Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)
On behalf of the Massachusetts Probation Service’s (MPS) Office of Community Corrections (OCC), the Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court (EOTC) is requesting $900,000 in funding over 36 months under Category 2, for a project entitled High-Tech Career Reentry Path (HTCRP). Priority consideration is being sought under 1A and 1B as reflected in Proposal Narrative pages 7 and 13. The project will expand the work of Community Justice Support Centers (Support Centers) by implementing an innovative Career Technical Education (CTE) program for justice-involved individuals in Massachusetts that will yield jobs in the high-demand field of Information Technology (IT) by enabling them to earn valuable, industry-recognized credentials. The purpose of the project is to reduce recidivism by strengthening education and employment opportunities for up to 48 prospective project participants returning from incarceration to underserved communities across Massachusetts. In partnership with two correctional agencies with facilities in Boston—the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS)—and through proposed strategic partnerships with educational partner Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (BFCIT) and employer partners who will guarantee interviews for entry-level positions, the OCC will recruit participants; support enrollment in BFCIT’s Computer Information Technology (CIT) program; engage participants in transition support services; and provide job and career support services designed to improve job readiness, employment attainment, and retention. Participants will be screened, assessed, and identified for HTCRP project participation prerelease. Consistent with evidence-based practice, the HTCRP project will prioritize for participation those candidates that are assessed to be at moderate or higher risk for recidivism. With funding from BJA, the OCC will hire a full-time Project Coordinator who will engage incarcerated participants to address criminogenic and responsivity needs through programming. The correctional partner will work in conjunction with BFCIT to ensure that all participants who do not have a high school diploma have completed the GED or HiSET. Upon release, participants will enroll in online certificate coursework such as: Computer Aided Design with SolidWorks; Network & Systems Support; Software Development; or Web Design Multimedia. The funding will also support a 0.5 FTE High-Tech Career Navigator under BFCIT. The Navigator will support and advise HTCRP participants through the courses and provide guidance for students to continue in a career path in the IT industry. Participant progress will be monitored for 18 months post-release through scheduled contact with the HTCRP Project Coordinator.