Vol. 7, No. 4                                                                                                                          March 2003
Helping Parents with Criminal Records Find Employment and Achieve Self-Sufficiency
By Rachel M. Haberkern
In 1999 approximately 1.5 million children had parents incarcerated in state or federal prisons (Mumola 2000). When these parents are released from prison, it is likely they will face multiple barriers to reunifying with their families, successfully reentering their communities, and achieving self-sufficiency. They may also find it hard to find jobs, receive government benefits, get affordable housing, or secure treatment for substance abuse or mental illness. Those with criminal records may not be as attractive to prospective employers as those without records, even though most ex-offenders have convictions for drug-related or property crimes rather than violent crimes (Mukamal 2001).
Just a few years ago, most states had Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) surpluses that could be used to support programs and services for those recently released from prison. However, as those surpluses have dwindled because of state fiscal pressures, less funding is available for services and jobs are harder to find in the slower economy. At the same time, the number of those being released from prison is increasing. Many organizations and state and local governments have initiated efforts to address the barriers to self-sufficiency that parents with criminal records face upon their release. Although there has not been much significant research on these efforts, small program evaluations and some larger-scale research have shown promising results.
This Issue Note explores questions that state and local officials might ask when considering efforts to support parents with criminal records. It also highlights state and federal programs that have used different strategies to address the needs of these parents. For more information, see the Welfare Information Network (WIN) Issue Notes “Helping Low-Income Mothers with Criminal Records Achieve Self-Sufficiency” at
http://www.financeprojectinfo.org/Publications/lowincomemothersissuenote.htm andSupport
Services for Incarcerated and Released Noncustodial Parents” at
http://www.financeprojectinfo.org/Publications/heidijune2.htm; or visit the WIN web pages on Criminal Records at http://www.financeprojectinfo.org/WIN/hard-crimrecords.asp, Hard-to-Serve Recipients at http://www.financeprojectinfo.org/win/hard.asp, and Fatherhood at
Policy Issues
Why should states want to help parents with criminal records find employment and achieve self-sufficiency?
In 2000 more than 580,000 offenders left state and federal prisons to return to the community (Beck 2000). As thousands of parents are released from jails and prisons every year, they are expected to rejoin their families, reintegrate into society, refrain from any further criminal activity, and find employment to sustain themselves and their families. However, these same individuals often leave prison with very few resources and many barriers to finding employment, including the stigma of a criminal record.
States and localities have a vested interest in ensuring children’s well-being, so they may want to consider helping parents with criminal records get the necessary resources to support their families and regain custody of their children, if appropriate. Public officials are also committed to maintaining the safety of their communities and preventing recidivism among those formerly incarcerated. Without support¾housing, financial assistance, and employment services¾many ex-offenders may view a return to criminal behavior as their only option. In 2000, 34 percent of all prison admissions were parole violators (Travis 2000). Finally, states will need to address the needs of parents with criminal records to comply with the work requirements and time limits of federal welfare reform legislation. States may be able to avoid financial penalties if they help ex-offenders who are receiving welfare and/or food stamps find steady employment.
Should states expand eligibility for current programs to address the barriers to self-sufficiency that parents with criminal records face?
Many public programs and services are available to those with criminal records once they have been released from prison, including employment and workforce development services. However, there are some notable exceptions. Section 115 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 places a lifetime ban on the receipt of public assistance or food stamps for any individual convicted of a state or federal felony offense involving the use or sale of drugs. The PRWORA ban applies to all states unless the state legislature elects to modify or opt out of the ban.  According to a forthcoming report by the Legal Action Center, 22 states are enforcing the ban in full, 20 states are enforcing the ban with modifications, and eight states and the District of Columbia have opted out of the ban. Approximately 135,000 children in the states that are enforcing the ban are affected because their parents are no longer eligible for public assistance or food stamps (Allard 2002).
Eligibility for public assistance and food stamps can be critical to those recently released from prison. Because of the tight job market and the stigma of a criminal record, months could go by before a parent with a criminal record can find work. Moreover, many ex-offenders are not immediately job-ready upon their release; they need education or job training before they are ready to enter the labor market. During education or job training, these individuals may need public assistance and food stamps to pay for food, housing, and other needs for themselves and their families. Ex-offenders may also require substance abuse treatment or mental health services before they are ready to seek employment. The ban on benefits has the potential to reduce access to substance abuse treatment or mental health services for parents with criminal records and their families because many low-income individuals access these services through the welfare system. States may want to consider this issue when deciding whether to implement the ban or implement the ban with some modifications. To make informed decisions, advocates and policymakers also need more quantitative and qualitative information about the ban and its effects (Rubinstein 2001).
Limited eligibility for low-income housing can add to the challenges that parents with criminal records face, especially those convicted of drug-related offenses. Congress amended the U.S. Housing Act with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690) to deny admission to public housing applicants and to evict residents who engage in certain types of criminal activity, including drug-related activity. Congress has since further amended the act to make the language even stricter and more specific. For example, the Housing Opportunity Program Extension Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-120) gives local public housing authorities (PHAs) broad discretion to deny housing to or evict an individual who has a drug conviction or is even suspected of drug involvement. Also in 1996 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) adopted a “one strike and you’re out” policy that allows PHAs to obtain the criminal conviction records of adult applicants or tenants for screening and eviction purposes (Allard 2002).
A lack of housing can be a serious obstacle to an ex-offender who is trying to find work or reunify with his or her family. If a parent has already been denied eligibility for public assistance because of a drug conviction, then being denied admission to public housing will leave him or her with even fewer resources. Since the revision of HUD regulations in 2001, PHAs’ responsibility to review each case and weigh mitigating factors has become optional (Hirsch et al. 2002). States and localities may want to encourage PHAs to carefully consider the circumstances of each case of eviction or denial of admission and to take into account the desired rehabilitation of those with criminal records and other mitigating factors.
Should states develop specialized programs for parents with criminal records?
Parents with criminal records experience many of the same challenges in finding employment and achieving self-sufficiency as welfare recipients and low-income families, and they could benefit from the same services offered to those groups. However, the stigma of a criminal record and the limits it places on accessing public programs and finding employment can compound these challenges. Specialized programs can help meet the basic needs of ex-offenders and their families for housing, financial assistance, and substance abuse services while they attempt to achieve self-sufficiency. Parents with criminal records could benefit from specialized programs in several areas. (Employment programs for ex-offenders are discussed later in more detail.)
Substance Abuse. Substance abuse and dependency have driven much of the recent increase in the number of convictions and the number of those involved with the criminal justice system (Rubinstein 2001). In 1997, 67 percent of parents in federal prison were drug offenders (Mumola 2000). More than half of state prisoners report they were using drugs or alcohol when they committed the offense that led to their incarceration (Travis, Solomon, and Waul 2001). Without adequate prerelease preparation and postrelease support, it is likely that those with substance abuse problems will return to their former lifestyle. Programs that address substance abuse problems among this population often begin before offenders are released from prison and continue after their release to provide them with constant support while they reenter society and the job market. Ex-offenders also often have co-existing barriers to employment and self-sufficiency, such as substance abuse and mental illness. The rate of mental illness among incarcerated individuals is estimated to be between two and four times higher than that for the overall U.S. population (Travis, Solomon, and Waul 2001). With proper referrals and continuing support, ex-offenders can work to overcome these barriers while preparing themselves to find and keep a job.
Housing. Finding housing is often one of the first challenges an individual faces after being released from prison. The “one strike and you’re out” policy often prevents those with criminal records from finding safe, affordable housing. Programs that link ex-offenders with temporary or transitional housing may give them a safe, clean, and drug-free environment in which to start looking for employment while receiving other services they need. A permanent, stable address can make a good impression on a potential employer and can facilitate efforts to regain custody of a child.
Child Support. Noncustodial parents released from prison may face huge child support arrearages if their child support orders were not modified while they were in prison. These parents may face sanctions, or the garnishment of their wages if employed, and may turn back to illegal activities to avoid these penalties. Specialized programs can help these parents find and maintain employment to pay their arrearages and access needed support services while working out a manageable child support payment plan. For more information on the effects of child support enforcement on noncustodial parents with criminal records and for examples of programs benefiting these parents, see Sachs 2000 and Jones 2002.
What are appropriate limits on the employment of individuals with criminal records and what alternatives are available?
With the advent of welfare reform in 1996, a strong emphasis was placed on work as a means to escape poverty. Many ex-offenders and those who work with them also recognize the importance of ex-offenders quickly finding work to establish their independence, provide for their families, and avoid a return to criminal behavior. However, many employers are hesitant to hire those with criminal records and have fewer positions to fill in the weakened economy. Moreover, in a growing number of occupations, those with criminal records cannot be hired. Federal statutes prohibit ex-offenders from holding certain jobs in airports, driving armored cars, and having jobs related to employee benefit plans. State statutes often prohibit the employment of ex-offenders in many of the “caring” fields, including education, child care, and long-term care for the elderly or mentally ill. In addition, in many states, a criminal record may prevent an individual from becoming licensed to participate in a certain profession or from working for a certain type of business. Some state statutes can revoke the operating license of a business that hires an individual with a criminal record (Hirsch et al. 2002).
These limits on employment may be appropriate to protect vulnerable populations or the safety of the general public. Notwithstanding these specific prohibitions on hiring ex-offenders, however, employers should be aware of the legal rights of those who are seeking work. Employers are generally not allowed to refuse to hire someone simply because he or she has a criminal record, though they are permitted to consider the relationship between the conviction record and the job sought. For a detailed discussion of issues that employers may want to consider when hiring an ex-offender, see Mukamal 2001. Some government programs benefit employers who are willing to hire ex-offenders. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), authorized by the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-188), is a federal tax credit that encourages employers to hire nine targeted groups of jobseekers, including ex-felons who are members of a low-income family. WOTC can reduce employers’ federal tax liability by as much as $2,400 per hire. The tax credit was reauthorized March 9, 2002, and it is available through December 31, 2003. For more information on WOTC, visit the web site of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration at http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/employ/wotcdata.asp. Employers may also be eligible to receive Workforce Investment Act (WIA) assistance, including on-the-job training and welfare-to-work wage subsidies, if they are willing to train and provide work experience to ex-offenders. Finally, the U.S. Department of Labor sponsors the Federal Bonding Program, administered by participating states, that provides bonding insurance to employers willing to hire certain high-risk job applicants, including ex-offenders. The program provides $5,000 in coverage for six months at no cost to the employer and with no deductible and insures against theft, forgery, larceny, and embezzlement (Hirsch et al. 2002).
What strategies can states and localities use to serve parents with criminal records?
Programs that aim to assist parents with criminal records typically focus on helping them find jobs as the most important strategy to achieve self-sufficiency and avoid a return to prison. Nonprofit, community-based organizations run most ex-offender employment programs. Some of these programs strive to increase employment among ex-offenders, some strive to reduce recidivism, and some strive to do both (Buck 2000). Most seem to share some basic components, including job-readiness training, job assessment and development, and postplacement activities.
Some ex-offender employment programs also prescreen those still in prison to determine their eligibility for services such as welfare or substance abuse treatment. This can minimize the time they and their families are without any resources upon their release. States can also ensure that ex-offenders who are eligible for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income receive immediate coverage upon their release, even if they are no longer eligible for TANF or food stamps because of a drug-related felony. Transition services, which often begin in the prison system, can be crucial to help prepare ex-offenders to address any ongoing problems, such as substance abuse or mental illness, once they are released. Transition services are also used in employment programs in which job training or vocational rehabilitation begins in prison and job development continues once the individual is released.
Continuing support services after an individual is released also seems to be integral to success. Mindy Tarlow, executive director of the Center for Employment Opportunities in New York City, says it often takes more than one job placement before the right match is made between an ex-offender and a job, and 30 percent of the Center’s clients fail within the first month on the job. Ex-offenders can benefit from continuing guidance and support as they attempt to stay drug-free or make a job work. Some of them have never developed coping skills or learned appropriate workplace behavior. Employers also value a third party that can serve as a liaison between the ex-offender and the employer if problems arise (Tarlow 2001).
Finally, it is important for different public agencies to coordinate their services for those with criminal records so they do not impose conflicting requirements. For example, the requirements of parole or probation can interfere with the fulfillment of obligations to the welfare system; conversely, the fulfillment of welfare system obligations can interfere with the requirements of parole or probation. If a parent misses an appointment with a welfare caseworker to attend a probation hearing, he or she could be sanctioned. Programs in which social service workers and parole officers and others in the criminal justice system work together can make it much easier for a parent with a criminal record who is trying hard to comply with all requirements.
Research Findings
Incarceration can depress earnings potential and reduce employment prospects. For example, a 2000 analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that the age-earnings profile of ex-inmates is flat, compared with the strong earnings growth experienced by young men who have never been incarcerated. Another survey suggests that employers are more likely to hire welfare recipients or applicants with little work experience than ex-offenders (Western, Kling, and Weiman 2001). These findings demonstrate the need for programs to help ex-offenders find and keep jobs and avoid the behavior that may have led to their conviction.
Research during the past 30 years on employment programs for ex-offenders reveals mixed results in increasing employment and/or reducing recidivism. Most of the research performed in the 1970s found almost “uniformly negative results.” There is some more recent evidence, however, that employment programs have increased employment and earnings. Saylor and Gaes (1996) studied federal prisoners who participated in the Post Release Employment Program (PREP), an academic, vocational, and work experience program. They found that, twelve months after release, 72 percent of program participants were employed, compared with 63 percent of those in the comparison group; one-year recidivism was also lower for program participants. An evaluation of Project RIO (Re-Integration of Offenders), a program in Texas to help ex-offenders find employment and reduce recidivism, found that 69 percent of RIO participants found employment after the first year of release, compared with 36 percent of a matched group of non-RIO parolees. Research in the 1980s and 1990s also demonstrated a connection between postrelease employment and recidivism rates. The evaluation of Project RIO also demonstrated that, the year after release, only 23 percent of high-risk RIO participants returned to prison, compared with 38 percent of non-RIO parolees (Buck 2000).
Innovative Practices
New York. Created by the Vera Institute for Justice in the late 1970s, the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) was established as an independent nonprofit corporation in 1996. It aims to provide immediate, comprehensive, and effective employment services for men and women returning from prison and other ex-offenders under community supervision in New York City. CEO offers a highly structured, job-focused model of services to nonviolent felony parolees, individuals on work release, and those on probation. The CEO model begins with job-readiness training, including classroom life skills training. Within one week of enrollment, participants are assigned to the Neighborhood Works Program (NWP), a transitional work experience program that provides short-term, minimum-wage employment. NWP work crews do maintenance, repair, and sanitation jobs for dozens of government facilities in the New York City area. Conceived as an employment lab, NWP provides job-readiness training so participants can learn the essential skills necessary for joining the workforce in addition to receiving a steady paycheck. CEO’s Employer-Driven Skill Building programs enable participants to be trained in skills targeted to well-paying private-sector jobs at or near their transitional work sites. Simultaneously, through the Vocational Development Program, participants receive extensive job development services and are placed in permanent jobs. CEO serves an average of 1,800 men and women each year and places between 65 percent and 70 percent of its graduates in full-time jobs within three months. The organization provides postplacement follow-up services for at least twelve months. CEO’s Responsible Fatherhood Program, as part of the organization’s reentry program, coaches, mediates, and advocates for participants seeking to become responsible noncustodial fathers. CEO provides support services throughout the process, even after the regular postplacement contacts. CEO receives funding from New York State and New York City (including Workforce Investment Act funds), foundations, and corporations. For more information, contact Mindy Tarlow, executive director, at 212/422-4430, ext. 212, or mtarlow@ceoworks.org.
Texas. Project RIO (Re-Integration of Offenders) began in 1985 as a two-city pilot program in Texas, but it has now expanded to a statewide program committed to reducing recidivism and helping those who have been incarcerated in Texas state facilities find employment. The Texas Workforce Commission, in collaboration with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Youth Commission, administers Project RIO. Participants are offered both prerelease and postrelease services. RIO makes its presence known in the prison system through the first orientation for new inmates; presentations by RIO staff, former participants, and employers who have hired RIO participants; and upon prisoners’ release. The project provides vocational, educational, and job preparation services for inmates through the Windham School, a school operating within the state’s prisons. Assessment specialists from the Texas funded by Project RIO, work with Windham staff to provide assessments and testing, job-readiness training, and life skills programs. Parole officers refer many ex-offenders to RIO. RIO-funded employment specialists in local workforce commission centers provide job preparation and placement services. They have access to the Texas Workforce Commission’s database of job openings and can match specific clients with job openings based on their skills. Participants are often placed with one of more than 12,000 employers who have previously hired RIO participants. The employment specialists follow up with employers and participants on a regular basis. The specialists can also provide access to social and community services for the participants who need them. RIO is funded entirely by state general revenues and serves approximately 69,000 per year in the prison and state jail systems and an additional 29,000 per year, postrelease, through the Texas career center system. For more information, contact John Ownby, Texas Workforce Commission, at 512/463-0834.
Virginia. The Virginia Community Action Re-Entry System (CARES) was founded as a demonstration project in 1975 by a group of community action agencies that wanted to develop a statewide system to provide reentry services to ex-offenders. Virginia CARES is a pre- and postrelease reentry program for prisoners and those released from the Virginia Department of Corrections. Services are provided through seven community action agencies and three independent offices throughout the state. Prerelease life skills seminars are offered in 20 correctional facilities throughout the state, and postrelease services are available in 37 cities and counties throughout the state. Inmates who have participated in the prerelease sessions can be referred to state offices upon their release. Virginia CARES provides job-readiness seminars, placement assistance, job retention services, and emergency services such as food, clothes, and temporary housing. The average cost per participant in 2001 was $279. Since 1977 Virginia CARES has assisted more than 50,000 prisoners and ex-prisoners with pre- and postincarceration services. Virginia CARES has been studied twice by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, which has validated that the program reduces recidivism. A March 2002 followup on participants enrolled in March 2001 indicated that only 14 percent were reincarcerated. For more information, contact Cindy Martin, executive director, at 540/342-9344.
Washington. Established in Seattle in 1963, Pioneer Human Services (PHS) is an entrepreneurial nonprofit corporation that serves ex-offenders and former substance abusers. PHS uses a social enterprise model that integrates self-supporting businesses with many client services. Pioneer’s correctional approach is to provide multiple services to clients, including housing, counseling, employment, job training, and even inpatient treatment if necessary. PHS operates self-supporting, competitive businesses that provide many of the clients in PHS programs with the employment and job training components of PHS’s integrated approach. These businesses include manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and food services and generate almost all of the company’s funds as well as provide jobs for its clients. Employee turnover is as high as 50 percent per year, but that rate is expected at PHS. High turnover means that trainees are leaving for better-paying private-sector jobs. PHS’s elaborate and highly structured training system eases the transition when turnover occurs. PHS serves more than 6,500 client customers per year, employs approximately 800 staff, and operates with an annual budget of approximately $52 million, most of which is earned through products and services. Based on a sample of 402 former clients, PHS found that 97 percent were still employed a year after leaving the company or completing the training. For more information, contact Larry Fehr at 206/766-7023 or larry.fehr@p-h-s.com.
National H.I.R.E. Network
Established by the Legal Action Center, the National Helping Individuals with criminal records Re-enter through Employment (H.I.R.E.) Network is both a national clearinghouse for information and an advocate for policy change. The goal of the National H.I.R.E. Network is to increase the number and quality of job opportunities available to people with criminal records by changing public policies, employment practices, and public opinion. The information clearinghouse provides resources to policymakers, practitioners, researchers, individuals, and their families on applicable laws and policies, available funding streams, state resources, and community-based resources. The Network also provides leadership on public policy initiatives affecting the employment of people with criminal records at both the federal and state levels. This year the Network will be focusing primarily on policies in California and Illinois. The National H.I.R.E. Network also provides training and technical assistance to agencies working to improve employment prospects for people with criminal records. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Public Welfare Foundation support the National H.I.R.E. Network. For more information, contact Debbie Mukamal at 212/243-1313; or visit www.hirenetwork.org.
Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative
The Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is a comprehensive effort that addresses both juvenile and adult populations of serious, high-risk offenders. It provides funding to develop, implement, and evaluate reentry strategies that will ensure the safety of the community and the reduction of crime. The initiative has three phases that will be carried out through appropriate programs. Institution programs prepare offenders to reenter society, community-based transition programs work with offenders prior to and immediately following their release, and community-based long-term support programs connect ex-offenders with a network of social service agencies and community-based organizations to provide ongoing services and mentoring relationships. Through the Reentry Initiative, OJP and the National Institute of Corrections, along with their federal partners¾the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development¾are helping states and local agencies navigate existing state formula and block grants. The goal is for states and local agencies to use these resources to support a comprehensive reentry program. Discretionary funding available through this initiative will be provided to fill any gaps in existing resources. Grants were awarded to entities in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands in fiscal 2002. For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Justice Response Center at 800/421-6770 or 202/307-1480; or visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry.
Resource Contacts
Family Justice, 212/982-2335; or http://familyjusticeinc.org.
National H.I.R.E. Network of the Legal Action Center, Debbie Mukamal or John Jeffries at 212/243-1313; or http://www.hirenetwork.org.
Open Society Institute, Susan Tucker, 212/548-4666; or http://www.soros.org/crime.
U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, Office of Correctional Job Training and Placement, John Moore, 800/995-6423, ext. 4-4278; or http://www.nicic.org/about/divisions/ocjtp.htm.
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, 800/421-6770; or http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Welfare-to-Work, 202/693-2700; or http://www.doleta.gov.
Urban Institute, Jeremy Travis, 202/261-5709; or http://www.urban.org.
Vera Institute, Marta Nelson, 212/376-3056; or http://www.vera.org/.
The Welfare to Work Partnership, 888/USA-JOB1; or http://www.welfaretowork.org.
Allard, Patricia. Life Sentences: Denying Welfare Benefits to Women Convicted of Drug Offenses. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project, February 2002. Available at
Beck, Allen J. “State and Federal Prisoners Returning to the Community: Findings from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.” Paper presented at the First Reentry Courts Initiative Cluster Meeting convened by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 13, 2000. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/sfprc.pdf.
Buck, Maria L. “Getting Back to Work: Employment Programs for Ex-Offenders.” Field Report Series (Fall 2000). Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, Pa. Available at
Finn, Peter. “Texas’ Project RIO (Re-Integration of Offenders).” Program Focus (June 1998). U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C. Available at
Hirsch, Amy E. Some Days Are Harder Than Hard”: Welfare Reform and Women with Drug Convictions in Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C.: Center for Law and Social Policy, December 1999. Available at http://www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/997993897.158/some days are harder than hard.pdf.
Hirsch, Amy E., et al. Every Door Closed: Barriers Facing Parents with Criminal Records. Washington, D.C.: Community Legal Services, Inc., and Center for Law and Social Policy, 2002. Available at

Jeffries, John M., Suzanne Menghraj, and Creasie F. Hairston. Serving Incarcerated and Ex-Offender Fathers and Their Families: A Review of the Field. NCJ 191839. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 2001. Available at
Jones, Michelle Ganow. Options to Help Low-Income Noncustodial Parents Manage Their Child Support Debt. Washington, D.C.: The Finance Project, October 2002. Available at
Legal Action Center. After Prison: Roadblock to Reentry—A Report on State Legal Barriers Facing People with Criminal Records. New York, N.Y.: Legal Action Center, in press.
Mukamal, Debbie. From Hard Time to Full Time: Strategies to Help Move Ex-Offenders from Welfare to Work. Washington, D.C.: U.S Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Welfare-to-Work, June 2001. Available at
Mumola, Christopher J. Special Report: Incarcerated Parents and Their Children. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2000. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/iptc.pdf.
Pearson, Jessica, and Chris Hardaway. “Designing Programs for Incarcerated and Paroled Obligors.Expanded Case Study, vol. 1, no. 1 (August 2000). The Finance Project, Washington, D.C. Available at http://www.welfareinfo.org/expandedcasestudy.htm.
Pearson, Jessica, and Lanae Davis. Serving Parents Who Leave Prison: Final Report on the Work and Family Center. Denver, Colo.: Center for Policy Research, December 2001. Available at
Petersilia, Joan. “When Prisoners Return to the Community: Political, Economic, and Social Consequences.” Sentencing & Corrections: Issues for the 21st Century. Papers from the Executive Sessions on Sentencing and Correction, no. 9 (November 2000). U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C. Available at  http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/184253.pdf.
Rubinstein, Gwen. Getting to Work: How TANF Can Support Ex-Offender Parents in the Transition to Self-Sufficiency. New York, N.Y.: Legal Action Center, April 2001.
Sachs, Heidi. Support Services for Incarcerated and Released Noncustodial Parents. Washington, D.C.: The Finance Project, June 2000. Available at http://www.welfareinfo.org/heidijune2.htm.
Saylor, William G., and Gerald G. Gaes. PREP: Training Inmates through Industrial Work Participation and Vocational and Apprenticeship Instruction. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, September 1996. Available at http://www.bop.gov/orepg/oreprprep_cmq.pdf.
Tarlow, Mindy. “Applying Lessons learned from Relapse Prevention to Job Retention Strategies for Hard-to-Employ Ex-Offenders.” Offender Employment Report, vol. 2, no. 2 (December/January 2001). Civic Research Institute, Kingston, N.J. Available at
Travis, Jeremy. “But They All Come Back: Rethinking Prisoner Reentry.” Sentencing & Corrections: Issues for the 21st Century. Papers from the Executive Sessions on Sentencing and Correction, no. 7 (May 2000). U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C. Available at http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/181413.pdf.
Travis, Jeremy, Amy L. Solomon, and Michelle Waul. From Prison to Home: The Dimensions and Consequences of Prisoner Reentry. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, June 2001. Available at http://www.urban.org/pdfs/from_prison_to_home.pdf.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Helping Inmates Return to the Community. Washington, D.C., August 2001. Available at
The Welfare to Work Partnership. “Individuals with Criminal Histories: A Potential Untapped Resource.” Smart Solutions, no. 11. The Welfare to Work Partnership, Washington, D.C. Available at
Western, Bruce, Jeffrey R. Kling, and David F. Weiman. “The Labor Market Consequences of Incarceration.” Working paper, no. 450, (Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., January 2001. Available at http://www.irs.princeton.edu/pubs/pdfs/450.pdf.
The Welfare Information Network is supported by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Rural Policy Research Institute.
The Finance Project has a great new resource!  The Information 
for Decision Making (IFDM) website is a comprehensive Internet clearinghouse designed to assist policy makers, researchers, program administrators and others interested in topics related to improving results for children, families, and communities.  The 20,000 links and 10,000 electronic resources available through IFDM are organized into 21 different easy-to-navigate information areas, including the Welfare Information Network (WIN) website, and cover a broad array of information on human service, management, and governance issues.
Visit the IFDM site at www.financeprojectinfo.org.