Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
Vermont Vocational Reentry Inititative
The Vermont Department of Corrections (VDOC) proposal seeks to enhance the prerelease and post release reentry vocational (Category 2) case management for sentenced incarcerated individuals who are assessed for moderate and above risk of reoffending, have a minimum of twelve months remaining to service and a minimum of six months of community supervision by the VDOC. VDOC is transitioning its prerelease correctional industry production resources to a vocational training model. Current activities are transitioning industry production resources at Northern State Facility to vocational training at this and five other correctional facilities. Infrastructure progress has, through the Adult Reentry and Employment Strategic (ARES)grant, developed standardized model for identifying, assessing and capturing vocational skill attainment in an integrated Participation Report documented by Risk Intervention Services staff. Risk Intervention Services is a division within the VDOC that is tasked with providing risk and need reducing services to the supervised population and operates behavioral, educational, vocational and services coordination. VDOC is preparing to implement hard skill instruction in employment sectors identified by the Department of Labor and of interest to the incarcerated population, such as construction trades, administrative skills (IT), culinary and material handling. VDOC currently uses this infrastructure to explore data sharing in the ARES grant. This proposal will enhance reentry by providing dedicated vocational support through transition into the community.
VDOC and subrecipient Vermont Business Industry and Rehabilitation (VABIR) will collaborate to introduce vocational services available to participants in the last ninety days of incarceration and post release. VABIR will meet with participants prerelease, provide a menu of vocational services, support and/or leverage its networking relationships to support continued vocational training, eligibility for Department of Labor approved employer pre apprenticeship and/or registered apprenticeships. VDOC and VABIR provide their respective services and responsibilities statewide.
VABIR works closely with local employers to identify labor market needs, coordinate training cohorts and support participants to find employment matching participant and employer interest and needs.
VDOC and VABIR collect participant outcome data through the departments research and data division, VABIR's access and use of the Department of Labor's database. Qualitative research by subrecipient Flint Spring Associates positions VDOC and its partners to provide an innovative data informed model useful to inform the field of criminal justice and its employment partners.