Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Iowa

I. Iowa Workforce Development

Contact:
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-5387 or 800-562-4692
515-281-4698; TTY 515-281-4748 or 800-831-1399 fax
Web Site: www.iowaworkforce.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:
Iowa Workforce Development
150 Des Moines Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-281-9097
515-281-9096 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:
Iowa Workforce Development
Administrative Center
150 Des Moines Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-9010
515-281-9096 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.

The preferred method of filing for unemployment benefits in Iowa is online. Internet access is available at public libraries, union hall or the nearest Workforce Development Office Resource Center. Initial claims may also be filed at the local Workforce Development Center, calling the Unemployment Insurance Service Center at 877-891-5644 (outside the Des Moines area) or 281-4199 (within the Des Moines area), or with the applicant’s former employer.

Contact:
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
800-JOB-IOWA or 515-281-5387
Web Site: www.iowaworkforce.org

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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 record in Iowa, one must submit a Criminal Record Request form and billing form. Both documents are available at the web site listed below or at the Iowa Department of Public Safety. There is a $13 fee per request.

Contact:
Bureau of Identification
Division of Criminal Investigation
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-5138
Web Site: www.dps.state.ia.us/DCI/index.shtml

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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
Hoover State Office Building
1305 East Walnut
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-5164

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Iowa Prison Industries

Iowa Prison Industries operates in three of the correctional facilities in Iowa. Items manufactured include metal and wood furniture, housekeeping and laundry supplies, clothing and mattresses, and road signs. Other vocational training opportunities include graphic arts/printing, document conversion, high-speed duplicating and auto body repair.

Contact:
Iowa Prison Industries
Iowa Department of Corrections
420 Watson Powell, Jr. Way
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-242-5705
515-242-5779 fax
Web Site: www.iaprisonind.com

Iowa Department of Corrections

Iowa has nine correctional facilities housing a population of approximately 7,800 inmates. Pre-release programs are available at most facilities, but not all. These transitional programs include employment readiness, i.e. resume preparation, interview techniques, obtaining important documents such as birth certificates and Social Security cards, and counseling on how to deal with family issues when returning to a family situation. Other prison programs include sex offender treatment, substance abuse services and cognitive learning skills.

Contact:
Iowa Department of Corrections
420 Watson Powell, Jr. Way
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-242-5702 (General Information)
515-281-7345 fax
Web Site: www.doc.state.ia.us

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V. Iowa Board of Parole

The Board of Parole in Iowa has the responsibility to release offenders to parole or to community corrections, also known as work release. Each offender is seen on an annual basis for parole or community correction release. Average time in community corrections is six months.

Contact:
Iowa Board of Parole
420 Keo Way
Holmes Murphy Building
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-242-5757
Web Site: www.bop.state.ia.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:
Administrative Office
Lucas Building
321 East 12th Street
4th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-242-6158
515-281-7289 fax
Web Site: www.spd.state.ia.us

B. Legal Services

Contact:
Legal Services Corporation of Iowa
1111 Ninth Street, Suite 230
Des Moines, IA 50314
515-243-2151
515-246-6075 fax

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Iowa State Bar Association
521 East Locust, Suite 300
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-243-3179
515-243-2511 fax
Web Site: www.iowabar.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.

Iowa Workforce Development

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) has over 50 centers statewide. The locations of these offices are available on the website which also includes job listings and labor market data.

Contact:
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-4748
Web Site: www.iowaworkforce.org

Safer Foundation - Iowa

The Safer Foundation whose main headquarters are in Chicago, IL operates a program in Davenport. An individualized approach to each client is utilized assisting with employment services, substance abuse treatment when necessary, education, case management and/or other support services, as needed. Contacts outside the organization are made when necessary. A job counselor is assigned to each client for at least one year post-job placement.

Contact:
Safer Foundation
Davenport Iowa Adult Program
131 West 3rd Street
Davenport, IA
563-322-7974
Web Site: www.saferfoundation.org/viewpage.asp?id=289

Microenterprise Training for Women in Corrections

Microenterprise Training for Women in Corrections, part of the Institute for Social and Economic Development, provides entrepreneurial training to women in prison. The program focuses on helping women utilize their talents and skills upon release from incarceration in starting small businesses, obtain quality jobs and build financial assets.

Contact:
Institute for Social and Economic Development
910 23rd Avenue
Coralville, IA 52241
319-338-2331
319-338-5824 fax
Web Site: www.ised.org/economicdevelopment/WomenInCorrections.asp

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