Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Maryland

I. Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation

Contact:
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation
Division of Labor & Industry
1100 Eutaw St., 6th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-767-2999
410-767-2986 fax
Web Site: www.dllr.state.md.us/

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:
Maryland Department of Economic & Employment Development
1100 N. Eustaw St., Room 209
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-767-2022
410-767-2010 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:
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation
1100 N. Eustaw St., Room 201
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-767-2080
410-767-2078 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.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance may be filed via the internet, at a Maryland Unemployment Insurance Claim Center, or by telephone. All subsequent claim certifications must be made by telephone. Information on phone numbers and locations is available on-line.

Contact:
Unemployment Insurance
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Division of Employment and Training
1100 N. Eustaw St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-949-0022 (Baltimore area) or 800-827-4389 (outside Baltimore area)
Web Site: www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/ui

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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.

An individual must contact the Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository to obtain release forms and fingerprints. The cost of obtaining a copy of a record is $18.

Contact:
Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
1201 Reisterstown Rd., Bldg G
Pikesville, MD 21208
410-339-5000 (General Information)
410-339-4240 fax
Web Site: www.dpscs.state.md.us/aboutdpscs/ataglance.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
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300
Web Site: www.oag.state.md.us

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

One mission of State Use Industries (SUI) is to provide structured employment and training activities for offenders to improve employability upon release. To be eligible for employment at SUI an inmate must not have any disciplinary infractions for three months prior to employment and also possess a G.E.D or high school diploma. Inmates are trained in a variety of areas such as wood and metal furniture manufacturing, furniture restoration, printing and custom graphic arts, sign making, engraving, manufacture of mattresses, pillows, brushes, corrugated cartons, picture frames, clothing articles for inmate and professional staff usage, and meat processing. Service industrial jobs include data entry, mailing and distribution, news clipping service and furniture moving.

Contact:
State Use Industries
7525 Waterloo Rd.
Jessup, MD 20794
410-540-5400
Web Site: mce.md.gov/mce/

Work Release Program

The Work Release Program enables inmates who have demonstrated positive work ethics in the Division of Correction to work for a private employer in the community. The program is highly structured and includes supervision requirements. Participants go through the employment process with employers, i.e. filling out applications, submitting work resumes and interviewing for positions.

Contact:
Maryland Division of Correction Headquarters
6776 Reisterstown Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21215
410-585-3300
Web Site: www.dpscs.state.md.us/

Pre-Release Program

The Maryland State Department of Education provides skill training and related classroom education in a variety of occupations for the Division of Corrections. This includes life skills, employment skills as well as occupational skills training. There is also a Prison to Work program offered to all offenders during their last year to six months prior to release that addresses personal and career assessment, career information, labor market trends and training availability.

Contact:
Maryland Division of Correction
6776 Reisterstown Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21215
410-585-3300
Web Site: www.dpscs.state.md.us/

Post-Release Transitional Program

Partnerships for Re-Entry Programming (PREP) is the transition program in Maryland that is offered to 90 percent of the offenders being released. There are four components to the program: (1) cognitive skills training; (2) employment readiness and career development; (3) community resource information; and (4) victim/offender impact and awareness. The Maryland Correctional Education Library and the Division of Correction in partnership have compiled a concise listing of community service providers that is given to each offender upon release.

Contact:
Maryland Division of Correction Headquarters
6776 Reisterstown Rd.
Maryland, MD 21211
410-585-3300
Web Site: www.dpscs.state.md.us

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V. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

Maryland Division of Parole and Probation

The Division of Parole and Probation (DPP) ensures parolees, probationers and those on mandatory release from the Division of Correction are overcoming the "revolving door" of the criminal justice system and upholding the individual requirements set forth by courts and the Parole Commission.

In addition, DPP also conducts pre-sentence investigations and supervises Marylanders who have been court-ordered into the Drinking Driver Monitor Program. A Community Supervision Enforcement Program monitors individuals on home detention.

Contact:
Central Office
Maryland Division of Parole and Probation
6776 Reisterstown Road
Suite 305
Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 585-3500 (877) 227-8031
(410) 764-4434 fax
Web Site: www.dpscs.state.md.us

See above.

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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

The Office of the Public Defender handles any criminal case carrying a possible jail sentence or a fine greater than $500. To obtain services from the Office of the Public Offender apply at any office Mondays through Fridays. Apply at least 10 days prior to trial date. Eligibility for services is determined by comparison of one's financial condition to federal poverty guidelines.

Contact:
Office of the State Public Defender
6 St. Paul St., Suite 1400
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-767-8479
410-333-8496 fax
Web Site: www.opd.state.md.us/

B. Legal Services

The Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to low-income persons statewide. Only civil cases are handled by the Legal Aid Bureau. Office locations and statewide services are available on the web site.

Contact:
Legal Aid Bureau
500 E. Lexington St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-539-5340
410-539-1710 fax
Web Site: www.mdlab.org

The Maryland Legal Assistance Network (MLAN) is a collaborative effort among Maryland legal services providers to improve the delivery of legal services. Included in the system is a single toll-free number to help individuals find the appropriate legal services provider, a self-help legal program, and legal assistance on the web.

Contact:
Maryland Legal Assistance Network/MLSC
15 Charles Plaza, Suite 101
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-576-9494
Web Site: www.peoples-law.info/Home/PublicWeb

Alternate Direction, Inc. offers civil legal services during a prisoner's incarceration and will provide follow-up services upon release. This organization also provides recently released individuals with a list of organizations that assist during the transition period.

Contact:
Alternative Direction, Inc.
2505 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-889-5072

The Homeless Persons Representation Projects assists individuals with criminal records with expungement and EEOC complaints.

Contact:
Maryland Legal Aid Bureau
300 Cathedral St., Suite 204
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-685-6589, ext. 116

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Maryland State Bar Association
520 W. Fayette St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-685-7878
410-685-1016 fax
Web Site: www.msba.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.

Maryland Job Service

Maryland’s Job Service One-Stop Career Centers provide comprehensive job services. There are 25 one-stop centers located around the state. Each center has CareerNet site which is an internet-based program linking Maryland with every other state in the country.

Contact:
Division of Employment and Training
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
1100 North Eutaw St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-767-2173
Web Site: www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/

Job Opportunities Taskforce

Job Opportunities Task Force is a non-profit organization that advocates on a state level for re-entry workforce policies specific to the Baltimore area. JOTF is a network of workforce development providers, human service organizations, advocacy groups, and funders in the Baltimore region. It does not provide direct services.

Contact:
Job Opportunities Taskforce
2 E. Read St., 6th Fl.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-234-8046
Web Site: www.jotf.org

National Women's Prison Project, Inc.

The National Women’s Prison Project is a re-entry program for women that begins at the pre-release level and continues through re-entry to the community. Services offered include support and motivational groups, assistance with job training and housing, a clothing closet for job apparel, and mentoring services. The National Women’s Prison Project collaborates with other programs in the Baltimore area to offer wrap-around services to meet individual needs as they arise.

Contact:
National Women's Prison Project
1701 Madison Avenue, Suite # 505
Baltimore, MD 21217
410-233-3385
410-225-2916 fax
Web Site: www.nwpp-inc.com

Supporting Ex-Offenders in Employment Training and Transitional Services

Supporting Ex-Offenders in Employment Training and Transitional Services (SEETTS) is a program of Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc. to serve formerly incarcerated individuals. One of two major components, seven weeks of job readiness training, takes place at the Metropolitan Transition Center located in Baltimore, and with the coordination of the prison’s administration, social work staff and transition coordinators. Baltimore City Community College provides pre-GED and GED instructors. The second component takes place at Goodwill’s career center located in Baltimore and involves final job preparation and placement. The community component serves men and women who are on parole supervision or probation regardless of previous program involvement. Individuals who did not participate in the first component are required to participate in five to seven weeks preparation for employment.

Contact:
Career Development Services
Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc.
222 East Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-837-1800
410-837-8930 fax
Web Site: www.goodwillches.org

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