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JEVS Looking Forward Building Bridges: Philadelphia-based programming providing pre-release employment services and post-release reentry employment and wrap-around supports.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $897,432)

JEVS Human Services (JEVS) seeks to continue and expand its current reentry program, Looking Forward Philadelphia, with a comprehensive and holistic reentry initiative that bridges employment-related services for people behind the walls with employment and wraparound supports to support them as they transition to life outside the walls. For more than 32 years, JEVS has provided occupational skills training behind the walls through the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. In 2019, JEVS started Looking Forward Philadelphia to provide returning citizens with employment services including credential attainment, connections to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeships, and job placement with a strong emphasis on individualized supports and case management. The proposed JEVS Looking Forward Building Bridges initiative will combine our behind-the-walls and reentry services into a comprehensive strategy for incarcerated people.


Looking Forward Building Bridges will provide workforce and wraparound supports to people in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons who are up to three years pre-release and will incorporate full transition programming or “bridging” support to transition people into the Looking Forward program post-release. This programming will consist of a comprehensive array of pre-release employment services including life skills training, academic upskilling, and career pathway programming, delivered through a “Get Ready, Get Set, Get Out” course and one-on-one case management.


Transition programming will be meaningfully integrated and connected with post-release services in the community through continuous case management and a three-phase process (pre-release, bridging, and reentry). To eliminate the gap that many returning citizens experience between their release date and their ability to enroll in and start reentry employment services, Looking Forward Building Bridges staff will provide a continuum of care by connecting ith participants in prison and providing intensive and individualized supports during the 30-to-60-day period after a participant’s release before starting a focused reentry track for employment, credentials, academic upskilling, or pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programming .


The proposed outcomes for Looking Forward Building Bridges include providing 360 participants with intensive case management and reentry support; a recidivism rate for individuals who complete the program of less than 20%; 70% of participants placed into employment with 75% of those placements retained for 90 days, an academic gain for participants in the upskilling track, and industry-recognized credential attainment for participants in the credential track. Looking Forward Building Bridges' robust enhancements to currently available pre-release and transition programming, combined with the successful reentry model developed by Looking Forward Philadelphia, will improve outcomes for Philadelphia’s returning citizens.

Date Created: December 17, 2021