Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Oregon

I. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

Contact:
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries
800 NE Oregon St., #32
Portland, OR 97232
503-731-4070
503-731-4103 fax
Web Site: www.boli.state.or.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:

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:
Oregon Employment Department
875 Union Street, NE, Room 201
Salem, OR 97311
503-947-1672
503-947-1668 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 claims can be filed on-line, by mail, or at an Oregon Employment Department office nearest you. To locate the office nearest to you visit www.findit.emp.state.or.us/offices

Contact:

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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 an Oregon criminal history report or a clearance letter indicating that no Oregon criminal history exists, submit a completed "Own Record Request Form" (available on the web site), copy of fingerprints and a $12 check or money order payable to Oregon State Police. Notarized requests are an additional $5.

Contact:
Oregon State Police
Identification Services Section
Unit 11
P.O. Box 4395
Portland, OR 97208
503-378-3070
Web Site: egov.oregon.gov/OSP/

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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 Attorney General
Department of Justice
1162 Court Street, NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-378-4400
Web Site: www.doj.state.or.us/agoffice.htm

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

A unique prison industry exists in Oregon. Prison Blues7 is managed by a private sector staff of professionals working in conjunction with corrections officers and an average of 50 inmates. Array, a private company, is in partnership with the State of Oregon and holds the exclusive license to sell, market, and operate the Prison Blues7 product line. The factory is run as closely as possible to one on the outside, though with higher security issues. In order for an inmate to be eligible for hire in the garment factory, he must have demonstrated good conduct and go through an interview hiring process. There is a three year waiting list to be interviewed for a Prison Blues7 job. Inmates earn a prevailing industry wage, which ranges from a base of $6.50 per hour to well over $7.00 per hour with bonus incentives for quality and productivity. Eighty percent is withheld from their earnings to pay for incarceration costs, victim restitution, family support, and state and federal wage taxes. Jeans, yard coats, shirts, and T- shirts worn by inmates throughout Oregon are manufactured in the factory as well as a commercial line of products including jeans, jackets, work shirts, sweatshirts, T shirts, hats and more.

Contact:
Prison Blues
The Array Corporation
8338 NE Alderwood Rd.
Portland, OR 97220
800-784-7689
Web Site: www.prisonblues.com

Oregon Corrections Enterprises

The traditional prison industry offers the following products and services for state agencies and non-profit organizations within Oregon: embroidery, furnishings, GIS Data Conversion, metal fabrication, signage, laundry service and fulfillment services, which integrates telecommunications and graphic/web design with print/copying and mailing/distribution services.

Contact:
Oregon Corrections Enterprises
Oregon Department of Corrections
Central Administration Office
2575 Center St., NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-945-9090
503-373-1173 fax
Web Site: www.insideoregon.com

Pre-Release Program

During the last year of incarceration, inmates will be moved to institutions that specialize in release, primarily valley institutions such as the Columbia River Correctional Institution. The preparation for transition will intensify. Inmates will participate in alcohol and drug treatment, sex offender education, and work that closely relates to marketable skills.

Contact:
Oregon Department of Corrections
Central Administration Office
2575 Center St., NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-945-9056

Transitional Release

Release Services staff function as a link between the inmate, community and the Board of Parole and Post- Prison Supervision. Inmates submit release plans to their release counselors. These plans include proposed residence, employment, transportation and needed community services. The release counselor forwards this plan, along with available file material and documentation to the local community corrections office where the inmate will be supervised. The proposed plan and information is then investigated and verified. The result of this investigation is returned to the release counselor who then submits all available information along with recommended conditions for supervision to the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.

Contact:
Oregon Department of Corrections
Central Administration Office
2575 Center St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-945-9090
503-373-1173 fax
Web Site: www.doc.state.or.us

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V. State Department of Parole/Probation

Community Corrections manages over 35,000 offenders who have committed crimes and have been placed under supervision by the courts (probation) or the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (parole/post -prison supervision).

Contact:
Community Corrections
Oregon Department of Corrections
Central Administration Office
2575 Center St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-945-9050
503-373-7810 fax

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:
Office of Public Defense Services
1320 Capitol St. NE, Suite 200
Salem, OR 97303
503-378-3349
503-375-9701 fax
Web Site: www.opd.state.or.us

B. Legal Services

Lane County Legal Services lists the offices of all legal services organizations on the web site www.lanecountylegalservices.org

Contact:
Legal Aid Services of Oregon
Central Support Office
700 SW Taylor, Suite 310
Portland, OR 97205
503-224-4094
503-417-0147 fax
Web Site: www.oregonlawhelp.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Oregon State Bar
5200 SW Meadows Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
503-620-0222
Web Site: www.osbar.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.

Employment Centers

One-Stop Centers are known as Employment Centers in Oregon. Services which may be directly offered at one or more locations: career counseling and assessment; transitional assistance (dislocated workers); employer and job seeker access to automated job postings; information on job trends and labor market data; help in finding federal or state dollars to cover some or all of the costs of training; information about employment and training providers to help the customer make informed choices; resources for job searches; employer assistance through recruitment and pre screening of applicants; veterans services. Contact: To locate the nearest office visit www.findit.emp.state.or.us/offices/

Contact:

Better People

Better People is an employment and counseling program solely dedicated to helping individuals with criminal histories find, keep and excel in good paying jobs with fair, decent employers. Better People is the first program in the country to combine job placement and retention services with a therapeutic approach called Moral Reconation Therapy. Better People only costs $25.

Contact:
Better People
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR 97211
503-281-2663
503-281-2667 fax
Web Site: www.betterpeople.org

Steps to Success East

Steps to Success East is a program designed to provide comprehensive educational, social, and employment services to enable job seekers to gain the skills and qualifications necessary to obtain permanent jobs or to transition into a new career. This program is a collaborative partnership between Mt. Hood and Portland Community Colleges, Oregon Adult and Family Services (AFS), Oregon Employment Department, Work Systems, Inc., Human Solutions, numerous employers in the Portland Metro Workforce, and state and local community action organizations. Steps to Success is a "One Stop" affiliate for East Multnomah County (meaning the program is open to the public).

Contact:
Steps to Success East
1415 SE 122nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97233
503-256-0432
503-256-5503 fax
Web Site: dwp.bigplanet.com/steps2success/homepage

ARCHES PROJECT

The ARCHES Project is located on the campus of the Marion County Jail. It functions as a central social service center for recently released individuals with criminal records who have no housing plan. On-site services include mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. A tenant rent assistance program helps find and pay for permanent housing for up to two years. A One-Stop job service center at the project offers employment specialist counseling, intake and assessment services, pre-employment workshops as well as employment referrals.

Contact:
ARCHES Project
3950 Aumsville Highway SE
Salem, OR 97301
503-566-6927
Web Site: www.committed.to/arches

I. Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Contact:
Massachusetts Department of Labor & Workforce Development
3 Ashburton Place, Room 2112
Boston, MA 02108
617-727-6573
617-727-1090 fax
Web Site: www.mass.gov/dol/

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:
Special Programs - Bonding
Massachusetts Division of Employment & Training Administration
Charles F. Hurley Bldg., Govt. Center
19 Staniford St., 1st Fl.
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-6448
617-727-8671 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:
Massachusetts Division of Employment & Training Administration
19 Staniford St., 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-5730
617-727-8671 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.

An individual can apply for unemployment insurance claims benefits over the telephone or by visiting a local walk-in center. Locations for walk-in centers are listed on the web site or may be found by calling 617-626-6560, ext. 331.

Contact:
Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training Administration
Administrative Offices, Charles F. Hurley Bldg.
19 Staniford St.
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-6600
Web Site: www.detma.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.

An individual should contact the Criminal History Systems Board, CORI Unit to request a “Personal Criminal History Form.” There is no fee.

Contact:
Criminal History Systems Board
Attn: CORI Unit
200 Arlington St., Suite 2200
Chelsea, MA 02150
617-660-4600

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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
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
617-727-2200
Web Site: www.ago.state.ma.us

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

The Massachusetts Department of Corrections operates several traditional industry programs. The Department believes inmates will develop occupational skills and discipline through work assignments that enhance successful reintegration. Services offered by industry participants include moving, optical lab work, painting, printing, metal/wood refinishing and renovation/construction work. Items manufactured by the prison industry program include janitorial supplies, e.g. chemical cleaners, brooms, brushes, trash/waste receptacles, office furniture, signs, name tags, metal/plastic/street signs, linens and custom wood products.

Contact:
Massachusetts Correctional Industries
P.O. Box 188
Norfolk, MA 02056
617-727-0227
Web Site: www.state.ma.us/doc/MASSCOR/index.html

Work Release Program

The Massachusetts Department of Corrections has a work release program. Offenders must be 18 months or less prior to release date to be eligible. Participants are expected to work full time; 15% of their salary is paid to the state for room and board. Offenders may return to the surrounding community during evening hours for participation in such activities as substance abuse meetings, mental health group sessions, etc.

Contact:
Massachusetts Department of Corrections
Central Headquarters
50 Maple St., Suite 3
Milford, MA 01757
508-422-3300
508-422-3382 fax
Web Site: www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsagencylanding&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Public+Safety+Agencies&L2=Massachusetts+Department+of+Correction&sid=Eeops

Pre-Release Program

The Public Safety Transition Program is the name of the pre-release program in Massachusetts. The first component, risk reduction, is an individual plan developed at initial offender classification. The goal is to enhance public safety. The second component begins when an offender is within one year of release. This component includes the development of a transition plan which addresses specific post-release issues such as employment, housing, medical, substance abuse treatment and basic life skills. Participation in pre-release programming is not mandatory but is greatly encouraged by correctional counselors.

Contact:
Massachusetts Department of Corrections
Central Headquarters
50 Maple St., Suite 3
Milford, MA 01757
508-422-3300
508-422-3382 fax
Web Site: www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsagencylanding&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Public+Safety+Agencies&L2=Massachusetts+Department+of+Correction&sid=Eeops

Post Release Transitional Program

There are five community resource centers located in various areas in Massachusetts. Services offered to offenders recently released from state and county facilities include referrals or assistance with housing, mental health needs, conflict resolution, job training and job placement. Another program available to offenders is the Correctional Recovery Academy (CRA). This is a three-component program that is geared toward offenders who are at the highest risk to recidivate. The first component is an intensive residential unit targeting criminal thinking, the teaching of anger management skills, and relapse prevention strategies. The second component reinforces attitudinal and behavioral changes achieved in the first component. Transition plans are initiated at this time. Community based program placements is the third component. Aftercare counselors make the placements and track released offenders at seven, 30, 90 and 120-day intervals to measure compliance with established transition plans.

Contact:
Massachusetts Department of Corrections
Central Headquarters
50 Maple St., Suite 3
Milford, MA 01757
508-422-3300
508-422-3382 fax
Web Site: www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsagencylanding&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Public+Safety+Agencies&L2=Massachusetts+Department+of+Correction&sid=Eeops

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V. Massachusetts Parole Board

Thirty-five percent of all offenders in Massachusetts are released under parole supervision. Field officers work with parolees to assist them in following the transitional plans that were developed before parole release.

Contact:
Massachusetts Parole Board
27 Wormwood St., Suite 300
Boston, MA 02210
617-727-3271
617-727-5047 fax
Web Site: www.state.ma.us/eops/parole.htm

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:
Public Defender Division
Committee for Public Counsel Services
44 Bromfield St.
Boston, MA 02108
617-482-6212
617-988-8495 fax
Web Site: www.state.ma.us/cpcs/pdpage.htm

B. Legal Services

Contact:
Committee for Public Counsel Services
44 Bromfield St.
Boston, MA 02108
617-428-6212
617-988-8495 fax
Web Site: www.state.ma.us/cpcs

Greater Boston Legal Services

Contact:
Employment Unit
Greater Boston Legal Services
197 Friend St.
Boston, MA 02114
617-603-1666

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute works assisting individuals with criminal records in ameliorating the adverse civil impacts and barriers impeding re-entry efforts. They assist in sealing records and are also working on legislative reforms.

Contact:
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
99 Chauncey St.
Boston, MA 02111
617-357-0700

Western Massachusetts Legal Services is working on employment issues facing low-income families, including those who have a family member with a criminal history.

Contact:
Western Massachusetts Legal Services
127 State St., 4th Fl.
Springfield, MA 01103
413-781-7814
E-Mail: info@wmls.org

Contact:

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Massachusetts Bar Association
20 West St.
Boston, MA 02111
617-338-0694
617-338-0650 fax
Web Site: www.massbar.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 offer a variety of employment-related services for both employers and job seekers. Included in the services are computerized listing of jobs, referrals to jobs, current labor market information, job search resources and workshops. The centers are administrated locally by Regional Employment Boards to ensure that each center is meeting the needs of its community. Additional state agencies and local community agencies may also be included in the local partnership. Information on the locations of and services offered at local centers is available on the Internet at www.detma.org/workers/centers/careercenters.htm.

Contact:
Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training Administration
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Administrative Offices, Charles F. Hurley Bldg
19 Staniford St.
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-6560
Web Site: www.detma.org

Dismas House

Dismas House is a supportive community providing transitional housing and services to people with criminal histories. Staff and community programs assist residents to develop and achieve employment, educational and housing goals. Employment is a priority goal for all residents with a criminal history. There is a $75 fee per week. For people with criminal histories who arrive directly from prison the fee is waived for two weeks. Failure to pay program fees constitutes grounds for dismissal from the house.

Contact:
Dismas House
P.O. Box 30125
Worcester, MA 01603
508-799-9389
508-767-9930 fax
Web Site: www.dismashouse.org

SPAN

Span is a reintegration counseling program for individuals with criminal histories who are being released from or are post-release from a state or county correctional facility. Assistance is offered in the areas of housing, employment and health. Job development and placement services are available on a limited basis, as well as employment skills such as resume writing and soft job skills.

Contact:
Lynn Levy, Director
SPAN, Inc.
110 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116
617-423-0750
617-482-2717 fax
E-Mail: span.lynlevy@verizon.net

Offender Re-entry Program

The Offender Reentry Program provides academic, vocational and transitional support services to incarcerated people before and upon their release. Services include: a 30-hour four to six week life skills program supplemented by substance abuse and other treatment programming; intensive case management to address issues such as identification, housing, transportation, child support and health; integration with the workforce development system including one-stop career centers, community college and nonprofit service providers for workforce readiness, job placement and job retention support; and mentoring services to help make the cultural and social adjustment into community settings. The program is located in a community setting and enrollees are prisoners who have nearly completed their sentences.

Contact:
Offender Reentry Program
Hampden County Correctional Center
627 Randall Rd.
627 Randall Rd., MA 01056
413-547-8600

IMPACT

IMPACT Employment Services, a program of The Friends of the Shattuck Shelter, is Greater Boston’s largest employment service for individuals and families facing homelessness, including individuals with criminal histories. IMPACT counselors work with clients both before and after they are released. Individual employment counseling and job search planning, referrals and assistance to help people find and enroll in educational and job-skills training programs. Based in downtown Boston, IMPACT’s professional staff of employment counselors, job developers and educational and training specialists speak a variety of languages and represent diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.

Contact:
The Friends of the Shattuck Shelter
105 Chauncy St
Boston, MA 02111
617-542-3388
Web Site: : www.shattuckshelter.org

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