Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

New Mexico

I. New Mexico Department of Labor

Contact:
New Mexico Department of Labor
401 Broadway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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:
New Mexico Department of Labor
401 Broadway N.E. - 4th Fl
Albuquerque, NM 87103
505-841-8501
505-841-8467 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:
New Mexico Department of Labor
401 Broadway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
505-841-8503
505-841-8467 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.

Forms are available at the web site listed below. One must apply in person at the local Workforce Development Center. Contact information for local centers is available on the following web site: www.dol.state.nm.us/dol_dirr.html.

Contact:
Employment Security Division
New Mexico Department of Labor
401 Broadway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
505-841-8440
505-841-8467 fax
Web Site: www.dol.state.nm.us/dol_UIclaims.html

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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.

Contact:
Department of Safety
Attention Record Section
4491 Cerrilos St.
P.O. Box 1628
Santa Fe, NM 87450
505-827-9181

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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
P.O. Drawer 1508
Santa Fe, NM 87504
505-827-6000
Web Site: www.ago.state.nm.us

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IV. State Department of Corrections

New Organization Name

There are several different industry programs available to prisoners in New Mexico, including shoe/garment manufacture, printing, dairy farming, telemarketing, textile/sewing industry, data entry, micrographics and furniture manufacture/ painting. It is anticipated that the prison industry program will be part of Project SOAR (see below) in a few years.

Contact:
New Mexico Department of Corrections
4104 Pan American Freeway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
505-841-4289
Web Site: www.corrections.state.nm.us

Work Release Program

Work release is available to minimum-security inmates whose convictions are not classified as violent and who have one year or less to serve before parole eligibility.

Contact:
New Mexico Department of Corrections
4101 Pan American Freeway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
505-841-4289
Web Site: www.corrections.state.nm.us/

Pre-Release Program

Pre-release programming is offered to those inmates who are classified as minimum restricted and are eligible for release within a year but presently are not eligible to leave facility grounds. An Employment Development Plan is developed by the inmate with the assistance of correction staff. Documentation, such as social security cards, birth certificates, driver’s license and GED certificate, is obtained, as well as vocational training certificates, assessment test results, etc. This documentation is placed in a portfolio the prisoner takes with him/her upon release. The pre-release program is not mandatory.

Contact:
New Mexico Department of Corrections
4101 Pan American Freeway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
505-841-4289
Web Site: www.corrections.state.nm.us/

Post Release Transitional Program

Project SOAR (Success for Offenders After Release) is a proactive program throughout New Mexico correctional facilities that combines life skills with job training, education, and placement. When SOAR participants are released on parole supervision, they are assigned a SOAR counselor who is an employee of the New Mexico Department of Labor. A portfolio has been created and many times an offender has employment prior to parole release. Employment is geared toward a career as opposed to “simply a job.” Education and/or vocational training is offered prior to release in areas such as computer repair, A+ certification, MOUS training and certification. Distance learning, utilizing computer hook-ups, allows offenders to obtain college classes and credits while in prison. The recidivism rate for SOAR participants is 7 percent. SOAR counselors monitor clients for success and provides mentorship as needed.

Contact:
New Mexico Department of Corrections
4101 Pan American Freeway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
505-841-4289
Web Site: www.corrections.state.nm.us/

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V. New Mexico Department of Corrections

New Mexico Probation and Parole Division

Parole supervision falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. The state is divided into four regions of supervision with several offices within these regions.

Contact:
New Mexico Probation and Parole Division
P.O. Box 27116
Santa Fe, NM 87502
505-827-8830
505-827-8679 fax
Web Site: www.corrections.state.nm.us/

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:
New Mexico Public Defender Department
301 North Guadalupe St., Suite 101
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-827-3931
505-476-0357 fax

B. Legal Services

The Clinical Law Programs at the University of New Mexico School of Law is developing the Access to Practitioner Network, a list of attorneys who work for reduced fee or pro bono on issues faced by low-income people. The Clinical Law Program assists those people whose incomes are below federal poverty levels.

Contact:
Clinical Law Programs
University of New Mexico School of Law
1117 Stanford NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
505-277-5265
505-277-4367 fax

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
State Bar of New Mexico
121 Tijeras St., NE
P.O. Box 25883
Albuquerque, NM 87102
505-842-6132
505-843-8765 fax

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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 Development One-Stop Career Centers

There are three types of employment services available in New Mexico to adults through the state’s One-Stop Career Centers: core, intensive, and training. Core services include program eligibility determination, intake/evaluation, skill assessment, counseling, placement, follow-up and support service information. Intensive services are available to dislocated workers; those who are employed but not self sufficient; or low income or welfare recipients who are unable to find employment following core services. Services include employability skills, life skills, placement counseling and case management. Training services are available for those who require additional assistance and includes receiving an Individual Training Account (ITA) for specialized training. A list of the One-Stop Shop Career Centers is available on-line at www.dol.state.nm.us/dol_dirr.html

Contact:
Job Training Division
New Mexico Department of Labor
1596 Pacheco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87502
505-827-6838
505-827-6812 fax
Web Site: www.dol.state.nm.us/dol_jtd.html

Dismas House

Dismas House offers transitional housing for recently released offenders, both male and females. A total of twenty one residents, fifteen male and six female, may be accommodated at any given time. Dismas House has no direct services but provides an environment that is emotionally supportive and encouraging to recently released offenders. Residents are encouraged to find employment and/or training as soon as possible. The cost, $400/month, self-pay or otherwise contracted by the Department of Corrections it includes room and board.

Contact:
Dismas House
4514 Central South East
Albuquerque, NM 87107
505-343-0746
505-345-4513 fax
Web Site: dismashousenewmexico.org/

Learn, Earn and Develop Success

Learn, Earn and Develop Success, a project of Families and Youth, Inc., works with adjudicated youth 16 to 21 years of age to provide job training and work experience. Referrals are received from the Probation Department and juvenile centers. The program consists of 180 hours paid work experience leading to permanent job placement, as well as assistance in setting educational and/or technical training goals.

Contact:
Learn, Earn and Develop Success
Families and Youth, Inc.
1320 S. Solano
P.O. Box 1868
Las Cruces, NM 88001
505-556-1627
505-522-9017 fax

Contact:

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