Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Arkansas

I. Arkansas Employment Security Department

Contact:
Arkansas Employment Security Department
1501 South Main Street
North Little Rock, AR 72203
501-682-2257
Web Site: www.state.ar.us/esd

State Resources & Assistance

Information about State Department of Labor resources may be of interest to:
• potential employers looking for incentives to hire individuals with criminal histories;
• service providers and individuals with criminal histories who are looking for assistance in finding employment; and
• researchers and policy makers looking at current programs to ascertain what programs are effective and serve their intended purpose.

A. Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Contact:
Employment Service Technical Unit
Arkansas Employment Security Department
P.O. Box 2981
Little Rock, AR 72203
501-682-3143
501-682-2576 fax

B. Tax Credits
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

Contact:
Arkansas Employment Security Department
P.O. Box 2981
Little Rock, AR 72203
501-682-3749
501-682-2576 fax

C. Unemployment Insurance Office
Unemployment compensation is a social insurance program designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work, generally through no fault of their own, for periods between jobs. In order to be eligible for benefits, jobless workers must demonstrate that they have worked, usually measured by amount of wages and/or weeks of work, and must be able and available for work.

The unemployment compensation program is based upon federal law, but administered by states under state law.

An individual must apply for benefits in person at a local Employment Security Department Office or by mail.

Contact:
Office of Unemployment Insurance
Arkansas Employment Security Department
#1 Pershing Circle
North Little Rock, AR 72114
501-554-1343 
Web Site: www.arkansas.gov/esd/UI/index.htm/

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II. Criminal Record Repository

This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet. The criminal record repository can also tell the individual who else is legally entitled to have access to his or her record.

To obtain a copy of a criminal history, Arkansas form ASP 122 must be notarized and submitted along with a self-addressed stamped envelope and a $15 fee payable to “The Arkansas Police.”

Contact:
Arkansas State Police
One State Police Plaza Dr.
Little Rock, AR 72209
501-618-8500

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III. State Attorney General

Employers and service providers may obtain information from the state attorney general regarding occupational bars, the licensing of individuals with criminal records in certain jobs, and whether the state has laws that limit what employers may ask job applicants or protections against employment discrimination based on a criminal record.

Contact:
Office of the Attorney General
323 Center Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-2007 or 800-482-8982
Web Site: www.ag.state.ar.us

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Arkansas Correctional Industries

Job skills are currently taught to participating inmates through the prison industry program in such trades as garment manufacturing, vinyl products, graphic arts and duplicating, mattress manufacturing, vehicle refurbishing, janitorial products, digital imaging, engraving, school furniture repair, furniture manufacturing and athletic/recreational equipment production.

Contact:
Arkansas Correctional Industries
2403 East Harding
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
870-850-8430
870-850-8440 fax
Web Site: www.acicatalog.com

Work Release Program

Inmates work in the community while housed at correctional facilities.

Contact:
Mississippi County Work Release Center: 870-762-1979
Northwest Arkansas Work Release Center: 501-756-2037

Pre-Release Program

The pre-release program is a 30-day training offered at Benton, McPherson and Wrightsville correctional facilities to prepare inmates for their return to the community. A vocational education program offers education in 22 areas of study, provided by Riverside Vocational Technical School and funded by the Department of Workforce Education. To be eligible for the vocational education program an inmate must be disciplinary free for 60 days, Class 2 security status, and within 39 months of parole eligibility.

Contact:
Arkansas Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 8707
Pine Bluff, AR 71611
870-267-6999
870-267-6258 fax
Web Site: www.state.ar.us/doc/

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V. Arkansas Department of Community Correction

Contact:
Arkansas Department of Community Correction
Two Union National Plaza Building
105 West Capitol, Second Floor
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-9510
501-682-9539 fax
Web Site: www.dcc.state.ar.us

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VI. Legal Assistance

Free or low-cost legal resources, both in civil and criminal law, are helpful to individuals with criminal histories in learning about relevant state laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal histories or addressing other legal issues resulting from having a criminal history.

A. State Public Defender

Contact:
Arkansas Public Defender Commission
101 East Capitol, Suite 201
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-9070
501-682-9073 fax

B. Legal Services

Contact:
Center for Arkansas Legal Services
303 West Capitol, Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-376-3423 or 800-950-5817
501-376-3664 fax

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Arkansas Bar Association
400 West Markham
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-375-4606
501-375-4901 fax
Web Site: www.arkbar.com

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VII. Local Service Providers

Community agencies are available to assist individuals with criminal records find employment. This information will inform individuals with criminal records about government agencies and community-based organizations that assist with employment, education or vocational training. Researchers and policy makers may find this information useful in identifying agencies and service providers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Workforce Investment Centers

Workforce Investment Centers are One-Stop Centers in Arkansas. One-Stop Centers offer assistance to job seekers in finding jobs through information about job vacancies, career options, student financial aid, relevant employment trends and instruction on how to conduct a job search, resume writing, or interview techniques with an employer. A listing of local centers and information on the type of assistance they offer to people seeking employment is available at 866-279-6757 or at www.arworks.org.

Contact:
Arkansas Employment Security Department
#1 Pershing Circle
North Little Rock, AR 72114
501-682-2121
Web Site: www.accessarkansas.org/esd/

Ramoth, Inc.

Ramoth Inc. is a staffing agency that helps former offenders coming out of the Arkansas state prison system to find employment.

Contact:
Ramoth, Inc.
Little Rock (HQ)
PO Box 4934
Little Rock, AR 72214
info@ramothinc.com
Office: 501-615-1090
Fax: 501-615-1099
Web Site: www.ramothinc.com/

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