Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $750,000)
SER Metro-Detroit (SER) proposes to implement the BJA Second Chance Act Community-Based Adult Reentry Program over 36 months. This program aims to: 1) relieve the pressure many formerly incarcerated individuals will face reentering a competitive post-COVID job market while struggling to secure housing and basic necessities and 2) reduce the risk of recidivism. SER, an agency with five decades of experience forwarding economic mobility is collaborating with dozens of community resource partners and businesses to ensure program success. Up to 100 individuals incarcerated in the State of Michigan correctional facilities who are nearing release to the proposed service area of the City of Detroit and Wayne County will receive career readiness and wrap-around services to facilitate seamless reentry into the community and its workforce.
Using a trauma-informed, human-centered approach to service delivery, primary activities prerelease will include outreach, orientation, skills inventory, intake assessment, and career coaching. Post-release, participants will receive case management and career planning to identify and remove barriers to employment, job readiness training to equip strengthen essential and cognitive skills, education and occupational training, subsidized employment opportunities with employers who provide mentorship and exposure to real-world work experience, job placement assistance, financial coaching, and post-employment follow-up for up to 12 months. Leveraging partnerships, agency resources, and grant funding, participants will receive wrap-around and support services to aid their progress and decrease the risk of further justice involvement (e.g. help with vital documents, mental health and substance use counseling, transportation, food and clothing, childcare, driver related fines and tickets, and technology assistance).
Michigan defines recidivism as any re-arrest, reconviction, or re-incarceration for a felony or misdemeanor offense within the first 3 years of release from incarceration and currently has a 23.6% recidivism rate. Expected program outcomes include (a) 85% will not be re-arrested or re-incarcerated, (b) 40 individuals attaining an industry-valued credential, (c) 60 individuals placed into permanent unsubsidized employment with average starting wages at $12 per hour, and (d) 50% of those placed will retain employment for 60 days or more. The program will promote racial equity and the removal of barriers to access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality.