The Power Of Participation

Primary Group, Inc. and the Breaking Barriers Network have taken a comprehensive holistic approach to combat this crisis. We target specific areas that are known to be the major cause of poverty, mass incarceration and recidivism; lack of housing, adequate human services, access to competent legal services and livable wage employment opportunities.

Our service model utilizes the strengths and bridges the gaps among existing formerly incarcerated individual job training programs. By combining the most successful, dynamic and effective techniques from social enterprise, social service, faith-based initiatives as well as leadership and business strategies of for-profit enterprises, we have given life to a sustainable and very comprehensive initiative.

This initiative focuses on the immediate creation of livable wage employment under a 90-day paid internship program that can evolve into long term employment. This evolution is partially based upon the participatory value of the community as well as the intern.

We recognize the importance of developing a diversified financial base to ensure financial sustainability. Included in the solutions blueprint is a massive social enterprise training and development initiative that has the potential to create thousands of community based social entrepreneurs whose efforts are directly responsible for creating additional employment opportunities for our target population.

These enterprises will include businesses and trades that will not only provide viable employment for clients in our programs, but will provide an income stream for redirection back into program services.The success of this project is based on 3 criteria;

  1. Interns’ successful participation in behavior modification, self-improvement, education and certification programs as well as on the job training.

  2. The Participatory Value can be defined as the community’s willingness to embrace change, recognize economic opportunities and possess a willingness to move into action. The community at large must become actively engaged in changing their current circumstances by uniting to force economic and social change.

  3. The solutions blueprint requires the mass education, training and development of social entrepreneurs whose primary purpose is to create livable wage employment for other members of their community.

Through your support and participation we can offer a new beginning to those who need a second chance and strengthen our states and economy at the same time. Evidence of the success of this job creation strategy and how it affects recidivism is taken directly from The Department of Labor. They conducted a 3 year study in 11 cities in 2003. They launched a $25 million dollar program called Ready4Work.

The program was jointly funded by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the United States Department of Justice, Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)—a Philadelphia-based research and demonstration non-profit—and a consortium of private foundations. The program was administered by P/PV. The subject of the study was to apply a more comprehensive prison reentry strategy. The focus centered on mentoring, job training, job placement, case management and other comprehensive transitional services. 4,482 formerly incarcerated individuals were enrolled in the program.

Verified by an independent 3rd party, these are a few of the results: According to criminal justice experts, an attachment to the labor force through stable employment, in connection with family and community connections, is a key element in helping formerly incarcerated individuals break this cycle. Meeting with a mentor increased a participant’s odds of getting a job the next month by 73% over participants who did not take advantage of mentoring. An additional month of meetings increased a participant’s odds of finding a job by another 7%. Data analysis on the program prepared by P/PV shows that only 2.5% of the programs’ participants.