Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Florida

I. Agency for Workforce Innovation

Contact:
Agency for Workforce Innovation
Caldwell Building
107 East Madison Street, Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-245-7105
850-921-3223 fax
Web Site: www.floridajobs.org/

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:
Agency for Workforce Innovation
Caldwell Building
107 East Madison Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-245-7426
850-921-3859 fax
Web Site: www.floridajobs.org/workforce/bonding.html

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:
Agency for Workforce Innovation
WOTC/Workforce Programs
Caldwell Building
107 East Madison Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-921-3299
850-921-3120 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.

Unemployment compensation program in Florida is administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). Information concerning unemployment compensation, and complete applications are available on the Internet, using the unemployment/re-employment link, or at any One Stop Employment Center.

Contact:
Unemployment Compensation Program
Agency for Workforce Innovation
Caldwell Building
107 East Madison Street, Suite 200
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-245-7488
850-921-3223 fax
Web Site: www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/

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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.

A written request, completed fingerprint card and a $39 fee, payable to the "Florida Department of Law Enforcement," must be submitted. For information on how to explunge or seal a record in Florida, call 850-410-7870.

Contact:
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
USA/Public Records
2331 Phillips Road
P.O. Box 1489
Tallahassee, FL 32302
850-410-8109
E-Mail: background@fdle.state.fl.us
Web Site: www.fdle.state.fl.us/CriminalHistory

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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:
The Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol, PL 01
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-414-3300
Web Site: myfloridalegal.com/

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IV. State Department of Corrections

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V. Florida Department of Corrections

Community Corrections

Post-release supervision is under the direction of the Florida Department of Corrections. Sentences are flat sentences. An inmate may be released with no supervision after the sentence has been served, or one may be released from state custody to probation supervision for a period of time as stipulated by the court. A small population remains who were sentenced under old laws and are released to parole supervision. There are four regions, divided according to Florida's judicial circuits, each with a number of local offices to provide easy access for supervision purposes.

Contact:
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Road
Talahassee, FL 32399
(850) 488-7480
Web Site: www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/comcor

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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:
P.O. Box 11057 
Tallahassee, FL 32302 
Web Site: flpda.org/public-defenders/

B. Legal Services

Florida Legal Services publishes a directory of legal service providers in Florida.

Contact:
Florida Legal Services, Inc.
2425 Torreya Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 385-7900
(850) 385-9998 fax
Web Site: www.floridalegal.org

JALA attorneys and advocates handle cases involving community development issues, consumer issues, education issues, family law issues, elder law issues, employment and unemployment issues, fair housing issues, housing issues, health issues, public benefits issues, mental health issues, and immigration issues. JALA also provides a variety of legal services for those persons having HIV or AIDS.

Contact:
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid
126 West Adams Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 356-8371
(904) 356-8285 fax

Contact:

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
The Florida Bar
651 East Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
(850) 561-5600
(850) 561-5826 fax
E-Mail: flabarwm@flabar.org
Web Site: www.flabar.org

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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.

One-Stop Career Centers

One-Stop Career Centers offer employment services to job seekers and employers in Florida. There are 24 Regional Workforce Boards in Florida which are responsible for implementing the employment programs in their regions. Services available include referrals to employment, career counseling, assistance with job search and placement, access to computers/internet, resume preparation, phone/fax machines, copy machines, interest, aptitude and basic skills testing and other special programs tailored to meet employment needs of those facing barriers to employment. A directory of One-Stop Career Centers in Florida is available at www.workforceflorida.com

Contact:
Web Site: www.workforceflorida.com

Operation New Hope Community Development Corporation

Operation New Hope Community Development Corporation rebuilds low-income communities by offering training and employment to neighborhood residents, 60% of whom are people with criminal records. Operation New Hope works with area churches to provide building/construction skills as well as mentors for each participant. Participation in the program ranges from three months to one year, after which time graduates may be placed in private construction industry jobs. Operation New Hope evaluates applicants before release from incarceration and works closely with the Florida Department of Corrections.

Contact:
Operation New Hope Community Development Corporation
1321 N. Main Street
Jacksonville, FL 32206
904-354-4673
kghope@fdn.com fax

House of Hope

The House of Hope, a faith-based organization, offers shelter and job placement to recently released people with criminal records. Substance abuse, anger management and spiritual counseling are also available. Participants apply through the correctional facility chaplains' department six months before their anticipated release date. Program capacity is five residents. House of Hope staff utilizes one stop centers and program contacts to obtain employment for its participants. Residency time ranges from three to six months.

Contact:
House of Hope
P.O. Box 12113
Gainesville, FL 32604
352-376-3964
E-Mail: www.hohinfo.org

Time for Freedom, Inc.

Time for Freedom, Inc. offers transitional housing and support for recently released men with criminal histories. Time for Freedom mandates attendance at four programs, AA/NA, cognitive thinking, bible study and life skills. All residents are expected to work, with limited job referrals available. Future plans include expansion of cottage industries to generate operational funds as well as teaching vocational skills. Graphic arts/printing is operational at present.

Contact:
Time for Freedom, Inc.
2006 N.E. 8th Road
Ocala, FL 34470
352-351-1280
E-Mail: TFF@gate.net
Web Site: www.thefreedomhouse.org

Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition

The Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition, PERC, is a coalition of more than 40 churches, agencies and organizations working to promote services to individuals with criminal records and their families. PERC utilizes existing agencies within the public and private sectors to provide services such as temporary housing, clothing, food, resume writing expertise, job interview techniques and employment services.

Contact:
Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition
P.O. Box 15936
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
727-538-4191
E-Mail: info@exoffender.org
Web Site: www.exoffender.org

Urban League of Broward County

The Urban League of Broward County offers an employment skill-building program to assist low-income hard-to-employ individuals, including those with criminal histories, overcome obstacles to obtaining and maintaining a job. Included in the program are training workshops, job coaching and assistance with childcare and transportation needs. Families can also receive assistance in becoming homeowners.

Contact:
Urban League of Broward County
11 N.W. 36th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
954-584-0777
954-584-4413 fax

Tampa Crossroads, Inc.

Tampa Crossroads offers comprehensive residential and non-residential services to non-violent offenders and individuals with criminal histories. Defendants may be court mandated to Crossroads as an alternative to incarceration. Services include residential housing, case management, individual/group/family therapy, employability skills training, substance abuse therapy, and educational and transitional housing assistance.

Contact:
5120 North Nebraska Avenue
Tampa, FL 33603
813-238-8557
E-Mail: infor@tampacrossroads.com
Web Site: www.tampacrossroads.com/index.htm

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