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Transitional Jobs for Ex-Prisoners: Implementation, Two-Year Impacts, and Costs of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Prisoner Reentry Program

NCJ Number
Cindy Redcross; Dan Bloom; Gilda Azurdia; Janine Zweig; Nancy Pindus
Date Published
August 2009
187 pages
This paper presents the results from a continuing evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) program in New York City.
Preliminary findings from the second year of evaluation of New York City's Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) program indicate that in the first 2 years of the study period, the CEO program operated smoothly and most program participants received the program's core services; more than 70 percent of participants worked in a transitional job, with an average length of employment of about 8 weeks; the program generated a large, but short-lived increase in the employment rate for participants; and program participation reduced the risk of recidivism in both the first and second year following program entry. This paper presents the results of a continuing evaluation of the CEO program in New York City. CEO is a highly regarded employment program for former prisoners that employs a transitional employment model for assisting prisoner reentry. Data for this evaluation were obtained from several sources for a sample of ex-prisoners (n=977) randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: the neighborhood work project group (n=568) or the resource room group (n=409). The research team evaluated baseline data, criminal justice administrative data, employment data, and program MIS (management information system) data for the 2 years following study entry to determine the effect of the program on participants' reentry efforts. The findings from the continuing evaluation indicate that the CEO program is moderately successful at improving employment prospects for former prisoners, and that it has reduces a former prisoner's risk of recidivism regardless of the length of time before they enter the program following release from prison. Tables, figures, appendixes, and references