Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Rhode Island

I. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

Contact:
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
Center General Complex
1511 Pontiac Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-8000
Web Site: www.dlt.state.ri.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:
Family Resources Community Action
Employment & Training Center
55 Main Street
Woonsocket, RI 02865
401-235-6016
401-671-2944 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:
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
1511 Pontiac Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-8802
401-462-8798 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 in Rhode Island can be filed through the Unemployment Insurance Call Center or on-line at the website listed below.

Contact:
Unemployment Division
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
1511 Pontiac Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-8000 or 401-243-9100 claims intake/general claims information
Web Site: www.dlt.state.ri.us

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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 requesting a state rap sheet must sign a notarized letter requesting a copy of their criminal record and indicate that they are authorizing the release of the information if the record is not being sent directly to them. A $5 check or money order and a self-addressed envelope must accompany the request.

Contact:
Department of the Attorney General
Bureau of Criminal Identification
150 S. Main St.
Providence, RI 02903
401-274-4400 ext. 3
401-222-1331 fax
Web Site: www.riag.state.ri.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
Department of the Attorney General
150 S. Main St.
Providence, RI 02903
401-274-4400
401-222-1331 fax
Web Site: www.riag.state.ri.us/

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

The industry program in Rhode Island manufactures or performs services related to auto body repair, quick copy, residential/household/dormitory furniture, seating, signage, flags, metal and wood furniture refinishing, janitorial supplies, paint, panel systems, license plates and printing. Work crews are also available to perform the following services: moving; grounds maintenance; exterior and interior painting; rug shampooing; building cleaning; litter cleanup and floor stripping.

Contact:
Rhode Island Department of Corrections
Correctional Industries
33 Power Rd.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-1441

Work Release Program

The Furlough Program grants inmates temporary conditional release based upon risk and needs for treatment and rehabilitative services. The program serves as an introductory step in the reintegration process back to the community. Furloughs are available to all prisoners who meet the criteria. Furloughs are granted for the following purposes: to attend the wake of a deceased family member or to visit a seriously ill immediate family member in the hospital; to obtain health care services and treatment for medical, psychiatric/psychological matters, including community-based substance abuse treatment; to seek employment and/or educational/vocational training; and to secure a residence upon release. Social furloughs are intended to allow prisoners who are close to release to visit their immediate families to renew and stabilize family relationships and bonds. They also allow the prisoners to begin the adjustment process of transitioning from institutional behavior to responsible behavior in the community by giving them opportunities to practice ordinary life skills. Inmates requesting social furloughs are carefully screened and processed to meet eligibility requirements. All participants are thoroughly counseled with detailed instructions and are closely monitored while on furlough. Future social furloughs are based on successful participation.

Contact:
Assistant Director/Rehabilitative Services
Rhode Island Department of Corrections
40 Howard Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-2676
401-462-1964 fax
Web Site: www.doc.state.ri.us

Contact:
Rhode Island Department of Corrections
40 Howard Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-2611
401-462-2630 fax
Web Site: www.doc.state.ri.us

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V. State Department of Parole/Probation

Probation and Parole are community-based correctional programs that provide monitoring, counseling and supervision services to offenders sentenced by the Superior and District Courts or released early from adult correctional institutions by the Parole Board. High-risk populations such as domestic abusers, sexual offenders and identified parolees in need of electronic monitoring are provided more structured, intensive supervision in the community.

Contact:
Associate Director/Community Corrections
Adult Probation and Parole
Rhode Island Department of Corrections
40 Howard Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-1617
401-462-0164 fax
Web Site: www.doc.state.ri.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:
Office of the State Public Defender
100 N. Main St., 4th Floor
Providence, RI 02903
401-222-3492
401-222-3289 fax

B. Legal Services

Contact:
Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc.
56 Pine St., 4th Floor
Providence, RI 02903
401-274-2652
401-453-0310 fax
Web Site: www.rils.org

The Roger Williams University Disability Law Clinic represents low-income clients in a variety of disability cases. It may also handle family law issues pertaining to disability related matters.)

Contact:
Roger Williams University Disability Law Clinic
150 Washington St.
Providence, RI 02903
401-276-4880
401-248-4899 fax

DARE is working on a living wage ordinance which will incorporate a provision on non-discrimination based on criminal record

Contact:
DARE
340 Lockwood St.
Providence, RI 02907
401-351-6960

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
Rhode Island Bar Association
115 Cedar St.
Providence, RI 02903
401-421-5740
E-Mail: info@ribar.com
Web Site: www.ribar.com

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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.

netWORKri Center

One-stop career centers in Rhode Island are known as netWORKri Centers. Job and career resource rooms contain Internet computers, faxes, telephones, copy machines, books, newspapers and more. Resume writing assistance, information about local, state, and national labor markets, job listings, hiring requirements, job referral and placement are some of the services available. Information on quality of education and training programs, initial screening for training eligibility, skill testing and assessment, job search workshops and assistance filing unemployment insurance claims are also services offered. A list of locations is available at the following web site: www.networkri.org/layer1/centers.htm

Contact:
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
Center General Complex
1511 Pontiac Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
401-462-8000

Family Resources Community Action

Family Resources Community Action provides services that include classroom training, as well as opportunities to practice job skills in a professional environment. Additional benefits include intensive case management and job placement assistance for those who complete the program. For individuals who meet certain income requirements, there is no cost; services are available to others at various fees. Programs include: Making It Work - Helps low-income clients prepare for employment and find a job; it then provides case management for six months following placement employment. Career Connections - Designed to help individuals receiving public assistance to become self-sufficient. Participants have four weeks of job readiness training, volunteer work experience, then six months of case management following job placement. Summer Youth Employment Training Program - Helps participants ages 14 - 21 develop job and interpersonal skills, and encourages completion of high school. Employment Training Program Linkages - Referral to GED, literacy and other programs or services.

Contact:
Family Resources Community Action
245 Main St.
Woonsocket, RI 02895
401-766-0900
401-766-8737 fax

Contact:
Family Resources Community Action
800 Clinton St.
Woonsocket, RI 02895
401-765-5797
401-765-5789 fax

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