CEO’s Prisoner Reentry Program provided former prisoners with a preemployment class, temporary paid jobs with New York City agencies, job coaching, job development, a parenting class, and post-placement services to reduce recidivism and improve labor market prospects.
Participants started the program with a four-day preemployment, life-skills class focusing on job-readiness issues, such as workplace behavior, job search skills, and decision making. The program then placed participants in transitional jobs at New York City agencies. Participants worked in these transitional jobs for four days a week at the state minimum wage and were paid at the end of each day. On the fifth day of each week, participants met with job coaches at the CEO office to discuss their performance at the transitional job and prepare for future interviews. Participants could also spend part of their fifth day discussing permanent employment opportunities with a job developer or participating in a fatherhood program designed to help with child support issues and improve family relationships. Job coaches followed up with participants after they obtained permanent jobs to promote employment retention. They provided rewards—such as gift certificates to various stores and paid mass transit cards—every 30 days for a one-year period to individuals who maintained employment of at least 20 hours per week. Individuals who lost jobs for reasons unrelated to theft or violence or who experienced barriers affecting their employment could return to the program for a minimum of job development and post-placement services. On average, participants worked for nine weeks in their transitional job, spread over about four months of engagement with the program.
As of 2020, CEO’s Prisoner Reentry Program continues to offer similar services to eligible participants. Former prisoners who were referred to CEO by their parole officer and had not worked in a CEO transitional job in the prior year were eligible to participate in the program. CEO’s Prisoner Reentry Program was implemented in New York City, NY.