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Reentry Myth Busters          John Rakis, Consultant to     The National Institute of Corrections
National Institute of CorrectionsThe National Institute of Corrections is an agencyhoused within the U.S. Department of Ju...
NIC Resources and Services   The NIC Information Center, based in    Longmont, CO, is a clearinghouse for a variety    of...
NIC’s WebsiteAn excellent resource for downloadable documentsrelated to all aspects of corrections, a blog, public forums,...
www.nicic.gov
Why Focus on Reentry?                                                       2 in 3 released prisoners   1 in 100 U.S. adul...
Reentry is a Public Safety Issue, but also: An employment       2 in 3 men were working/financial contributors before     ...
Reentry is a Public Safety Issue, but also:A behavioral health   2/3 of people in prison meet criteria for substance abuse...
Reentry presents a major opportunity toimprove public safety, public health,workforce, education, family, andcommunity out...
Cabinet-level Interagency    Reentry Council              •   Attorney General                  hosted first meeting on   ...
Reentry Council Mission StatementTo support the Administration’s efforts in advancingpublic safety and well-being through ...
Reentry Council Goals• To identify research and evidence-based practices,  policies, and programs that advance the Reentry...
Reentry Council Goals• To identify and support initiatives in the areas of  education, employment, health, housing, faith,...
Coordinate and Leverage ResourcesNational ReentryResourceCenterinventoried andmapped majorfederal reentryresourcesgoing to...
Address Federal Barriers to Reentry   Public Housing   Barrier to Employment   Veterans   Access to Benefits   Collat...
Collateral Consequences   Additional civil state penalties, mandated by    statute, that attach to criminal convictions....
Collateral Consequences   The Legal Action Center (LAC) provides a state-    by-state and issue-by-issue overview of lega...
Ban the BoxWWW.NELP.ORG
What are Myth Busters?   First product of the Federal Interagency    Reentry Council    They are fact sheets, designed to...
What are Myth Busters?Each sheet address a common‘myth’ about reentry, rangingfrom financial aid toemployment opportunitie...
Who can use Myth Busters?   Prison, jail, community corrections, and parole    officers   Reentry service providers and ...
What Topics are Covered?
On Public Housing         myth fact       Individuals   Public Housing Authorities have   who have been     great discreti...
On the Work Opportunity Tax Credit          myth factEmployers have no      Employers can save money on theirfederal incom...
On Federal Bonding Programs          myth fact   Businesses and      Through the Federal Bondingemployers have no      Pro...
On Hiring/Criminal Records Guidance         myth fact       People with   An arrest or conviction  criminal records   reco...
Criminal Histories and Employment        Background Checks         myth fact An employer can       According to the Fair C...
EEOC’s New Criminal Record       Guidance - April 25, 2012   Issued updated enforcement guidance on    employers’ use of ...
EEOC’s New Criminal Record       Guidance - April 25, 2012   Guidance provides significantly more detail and    direction...
On Child Support        myth fact   Non-custodial    Half of all states have formalized parents who are    processes for r...
On Parental Rights          myth fact       Child welfare    Important exceptions to the       agencies are     requiremen...
On Federal Student Financial Aid         myth fact  A person with a      Individuals who are currentlycriminal record is  ...
On Medicaid Suspension vs. Termination          myth factMedicaid agencies       States are not required to    are require...
On TANF Benefits       myth fact  A parent with a   The 1996 Welfare ban appliesfelony conviction   only to convicted drug...
On SNAP Benefits         myth fact       Individuals   This ban applies only to    convicted of a   convicted drug felons,...
On Social Security Benefits          myth fact      Eligibility for   Social Security benefits are not   Social Security  ...
On Veterans Benefits          myth fact  Veterans cannot       Veterans may inform VA to have   request to have      their...
On Veterans Health Care           myth fact     A Veteran with     An eligible Veteran, who is not            criminal    ...
On Youth Access to Education Upon Reentry         myth fact   Confined youth     The majority of youth involved   easily r...
Want to learn more? More information on reentry policy is available at:National Reentry Resource Centerhttp://www.national...
Offender Workforce Development     Products and Services                      Offender                      Employment    ...
Offender Workforce Development     Products and Services                  Offender                  Workforce             ...
Offender Workforce Development     Products and Services                      Online/Kiosk                      Job       ...
Offender Workforce Development     Products and Services              Primer on              motivational              int...
Offender Workforce Development     Products and Services                      Career                      Resource        ...
For a copy of this PowerPoint and        Links to Resources          JRAKIS@GMAIL.COM
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Mythbusters 2012

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Presentation made at the annual conference of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (May 2012)

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Mythbusters 2012

  1. 1. Reentry Myth Busters John Rakis, Consultant to The National Institute of Corrections
  2. 2. National Institute of CorrectionsThe National Institute of Corrections is an agencyhoused within the U.S. Department of Justice thatwas established to provide leadership, training, andtechnical assistance to the field of corrections.
  3. 3. NIC Resources and Services The NIC Information Center, based in Longmont, CO, is a clearinghouse for a variety of corrections-related information. 1-800-877-1461
  4. 4. NIC’s WebsiteAn excellent resource for downloadable documentsrelated to all aspects of corrections, a blog, public forums,and training opportunities and resources
  5. 5. www.nicic.gov
  6. 6. Why Focus on Reentry? 2 in 3 released prisoners 1 in 100 U.S. adults 95% will be released to will be rearrested within behind bars the community 3 years• 1 in 15 African • More than 700,000 • Half will be re- American men annual releases from incarcerated for new incarcerated state and federal crimes or technical prisons violations • 9 million cycle through • U.S. spends $74 local jails each year billion/year on corrections
  7. 7. Reentry is a Public Safety Issue, but also: An employment 2 in 3 men were working/financial contributors before issue incarceration. Incarceration substantially reduces earnings. A public health Individuals released from prisons and jails represent a sizable issue share of the US population carrying communicable diseases. Homelessness is associated with a higher risk for A housing issue incarceration and incarceration contributes to an increased risk of homelessness. Of the 20 fastest growing occupations, 13 require postsecondaryAn education issue education. Yet only 22% of prisoners have any postsecondary experience, compared to 51% of the general population.
  8. 8. Reentry is a Public Safety Issue, but also:A behavioral health 2/3 of people in prison meet criteria for substance abuse or dependence and 24% have a mental illness. Few receive needed issue treatment while incarcerated or after returning to the community.A family/fatherhood 1 in 28 children has a parent behind bars. 1 in 9 African American issue children has a parent incarcerated. A large number of incarcerated people come from – and return to A community issue – a relatively small number of already disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  9. 9. Reentry presents a major opportunity toimprove public safety, public health,workforce, education, family, andcommunity outcomes.
  10. 10. Cabinet-level Interagency Reentry Council • Attorney General hosted first meeting on 01/05/11 • 7 Cabinet members and other Administration leaders in attendance • Bi-annual meetings
  11. 11. Reentry Council Mission StatementTo support the Administration’s efforts in advancingpublic safety and well-being through enhancedcommunication, coordination, and collaborationacross Federal agency initiatives that:1. Make communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization;2. Assist those returning from prison and jail in becoming productive citizens; and3. Save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
  12. 12. Reentry Council Goals• To identify research and evidence-based practices, policies, and programs that advance the Reentry Council’s mission around prisoner reentry and community safety.• To identify Federal policy opportunities and barriers to improve outcomes for the reentry population.• To promote Federal statutory, policy, and practice changes that focus on reducing crime and improving the well-being of formerly incarcerated individuals, their families and communities.
  13. 13. Reentry Council Goals• To identify and support initiatives in the areas of education, employment, health, housing, faith, drug treatment, and family and community well-being that can contribute to successful outcomes for formerly incarcerated individuals.• To leverage resources across agencies that support this population in becoming productive citizens, and reducing recidivism and victimization.• To coordinate messaging and communications about prisoner reentry and the Administration’s response to it.
  14. 14. Coordinate and Leverage ResourcesNational ReentryResourceCenterinventoried andmapped majorfederal reentryresourcesgoing to statesand localities www.nationalreentryresourcecenter. org
  15. 15. Address Federal Barriers to Reentry Public Housing Barrier to Employment Veterans Access to Benefits Collateral Consequences
  16. 16. Collateral Consequences Additional civil state penalties, mandated by statute, that attach to criminal convictions. loss or restriction of a professional license, ineligibility for public funds, loss of voting rights, ineligibility for jury duty, and deportation for immigrants. Vary from state-to-state
  17. 17. Collateral Consequences The Legal Action Center (LAC) provides a state- by-state and issue-by-issue overview of legal barriers facing ex-offenders. A “report card” using criteria developed by the LAC grades each state for its performance on key principles related to successful reentry of offenders. www.lac.org
  18. 18. Ban the BoxWWW.NELP.ORG
  19. 19. What are Myth Busters? First product of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council They are fact sheets, designed to clarify existing federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in areas such as public housing, access to benefits, parental rights, employer incentives, and more.
  20. 20. What are Myth Busters?Each sheet address a common‘myth’ about reentry, rangingfrom financial aid toemployment opportunities.It lists facts debunking the myth,answering commonmisperceptions……describes the details of each,including explanations of differentstate policies……and lists important suggestionsand recommendations for readers.A the end of the form, each sheetlists useful online resources.
  21. 21. Who can use Myth Busters? Prison, jail, community corrections, and parole officers Reentry service providers and faith-based organizations Employers and workforce development professionals State and local agencies
  22. 22. What Topics are Covered?
  23. 23. On Public Housing myth fact Individuals Public Housing Authorities have who have been great discretion in determining convicted of a their admissions and occupancy crime policies for ex-offenders. Whileare “banned” from PHAs can choose.to ban ex- offenders from participating in public housing. public housing and Section 8 programs, it is not HUD policy to do so. In fact, in many circumstances, formerly incarcerated people should not be denied access.
  24. 24. On the Work Opportunity Tax Credit myth factEmployers have no Employers can save money on theirfederal income tax federal income taxes in the form of advantage by a tax credit incentive through the hiring an ex-felon. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program by hiring ex- . felons. An ex-felon under WOTC is an individual who has been convicted of a felony under statue of the United States or any State, and has a hiring date which is within one year from the date of conviction or release from prison.
  25. 25. On Federal Bonding Programs myth fact Businesses and Through the Federal Bondingemployers have no Program (FBP), funded and way to protect administered by the U.S. DOL, themselves from fidelity insurance bonds are potential property available to indemnify employers . for loss of money or property and monetary sustained through the dishonest losses should an acts of their employees (i.e.,individual they hire theft, forgery, larceny, and prove to be embezzlement). dishonest.
  26. 26. On Hiring/Criminal Records Guidance myth fact People with An arrest or conviction criminal records record will NOT are automatically automatically bar individuals barred from from employment. employment. .
  27. 27. Criminal Histories and Employment Background Checks myth fact An employer can According to the Fair Credit Reportngget a copy of your Act (FCRA), employers must get one’s permission, usually in writing, before criminal history asking a background screening from companies company for a criminal history report. that . If one does not give permission or do background authorization, the application for checks without employment may not get reviewed. If a person does give permission but does your not get hired because of information in permission. the report, the potential employer must follow several legal obligations.
  28. 28. EEOC’s New Criminal Record Guidance - April 25, 2012 Issued updated enforcement guidance on employers’ use of arrest and conviction records when making hiring decisions Call for employers to assess applicants on an individual basis rather than excluding everyone with a criminal record through a blanket policy
  29. 29. EEOC’s New Criminal Record Guidance - April 25, 2012 Guidance provides significantly more detail and direction for employers. Provides specific recommendations for how employer criminal record policies should be designed to comply with Title VII Can be found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_co nviction.cfm
  30. 30. On Child Support myth fact Non-custodial Half of all states have formalized parents who are processes for reducing child support incarcerated . orders during incarceration. Three- quarters of all states have laws thatcannot have their permit incarcerated parents to obtain child support a reduced or suspended support orders reduced. order.
  31. 31. On Parental Rights myth fact Child welfare Important exceptions to the agencies are requirement to terminate required to parental rights provide childterminate parental welfare agencies and statesrights if a parent is . with the discretion to work with incarcerated. incarcerated parents, their children and the caregivers to preserve and strengthen family relationships.
  32. 32. On Federal Student Financial Aid myth fact A person with a Individuals who are currentlycriminal record is incarcerated in a federal, state, not eligible to or local correctional institution receive federal have some limited eligibility. In student financial . general, restrictions on federal aid. student aid eligibility are removed for formerly incarcerated individuals (under parole, probation, or those residing in a halfway house).
  33. 33. On Medicaid Suspension vs. Termination myth factMedicaid agencies States are not required to are required to terminate eligibility forterminate benefits individuals who are if incarcerated based solely on an otherwise . inmate status. States may eligible individual suspend eligibility during is incarceration, enabling an incarcerated. individual to remain enrolled in the state Medicaid program, thereby facilitating access to Medicaid services following release.
  34. 34. On TANF Benefits myth fact A parent with a The 1996 Welfare ban appliesfelony conviction only to convicted drug felons, cannot receive and only eleven states have TANF/welfare. kept the ban in place in its . entirety. Most states have modified or eliminated the ban.
  35. 35. On SNAP Benefits myth fact Individuals This ban applies only to convicted of a convicted drug felons, and only felony thirteen States have kept the ban can never receive in place in its entirety. Most Supplemental . States have modified or Nutrition eliminated the ban. Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food StampProgram) benefits.
  36. 36. On Social Security Benefits myth fact Eligibility for Social Security benefits are not Social Security payable if an individual isbenefits cannot be convicted of a criminal offense reinstated when and confined. However, monthly an individual is . benefits usually can be released from reinstated after a period of incarceration. incarceration by contacting Social Security and providing proof of release.
  37. 37. On Veterans Benefits myth fact Veterans cannot Veterans may inform VA to have request to have their benefits resumed within 30 their VA benefits days or less of their anticipatedresumed until they release date base on evidence are officially . from a parole board or other released from official prison source showing incarceratoin. the Veteran’s scheduled release date.
  38. 38. On Veterans Health Care myth fact A Veteran with An eligible Veteran, who is not criminal currently incarcerated, can use convictions VA care regardless of any or a history of criminal history, includingincarceration is not . incarceration. Only when an eligible for VA otherwise eligible Veteran is health care. currently incarcerated, or in fugitive felon status, is he or she not able to use VA health care.
  39. 39. On Youth Access to Education Upon Reentry myth fact Confined youth The majority of youth involved easily return to in the juvenile justice system school after have strong aspirations to release continue their education, yet from juvenile . face many barriers that reduce confinement. their access to education upon reentry.
  40. 40. Want to learn more? More information on reentry policy is available at:National Reentry Resource Centerhttp://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/
  41. 41. Offender Workforce Development Products and Services Offender Employment Specialist Training
  42. 42. Offender Workforce Development Products and Services Offender Workforce Development Specialist Training
  43. 43. Offender Workforce Development Products and Services Online/Kiosk Job Application Simulation
  44. 44. Offender Workforce Development Products and Services Primer on motivational interviewing and how to facilitate positive change
  45. 45. Offender Workforce Development Products and Services Career Resource Centers
  46. 46. For a copy of this PowerPoint and Links to Resources JRAKIS@GMAIL.COM

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