They want to work after they’ve served their sentence. Individuals who go through the Released and Restored programs – Job Readiness/LifeSkills (JRLS) and LifeSkills/ReEntry Prep (LSRP) – are preparing themselves for a better life after incarceration. Statistically, 28% of Nebraska’s 2,200 felons released from prison each year will return within three years. These programs effectively reduce recidivism rates among those in the criminal justice system and provide the tools to turn lives around for good.
Lincoln Community Foundation’s $15,000 grant to Released and Restored helps the day-to-day operations of their programs. “It supports the Life Skills/Re-Entry Prep program we offer in multiple locations, including the Nebraska State Penitentiary and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women,” says Ruth Karlsson, its founder and executive director.
Incarcerated women and men going through the programs are prepared with skills and self-confidence to maintain long-term, gainful employment and the ability to successfully integrate back into the community.
Released and Restored’s programs offer a supportive environment and services post-release, including mentoring, job seeking and online application access through a computer lab, interview coaching and practice, and the Safe Haven program (weekly safe, sober and fun fellowship meetings).
One young woman, Nancy, decided to take the LSRP class three times, telling her fellow female inmates, ‘I grew more self-confidence each time and I’m glad I had the opportunity to take it more than once.’
Karlsson says that the felons who go through the structured Released and Restored programs are a great labor pool. Employers can be confident that those who go through Released and Restored programs very much want to work and are going to be good employees.