest that transitional jobs may be more effective when general levels of employment and earnings are particularly low. Overall, the author notes that the results suggest a need to develop and test enhancements to the transitional jobs model.

Date Published: May 1, 2012