Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Minnesota

I. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Contact:
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
1st National Bank Building
332 Minnesota St., Ste. E 200
Saint Paul, MN 55101
651-297-1291
Web Site: www.deed.state.mn.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:
Local Labor Exchange
Minnesota Department of Economic Security
390 North Robert St., 1st Fl
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-296-8400
651-296-7516 fax
Web Site: www.mnworkforcecenter.org

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:
Fran Regan
Minnesota Department of Economic Security
390 North Robert St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-297-7508
651-297-7722 fax
E-Mail: Fran.Regan@state.mn.us
Web Site: www.deed.state.mn.us/wotc

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.

One can apply for benefits on-line, by calling TELECLAIM, by applying at his or her nearest WorkForce Center or by mailing in an application. Forms and information may be obtained at any WorkForce Center and via the Internet at the web site below. (Also see Section VII of this web site, “Local Service Providers.”)

Contact:
TELECLAIM: 651-296-3644 or 877-898-9090
Web Site: www.mnwfc.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.

Individuals may request their criminal history record by writing or visiting the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension office. Written requests must include the full name, date of birth, any aliases, and an $8 fee.

Contact:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
CJIS Section
1246 University Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
651-642-0670
Web Site: https://cch.state.mn.us

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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
Office of the Minnesota Attorney General
1400 NCL Tower
445 Minnesota St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787
Web Site: www.ag.state.mn.us/

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Minnesota Department of Corrections

Contact:
Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Dr.
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-642-0200
651-642-0223 fax
Web Site: www.corr.state.mn.us

MINNCOR Industries

MINNCOR Industries provides a centralized organizational structure for the correctional industry program, which now operates in eight institutions. MINNCOR aims to: provide quality products on time to build a loyal customer base; reduce inmate idleness so as to contribute to a secure prison environment; and provide work skills training that prepares the offender for release.

Contact:
MINNCOR Industries Administrative Office
1450 Energy Park Dr., Suite 110
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-603-0118
651-603-0119 fax
Web Site: www.corr.state.mn.us

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V. Minnesota Department of Corrections

Community & Juvenile Services Division

Community & Juvenile Services is a division of the Minnesota Department of Corrections that provides probation and supervised release/parole services and special community programs including community service and work release.

Contact:
Community & Juvenile Services Division
Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Dr.
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-642-0288
651-603-6768 fax
Web Site: www.corr.state.mn.us

Field Services

Field Services is the unit of the Community and Juvenile Services Division responsible for administration of the department’s statewide intensive supervision and work release programs as well as the Institution Community Work Crew program, Sentencing to Service, probation, supervised release, and parole supervision in designated areas of the state.

Contact:
Field Services
Community & Juvenile Services Division
Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Dr
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-603-0181
651-642-0457 fax
Web Site: www.corr.state.mn.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:
Minnesota State Board of Public Defense
331 Second Ave. South, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55401
612-373-2728
612-349-2568 fax
Web Site: www.pubdef.state.mn.us

B. Legal Services

The Minnesota Legal Services Coalition comprises several legal services programs throughout the state of Minnesota. It’s web site, www.mnlegalservices.org, provides links to their offices. The Minnesota Legal Services State Support Center serves the Legal Services Coalition Programs and other legal services providers in Minnesota. The Center provides a broad range of support services in its role as a clearinghouse, education, and coordination force for legal services in the state.

Contact:
Minnesota Legal Services Coalition State Support Center
46 East 4th St., Suite 726
St. Paul, MN 55101
652-228-9105
Web Site: www.mnlegalservices.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Minnesota State Bar Association
600 Nicollet Mall, #380
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612-333-1183 or 800-882-6722
Web Site: www.mnbar.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.

WorkForce Center

WorkForce Centers are the one stop career centers in Minnesota.

Contact:
Workforce Services Branch
Minnesota Department of Economic Security
390 N. Robert St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-296-3711
Web Site: www.mnwfc.org

Grace Prison Ministry

Grace Prison Ministry provides mentors to inmates and helps recently released individuals with criminal histories establish aftercare and support by re-establishing them in their communities with jobs, housing and other needs.

Contact:
Grace Prison Ministry
P.O. Box 44053
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
612-242-7832

AMICUS, Inc.

Amicus, Inc. is a Minnesota non-profit organization that offers a variety of programs designed to assist recently released individuals with criminal records in building new lives, both before and after release. Its Reconnect project provides re-entry services that help inmates prepare for release and gives recently released individuals much needed resources in their search for jobs, housing, clothing, family services, and more. Clients must call for an appointment.

Contact:
AMICUS, Inc
15 South 5th Street, Suite 1100
Minneapolis, MN 55402-1503
612-348-8570

Minneapolis American Indian Center

Minneapolis American Indian Center serves the needs of American Indian people in Minnesota by promoting self-sufficiency through education, employment assistance, and life-skills training. It has been designated an Indian and Native American Employment and Training site to provide employment and training services to the unemployed, under-employed and economically disadvantaged American Indian population residing in 71 county designated areas.

Contact:
Minneapolis American Indian Center
1530 East Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-879-1700
612-879-1795 fax
Web Site: www.maicnet.org

Project for Pride in Living, Inc.

Project for Pride in Living, Inc. (PPL) is a non-profit organization assisting low and moderate income people to become self-sufficient by addressing their job, affordable housing and neighborhood needs. PPL provides work-readiness programs, paid training, and job placement.

Contact:
Project for Pride in Living
2516 Chicago Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-874-8511
612-874-6444 fax
Web Site: www.ppl-inc.org

Families & Offender United Project

Families & Offender United Project is a demonstration project of the Council on Crime and Justice. Phase one is a Reunification Class which is completed within three months of a participant’s release on parole supervision. Phase two is post-release paid job training and support services. Phase two lasts for up to three months and consists mainly of janitorial/maintenance work. Workshops offered include life skill training, cognitive skills, job readiness, basic computer training, educational assessment and guidance, and community parenting classes. Community mentoring is available as is help in obtaining housing. Residents are referred to outside sources for substance abuse counseling. Enrollment is limited at this time to men without a history of sex abuse convictions.

Contact:
Families & Offender United Project
822 South 3rd St., Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415
612-348-7874
Web Site: www.crimeandjustice.org

Project Re-entry

Project Re-entry is a program sponsored by the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. Its mission is to recruit and assist congregations in developing housing, employment programs, mentoring and support groups for newly released prisoners in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Contact:
Project Re-entry
Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches
1001 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-721-8687
612-722-8669 fax
Web Site: www.gmcc.org

Wilder Foundation

The Wilder Foundation offers two programs to assist individuals with criminal records. The Community Transition Center provides a community-based Job Club which helps participants overcome barriers to employment. Participants receive assistance with Adult Basic Education and GED preparation and a range of job readiness and placement services.. In partnership with Ramsey County Community Corrections, the Community Transition Center also offers a community-based cognitive skills program which helps participants examine their lifestyles and the impact they have on the community. The Community Transition Center provides services at the Ramsey County Workhouse, which include a cognitive skills group and a multicultural group. Once a year, a mock job fair is conducted. The EXCEL program provides pre- and post-release services for men and women residing in, or recently released from, Minnesota’s correctional facilities at Shakopee, Stillwater, Lino Lakes, St. Cloud, Rush City, and Oak Park Heights. The EXCEL pre-release program offers classes and training on subject such as job seeking and retention skills, community resources, housing issues, and restorative justice. EXCEL also provides a community-based Job Club which helps recently released offenders secure identification, complete job applications, assemble resumes, identify potential job opportunities, improve interviewing skills, arrange transportation to and from interviews, and resolve other barriers to employment. Spanish language pre-release services and culturally specific post-release support services are available for Spanish speakers.

Contact:
Wilder Foundation
919 Lafond Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
651-917-6225
Web Site: www.wilder.org

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