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Best Practices in Green Re-Entry Strategies

NCJ Number
Date Published
34 pages
This paper discusses the unique opportunities that the growing green economy provides for improving the reentry prospects of ex-offenders.
This paper addresses the problem of improving the reentry prospects for formerly incarcerated individuals. The authors discuss the unique opportunities that the newly emerging and growing green economy can provide to ex-offenders as a way to find gainful employment and escape the cycle of poverty, crime, and recidivism. The paper has six primary sections that discuss the green economy and the best reentry strategies for use in this job sector to help ex-offenders. The first two sections look specifically at what is meant by the green economy and green jobs, along with why green jobs provide such a promising future for ex-offenders. The next section of the paper presents a list of best practices for use in reentry programs that include training opportunities during incarceration, the use of transitional jobs upon release, wrap-around support services, soft skills development, industry certifications, pre-apprenticeship programs, fostering relationships with employers, and the use of retention services. The next section discusses the importance of policy and advocacy in improving the reentry chances of ex-offenders including policies that enhance the labor supply, re-prioritizing goals of existing State correctional programs, aligning funders' needs with innovative strategies, having policies that create a demand for labor, having policies that fulfill the potential of the green economy, using community workforce agreements to spur opportunities, and using high road agreements to reach targeted populations. The final two sections of the paper summarize the benefits of using the green economy to improve the reentry chances of ex-offenders and present a list of resources for officials to use when including the green economy in their reentry strategies.