Corrections and labor departments should partner to expand access to effective vocational and training programs for incarcerated people. Research into best practices for corrections-based training shows that longer and more extensive programs focused on in-demand skills, preferably determined with input from employers, and that include follow-up with individuals upon release, are most effective. Employability is a major component of successful reentry and prevents recidivism, but only a small percentage of incarcerated people are able to participate in vocational or other training programs while in prison.
A Vermont Workforce Development Partnership facilitated a three-year pilot program focused on successful transition through building work history and social, cognitive, and vocational skills. The six-month recividism rate was reduced by 20 percent among male participants and 40 percent among female participants. 91 percent of male and 92 percentage of female returning individuals found employment within a month.