February 18, 2015
Major and Classification
Public Policy, Management and Planning and Minor in Public Health
- Manuel Pastor, Ph.D.
- School of Policy, Planning, and Development
- Keck School of Medicine
Community Organization’s Role in Reattaching Former Inmates to the Labor Market
Residents in urban communities face several barriers in their attempt to access employment. Some residents have resorted to the informal economy and illegal substance abuse due to the lack of employment opportunities. Tough on crime policy has been a key factor in integrating residents who engaged in illegal activities into the prison system. Furthermore, California is expected to release 30,000 prisoners in the next couple of years. Many of the inmates are expected to return to their communities. Unfortunately, former inmates are at risk for addiction, homelessness, and unemployment. Existing literature states that reentry programs that secure employment for former inmates reduces recidivism-the rotation out of prison and back in- and creates stability in urban communities. This study analyzes community organization programs across various cities that assist former inmates in entering the labor market by securing job stability. Moreover, this study compares the effectiveness of providing vocational and work programs to former inmates and guaranteeing employment upon their return to their community. This study discusses the elements and methods that community organizations use to successfully attach former inmates to the labor market. Interviews with nonprofit organizations and other stakeholders were conducted to analyze their role in helping secure jobs.