Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Wisconsin

I. Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Contact:
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Ave.
GEF_1, Room A400
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707
608-266-7552
608-266-1784 fax
Web Site: www.dwd.state.wi.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:
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development - Job Service
201 E. Washington Ave., Room A-100
P.O. Box 7972
Madison, WI 53707
608-261-6863
608-266-0766 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:
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Tax Credit Office
201 E. Washington Ave., Room 201
P.O. Box 7972
Madison, WI 53707
608-266-0959
608-267-0330 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 via the Internet or by telephone. Complete information on how to complete the claims process is available at http://www.ucclaim-wi.org or by calling 608-232-0678 (Madison), 414-438-7700 (Milwaukee) or 800-822-5246.

Contact:
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Unemployment Insurance
Bureau of Benefit Operations
P.O. Box 7905
Madison, WI 53707
608-261-2266
608-267-0593 fax
Web Site: www.ded.state.wi.us/ui/default.htm

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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 request a criminal background check, an individual must use Wisconsin Form DJ-LE-250. A fee of $13 and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope must accompany every request.

Contact:
State of Wisconsin Department of Justice
Crime Information Bureau
Attn: Record Check Unit
P.O. Box 2688
Madison, WI 53701
608-266-5764

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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:
State Capitol, Suite 114 E
P.O. Box 7857
Madison,, WI 53707
608-266-1221
Web Site: www.doj.state.wi.us

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Prison Industry Program

Badger State Industries (BSI) is the Wisconsin Department of Corrections vocational training and work skills development program. Prisoners are taught manufacturing and production techniques in three industries: imaging; fabricating; and textile. Products manufactured include print shop, screen printing, signage, data entry, computer recycling, office and detention furniture, warehouse/trucking, sewn products, seating, garments, mattresses and laundry services.

Contact:
Badger State Industries
Wisconsin Department of Corrections
3099 W. Washington Ave.
Madison,, WI 53704
608-240-5201
steve.kronzer@doc.state.wi.us fax
Web Site: www.buybsi.com

Pre-Release Program

There are two pre-release programs available in Wisconsin, one at a maximum security prison for males and one at a minimum security facility for females. Employability skills and cognitive intervention programs are offered.

Contact:
Division of Correctional Programs
Wisconsin Department of Correction
3099 E. Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 7926
Madison, WI 53707
608-240-5800
608-240-3355 fax
Web Site: www.wi-doc.com

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V. Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Division of Community Corrections

The Division of Community Corrections of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections is responsible for supervision of persons released on parole or extended supervision. The Division is responsible for the administration of the Wisconsin Correctional Center System which encompasses 16 Correctional Centers located throughout the state. The staff at these centers work closely with parole officers to aid in the transition of recently-released offenders back into the community. Programming includes cognitive intervention, work experience and work release.

Contact:
Division of Community Corrections
Wisconsin Department of Corrections
3099 E. Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 7925
Madison, WI 53707
608-240-5300
608-240-3330 fax
Web Site: www.wi-doc.com/community.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:
315 N. Henry St., 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 7923
Madison, WI 53707
608-266-0087
608-267-0584 fax
Web Site: www,wisspd.org

B. Legal Services

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is the largest provider of civil legal services for low-income Wisconsin residents. The organization offers direct representation, training and education programs. This legal services program has a barriers to employment component in which they deal with problems related to criminal and child abuse records.

Contact:
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
230 W. Wells St., Room 800
Milwaukee, WI 53203
414-278-7722
414-278-7156 fax

Contact:
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
31 S. Mills St.
P.O. Box 259686
Madison, WI 53725
608-256-3304
608-256-0510 fax
Web Site: www.legalaction.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
State Bar of Wisconsin
5302 Eastpark Blvd.
Madison, WI 53718
608-257-3838
608-257-5502 fax
Web Site: www.wisbar.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.

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is responsible for the delivery of job services. The Division of Workforce Solutions develops and maintains employment-focused programs to serve both employers and job seekers. The Division delivers services through public-private partnerships and the statewide network of Job Centers. The Wisconsin Job Center Directory can be accessed at 888-258-9966 to find the nearest job center. The same information is available on-line at www.ded.state.wi.us/dws/directory. Services provided at local Job Centers are listed at www.wisconsinjobcenter.org.

Contact:
Division of Workforce Solutions
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53702
608-266-9700
608-261-6376 fax
Web Site: www.dwd.state.wi.us/dws

Madison Urban Ministries (MUM)

Madison Urban Ministries (MUM), an interfaith organization, has a restorative justice project that supports people with criminal histories in their attempts to re-enter society. Four to five volunteers form a "circle of support" to assist program participants with problems that arise upon their release from incarceration. Areas included are housing, transportation, employment referrals, counseling, substance/alcohol treatment, family reunification, child support issues. People with criminal histories may be core members of the support circles and also form a speakers' bureau to address community groups.

Contact:
Madison Urban Ministries
2300 S. Park St., Suite 5
Madison, WI 53713
608-256-0906
608-256-4387 fax
Web Site: www.emum.org

The Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Reentry Project

The Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Project is a demonstration project funded by the Joyce Foundation to study the effectiveness of Transitional Jobs as a bridge to permanent employment for ex-offenders reentering the community after a period of incarceration. The goal of the Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Reentry Project is to provide qualified employees to Milwaukee area businesses while reducing the rate of recidivism among Wisconsin's ex-offender population creating a successful match between businesses and job seekers.

Contact:
The Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Reentry Project
The New Hope Project
2821 North 4th Street, Suite 211
Milwaukee, WI 53212-2367
(414) 267-6020 ext. 230
(414) 267-6023 fax

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