Program Summary

East Cascades Works (EC Works) in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) and Oregon Employment Department (OED) successfully implemented the first WorkSource Oregon (WSO) Reentry Program within the two state prisons located in our region which are Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) and Warner Creek Correctional Facility (WCCF). With the formalization of partnerships through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2022, EC Works expanded its efforts statewide, supported by the Department of Labor Pathways Home 4 and Future Ready Oregon grants. During the statewide expansion happening now, the collaboration has evolved to include partnerships with all Local Workforce Development Boards in Oregon, reflecting a commitment to providing comprehensive support to individuals impacted by the criminal justice system throughout the state. The program utilizes a team-based approach, combining prison-based staff for in-custody support and community-based case managers for post-release job placement and training assistance. Inside the prison, WorkSource staff begin working with adults in custody (AICs) beginning 90-180 days from their release date. They work with them by creating individual employment plans, career mapping and career information gathering, resume and cover letter writing assistance, interview prep, and how to talk about their convictions with potential employers. The program emphasizes collaboration to achieve its goals of effective reentry and community integration for individuals transitioning from incarceration to the workforce which ultimately reduces the recidivism rate and costs to the people of Oregon.

The WSO Reentry Program’s first year of providing services inside the prison ended on June 30th, 2023. Officially, DRCI began services in October 2022 and WCCF began in March 2023. Here are the first year’s official totals:

As the program is launched in more areas across the state, and data becomes better tracked in our system, we believe these numbers will continue to climb.

Who To Contact

Brendon Kinzel
Reentry Program Manager

brendon@ecworks.org

Project Impact

After participating in the Reentry Program, Robert got a job within one week of being released from prison: 

“Hi Andrew, Thought I would send a picture with my new work shirt. I was officially hired last Thursday. So, less than a week after release I got a job! Thank you guys for all of your help. Tell Jennifer and Ryan I said thanks as well. And again, feel free to share this news and my picture with whoever you like. Let them know that it is possible! There is hope!”

Eight months later, Robert shared the news that he was moving into his own home ….

“Just wanted to give you a quick update. Yesterday was my eight month anniversary of walking out of prison. And yesterday I was handed the keys to my own home.
It’s an older home (1936) on .29 acres. Lots of trees (apple, old oaks and walnut) and vegetation (blackberries) and about a qtr mile from a river. The job is still going well and keeping me very busy (more gray hair). Tell everyone hello for me and feel free to share my status.”