OCE Oregon Corrections Enterprises Main Office
Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) is launching the Pre-Release Hiring Program (PREHP). This new program focuses on helping secure employment for incarcerated adults (i.e., adults in custody (AICs)) who are soon to be released to the community. PREHP is part of OCE's People, Programs, and Services (PPS) division.
PREHP has three core aims:
- Secure a pre-release job offer, with the aim of establishing a dependable flow of employment for those leaving custody. This also creates opportunities for employers to reach untapped, job-ready candidates.
- Empower individuals to reintegrate by providing AICs with web-based tools to address dynamic risk factors such as substance abuse disorders, mental health, anger management, and other services with social support.
- Provide necessary long-term stability through housing assistance grants for those in need. In partnership with the Portland State University Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative, available housing will be identified from where recently released AICs can work and rebuild a prosocial life.
"We are proud to offer this program as a tool to support successful reentry and reduce recidivism rates," said Melanie Doolin, Administrator of OCE. "By providing AICs with job opportunities prior to their release, we can help them smoothly transition back into society and reduce the likelihood of reoffending. In addition, PREHP offers employers a unique opportunity to connect with skilled, job-ready individuals who are often overlooked in the labor market."
To participate in PREHP, AICs must fall within the criteria of releasing within two years to Oregon, no misconduct reports in the eight months prior to or after PREHP selection, completion of job readiness preparation and training classes/workshops, in addition to having been screened and approved by OCE PPS staff.
These employers must provide realistic job offers, requirements, compensation, and other employer-related considerations, identify desirable skills prior to interviewing to optimize the fit between employers and PREHP participants, and finally employers must be off probation for at least three years if self-employed and formerly incarcerated.
"We encourage interested employers and AICs to reach out to OCE to learn more about this program," Doolin said. "Together, we can work towards a safer, more prosperous Oregon."
By providing AICs with a job immediately at release, participating PREHP employers are able to recruit and hire qualified and skilled individuals in an innovative way that meets employer needs and expands their sources of recruits. Employers are also proactively advancing social justice issues and contributing to reducing inequality in Oregon communities. Incarcerated persons in the program no longer have the potential to be overlooked. These formerly incarcerated individuals are now able to procure early job offers, providing them with a sense of security and purpose ahead of their release, in addition to the accomplishment of landing their first job after leaving the prison system.
For more information on OCE programs or to become a partner with PREHP, please visit oce.oregon.gov.
AIC Mandy Walker and Production Coordinator Tammy O’Dea inside OCE’s Sewing program at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility
Mandy Walker, Technical Seamstress for Watershed in Salem.
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