Raising the Bar
NECAT Launches New Re-Entry Program
With our partners at Suffolk County House of Correction, NECAT is launching a training program specifically designed for adults re-entering the community from incarceration. Formerly incarcerated: two words that define and limit employment opportunities for anyone who has been part of the criminal justice system in Massachusetts. Finding a job after prison can range from difficult to impossible. A desire to work is not enough, as time-served translates into low-pay, low skilled or no opportunities. NECAT’s program will level the playing field for individuals re-entering the community and the workforce – our goal is to teach an employable trade, provide wrap-around support services, and link individuals to good-paying jobs – closing the discriminatory employment gap for formerly incarcerated people.
This program will be operated in partnership with Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Reintegration staff, local employers and Boston-based organizations that specialize in re-entry services to address the stigma of incarceration and the resulting high unemployment and recidivism rates that currently exist. Together, we will work to change the trajectory of those who have been incarcerated at Suffolk County House of Correction and Nashua Street to positively affect their wage-earning potential and financial security; their families and the economic and social impacts on our community. The program is designed to be flexible — conducted behind the walls, online and at NECAT — to best meet the needs of the adults who need the structure, training and encouragement to help them take the next step in rebuilding their lives. A tested model will help us all better define what it takes to more broadly move the needle on eliminating this historical inequality in the labor force.
The program is made possible thanks to funding from Commonwealth Corporation.