Prisoners Employment and Rehabilitation Resources

What's the Problem?
Both federal and state studies clearly show that ex-offenders who are employed are much less likely to commit new offenses than those who are unemployed.

A study in Indiana reports that lack of employment of ex-offenders is the #1 predictor of recidivism. Unemployed offenders are twice as likely to return to prison than those who have a job.

Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota reported that work was “a turning point in the life course of criminals.”

Maryland also has recognized that an ex-offender’s ability to support himself “as soon as possible after release is important to reentry success …”

But, despite this, Maryland now offers only 1 in 10 inmates the opportunity to participate in job-training programs while in state prisons. Maryland’s prison employment program—Maryland Correctional Enterprises—reports a 60% reduction in recidivism for inmates who complete its programs.

What’s the Proposal?

The Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform proposes that Maryland use “Justice Reinvestment Funding” to save money by removing low risk inmates from state prisons and to use part of the money saved to expand job training and other job opportunities for ex-offenders.

Will this Work?

As discussed above, employment is the single strongest factor needed to prevent new offenses by ex-offenders.

The unmistakable benefits of self-supporting work on ex-offenders have been demonstrated by federal studies, other state’s studies, and in Maryland’s model Montgomery County Pre-Release Center.

Status of the Legislation

MAJR’s proposed legislation would use savings from existing corrections funds

Read the full text of the legislation.

This approach will be presented to the Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council for study.

Learn More!

Read about Maryland Correctional Enterprises which should be expanded to offer job-training to more than 1 in 10 inmates.

Read about Montgomery County Pre Release Center’s successful inmate reentry employment program.

The Final Report on Prisoner Re-entry by the Task Force on Prisoner Reentry chaired by Gary Maynard, 2011. This report summarizes a major effort by a large group of prominent individuals who appear to be recommending some of the changes sought in this year’s MAJR legislation.  See also the powerpoint slides by DPSCS.

Read about scientific analyses of data from the Rand Corporation regarding inmate education, job training and employment.

There is a lively discussion of the need for this approach: