A Second Chance
Eighty per cent of participants in Out4Good, an offender rehabilitation program currently being piloted by Urban League of Philadelphia and Aramark, have secured employment.
The intensive, monthlong program fully rehabilitates individuals with criminal records into the economic and social mainstream, for good. The program was piloted earlier this year with 100 per cent of enrolled participants completing the training.
Out4Good also 'stabilizes' returning citizens through job training and employment opportunities, intensive case management and peer-to-peer supportive services.
Successful program graduates demonstrate their mastery in skills related to:
- Workforce readiness, including interpersonal communication, conflict resolution and time management
- Long-term career mapping
- Professional resume writing and interviewing
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Healthy responses to trauma
- Team formation and development
- Emotional agility
Pilot participants reported increased confidence, self-efficacy and confidence in having the momentum they need to achieve family stability and economic success.
According to a Brookings report, today in Pennsylvania there are over 170,000 individuals currently on probation and 45,000 incarcerated. Nearly 50 per cent of returning citizens have no form of employment in the first year following their release from prison and the average annual earnings of those employed is less than US $11,000. Most concerning is that African Americans are disproportionately incarcerated and placed on extensive probation. African Americans represent 11 per cent of the state’s population, and nearly 37 per cent of the state’s incarcerated population.
For more than 100 Years, the Urban League of Philadelphia (ULP) has served as both advocate and activist in the fight to restore justice and empower the future of the black community. Today ULP is thrilled to announce the launch of a three-year grant from Aramark to support formerly incarcerated individuals through this new re-entry program entitled Out4Good. This signature program will empower individuals to transition back to their communities, providing skills development, workforce readiness, job training and placement.
Andrea Custis, the organization's president and CEO, says: "In this current climate, we must not lose sight of our commitment to supporting individuals who have paid their debt to society and are working towards building a legacy for themselves, their family, and their community."
Ash Hanson, Chief Diversity & Sustainability Officer for Aramark, adds: "We believe strongly that re-entry programs are critical to reforming the criminal justice system and addressing its disproportionate impact on black and brown communities.
"We are very encouraged by the initial results of the Out4Good program and its potential to change lives by establishing a direct pathway to rehabilitation."
Based on the success of the pilot, ULP and Aramark are working to expand the program to other states, with the goal of impacting thousands of black and brown individuals over the next three years.
Learn more at www.urbanleaguephila.org.