Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Missouri

I. Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Contact:
Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
3315 West Truman Blvd., Room 213
P.O. Box 504
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-9691
573-751-4135 fax
E-Mail: Diroffice@dolir.state.mo.us
Web Site: labor.mo.gov/

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:
Department of Economic Development
Missouri Division of Workforce Development
421 East Dunklin St.
P.O. Box 1087
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-526-8217
573-522-9496 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:
Department of Economic Development
Missouri Division of Workforce Development
P.O. Box 1087
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-0977
573-751-9896 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 benefits may be applied for on-line or at a regional claims center. The Division of Employment Security is responsible for unemployment insurance benefits in Missouri. The web site is very informative and one may obtain all needed contact information there.

Contact:
Missouri Division of Employment Security
421 East Dunklin St.
P.O. Box 59
Jefferson City, MO 65104
573-751-8086
573-751-4945 fax
Web Site: labor.mo.gov/

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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.

The Criminal Records Division conducts background record check requests for non-criminal justice purposes. The general public may obtain background checks in person or by mailing their requests to the Criminal Records Division. Two types of searches may be conducted: name or fingerprint. A name search uses a name, date of birth, and social security number to search the database. A fee of $5 is charged for a name search. Only open records will be released with a name search. A fingerprint search uses a set of fingerprints to search. A fee of $14 is charged for this service. Positive identification can only be assured by a fingerprint search. Closed records may be released with fingerprints only if the requester is authorized by statute to receive them.

Contact:
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Criminal Records Division
1510 E. Elm St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-526-6153
573-526-9382 fax
Web Site: www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/Root/index.html

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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
Supreme Court Building
207 W. High St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-751-3321
Web Site: www.ago.mo.gov/

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) is a section within the Department of Corrections established to create relevant job training for offenders so they may become productive citizens upon release. Items manufactured include wood furniture, metal products, clothing, license plates, component chairs, school products, and chemical products. Services include engraving, graphic arts, printing, print cartridge recycling, and laundry services to various hospitals located throughout the state. The Waste Tire to Energy program is a part of MVE. In this industry, waste tires are recycled from illegal tire dumps, shredded and mixed with coal. The results are burned to save energy at the state university. Monies earned from the sale of goods and services are used to expand vocational training opportunities.

Contact:
Missouri Vocational Enterprises
Missouri Department of Corrections
1717 Industrial Drive
P.O. Box 1898
Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-751-6663
Web Site: www.doc.missouri.gov/

Transitional Housing Units

The Missouri Department of Correction has implemented Transitional Housing Units in correctional facilities across the state. The focus of business in these units is to ensure offenders are prepared for return to their community. The offenders enter a Transitional Housing Unit approximately six months prior to release and receive various services including, but not limited to the following: academic and vocational education; obtaining identification; cognitive restructuring; mental health, medical and substance abuse treatment with continuity of care into the community; education on faith-based support; employability and life skills; employment services; information regarding child support; education on strengthening family relationships and pro-social community participation; Impact of Crime on Victims class; and other areas identified as critical to offenders’ success.

Contact:
Missouri Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-2389
573-751-4099 fax
Web Site: www.doc.missouri.gov/

Work Release Program

The Missouri Department of Corrections partners with city, county, and state entities to provide work-release opportunities to lower risk offenders. Offenders work on various projects including road crews, parks and recreation, fair grounds, and emergency responses such as sand-bagging. These partnerships provide offenders the opportunity to acquire valuable soft and hard skills prior to release to improve their post-incarceration employment outcomes.

Contact:
Missouri Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-2389
573-751-4099 fax
Web Site: www.doc.missouri.gov/

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V. Missouri Department of Corrections

Division of the Board of Probation and Parole

The Division of Parole and Probation is responsible for the supervision of recently released offenders. Offenders without a stable or acceptable home plan are sent to the release centers. At these centers assistance is given to recently released offenders to find employment and explore housing options. There is no set time limit that a recently released offender may remain at the center. Parole/probation officers have established, through the years, relationships with local employers who hire recently released offenders. Referrals are made to local career centers and local substance abuse treatment centers.

Contact:
Division of the Board of Probation and Parole
Missouri Department of Corrections
1511 Christy
Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-751-6588
573-751-8501 fax
Web Site: www.doc.missouri.gov/

Contact:

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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:
Missouri State Pubic Defender System
231 East Capitol Ave.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-526-5210
573-526-5213 fax

B. Legal Services

There are four agencies in Missouri that offer legal assistance in civil matters for low-income people.

Contact:
Legal Aid of Western Missouri
1005 Grand Ave., Suite 600
Kansas City, MO 64106
816-474-6750
Web Site: www.lawmo.org/

Contact:
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
4232 Forest Park Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-534-4200
Web Site: www.lsmo.org

Contact:
Mid-Missouri Legal Services Corporation
205 East Forest Ave.
Columbia, MO 65201
573-442-0116
Web Site: www.lsmo.org

Contact:
Legal Services of Southern Missouri
2872 S. Meadowbrook
Springfield, MO 65807
800-444-4863
Web Site: www.lsmo.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Missouri State Bar Association
326 Monroe
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-638-2235
573-635-2811 fax
Web Site: www.mobar.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 in Missouri are managed by the Division of Workforce Development of the Department of Economic Development. In conjunction with employment and training organizations, the centers strive to meet the specific needs in each local community. They are equipped with computers, fax machines and telephones. Individual services include skills assessment, career exploration, job placement, job training, family support services and mental health services. Those eligible include basic skills deficient individuals, dislocated workers, people with criminal records, low-income individuals, eligible youth and those seeking non-traditional employment. MissouriCareerSource is the ....development! is the online service that focuses on providing services related to employment, training, job and workforce development.

Contact:
Division of Workforce Development
Missouri Department of Economic Development
421 E. Dunklin St.
P.O. Box 1087
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-3999
573-751-4088 fax
Web Site: www.missouricareersource.org

Employment Connection

The Employment Connection serves people with criminal histories, substance abusers, welfare recipients and others with barriers to employment. Services offered include a two-day employment-readiness training, one-on-one job placement and information on career development. Employment Connection also educates employers on the benefits and methods of employing persons with criminal histories. Clients are referred to Employment Connection from probation and/or parole officers and other agencies. Walk-in appointments are accepted. Paid on-the-job training available for a three to six month period.

Contact:
Employment Connection
400 Laclede Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-652-0360, ext. 104
Web Site: www.employmentstl.org

Center for Women in Transition

The Center for Women in Transition is a mentoring program. Women with criminal histories are matched with a volunteer mentor for at least a year and receive assistance in identifying and locating community resources. The Center also provides referrals for employment assistance and counseling. Limited assistance with basic needs, bus fare, clothing, food tickets, is available.

Contact:
Center for Women in Transition
7529 South Broadway
St. Louis, MO 63111
314-771-5207
314-771-0066 fax
E-Mail: cwit@cwitstl.org
Web Site: www.cwitstl.org

Project COPE (Congregation-Offender Partnership Enterprise)

Project COPE provides selected ex-offenders with community re-entry support by partnering them for one year with faith-based teams of volunteers. Through close personal relationships, these partnerships offer assistance in basic needs, job search, housing, health-care, counseling, substance abuse treatment and prevention, and financial counseling. Transitional housing is available for ex-offenders with no other housing plan.) Men and women in Missouri Department of Corrections facilities are eligible to apply and will be selected on merit without regard to type of crime or without regard to age, color, creed, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. (Ex-offenders who are released and in the community are not eligible, as partnerships begin while an inmate is in the final months of incarceration.)

Contact:
Project COPE
3529 Marcus Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63115
314-389-4804
314-389-4804 fax
E-Mail: office@projcope.org

Bishop Sullivan Center

Bishop Sullivan Center is a social service agency serving low-income and no-income individuals in Kansas City, Missouri. Bishop Sullivan Center does not have programs designed uniquely for clients with criminal records, but rather, serves all low-income individuals. The Center provides emergency assistance such as food, clothing, rent, utility, and medication assistance. In addition, the Center offers a no-interest loan program and job counseling and placement programs. The Center provides social and economic advocacy, tutoring for youth, and free legal advice. These services are free and no referral is required.

Contact:
Bishop Sullivan Center
6435 Truman Road
Kansas City, MO 64126
816-231-0984
816-231-2096 fax

Connections to Success

Connections to Success acts as an intermediary, training and fostering collaborative efforts among area service providers and the faith community in Kansas City to provide services through a holistic model that emphasizes faith-based mentoring. Connections to Success partners with faith-based organizations, employers, the Missouri and Kansas Departments of Corrections and Social Services, and others to reduce recidivism rates.

Contact:
Connections to Success
109 Archibauld
Kansas City, MO 64111
816-561-5115 ext 13
816-561-5104 fax
E-Mail: cer@connectionstosuccesskc.org
Web Site: www.connectionstosuccess.org

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