More than two out of every five people who are released from prison in Illinois will be returned within three years; the associated costs to state and local governments, victims, and parolees and their loved ones are staggering. The Litmus team is looking to change this, by designing and testing new strategies aimed at bringing people home to their communities, ready to thrive. The high cost of reentry failures justifies investing in strategies to help reentrants secure skills and credentials that are valued by employers. The Litmus team was awarded $4 million from the United States Department of Labor to partner with workforce-development groups, public and private colleges, and training centers, to test four pathways to careers, iterating based on lessons learned, with the goal of securing quality employment for people returning home from incarceration. On this award, Director of Litmus, Angela Hawken, notes:
I’m proud of our work on early release and expanding earned sentence credits to bring people home sooner and better prepared. This new award from the Department of Labor allows us to build on that effort by learning how best to prepare reentrants for quality placements in the job market. Congratulations to Litmus Research Scholar Janelle Prueter, who will direct this complex and important project.