Unlocking Talent: From Incarceration to Sustainable Employment

Over 95% of America's 2+ million incarcerated individuals will return to our communities, yet most of them will struggle to find and maintain sustainable employment which is the single biggest predictor of post-release success. Their journey won't be easy. Employment was also a barrier for them prior to their incarceration, as they were unemployed and underemployed at 3x the national average prior to the arrests that led to their incarceration.Departments of Correction and Departments of Labor are beginning to take fundamentally new approaches to the education, training, and development of their incarcerated population. However, these departments have to overcome significant technical hurdles, entrenched mindsets, and budgeting obstacles to transform correctional facilities into education and workforce development centers.This panel will explore how 2 different states are approaching this problem and how their unique approach is creating a blueprint for correctional reform in this country.