Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $899,981)
The Re-Entry Career Training (RECT) program proposal is a collaborative effort between the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center (RCCWC) and the Rutherford County Re-Entry Program to provide employment and life-skill related and transitional services to men and women incarcerated in the RCCWC in Middle Tennessee. Most participants of the RECT program will return to cities located within the Middle Tennessee region. The RECT program will increase opportunities for training and education, improve and increase partnerships with community employers, provide the community with trained employees to meet the numerous needs of the growing workforce in the Middle Tennessee region, and reduce the rate of recidivism.
The proposed RECT program will determine the criminogenic risk and needs, and job readiness of one-hundred individuals incarcerated in the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center. These individuals will be provided with individualized case planning, employment and life-skill related programs and services, counseling services, job coaching, job development, and employment referrals during incarceration. Services will continue for twelve-months post release. The RECT program will expand business and/or community stakeholder relationships by five by the conclusion of the grant. This proposal will coordinate all services to lower the rate of recidivism by 5% as compared to the current RCCWC recidivism baseline of 30.13%.
Funding for the RECT program proposal will be used to 1) unify, coordinate, and expand vocational and educational services; 2) enhance transitional service opportunities for incarcerated individuals and better prepare them for successful integrations to their communities; 3) establish meaningful partnerships with employers who are willing to hire individuals released from incarceration; 4) remove regulatory employment barriers; 5) increase access and support services pre- and post-release.
The funding proposal for the RECT program is submitted under Priority Consideration 1(A), on page 6 – 7 of the Proposal Narrative, additional details surrounding this Priority Consideration are given. To promote racial equity and the removal of barriers for access and opportunity to a greater access of services, the RECT program will prioritize and engage minority individuals who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequalities. RECT program staff will develop a stakeholder advisory committee that prioritizes minority-owned employers, employers who utilize translators on site or have accommodations for English-second language employees, employers who are welcoming to participants with specific conditions or require accommodations to ensure successful employment.