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.

Flexibility and sustainability have been incorporated into these programs as the foundation of our approach. We also look to impact the flow of low-level non-violent offenders into the justice system through comprehensive legal services.

Job creation along with training and placement in new and innovative industries helps ensure growth and sustainability. Housing services are a vital part of building individual capacity.

Strong community support is a major component to the solution. To make a significant difference, we must act together. 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. The Department of Labor launched a $25 million dollar program called Ready4Work. They conducted a 3 year study in 11 cities in 2003. 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 have been re-incarcerated within 6 months of release. 6.9% were re-incarcerated after 1 year of release.

A complete analysis of mentoring outcomes can be found in Mentoring Ex-Prisoners in the R4W Reentry Initiative, on-line at www.dol.gov/cfbci.