The Futures Institute

Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcomes

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Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcomes


The Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcomes grant funds improvement to reentry education and employment. The grant supports the enhancement of corrections systems’ ability to implement and expand education and employment programs that serve individuals during incarceration and throughout their period of reentry into the community. Programs funded under this solicitation should emphasize strong partnerships with corrections, parole, probation, education, workforce development, and reentry service providers. These programs will work to reduce recidivism, promote reentry success, enhance employment prospects for incarcerated adults reentering the workforce, and improve overall public safety and public health. Programs should be focused on serving individuals during the 3-year period before release, as well as providing ongoing service provision throughout participants’ period of reentry into the community.

Eligible Uses

Education and employment programs during incarceration and immediatly after release.

Grant Award



City or township governments, county governments, Native American tribal governments, nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status (other than institutions of higher education), and state governments



Due Date

June 13, 2022. This grant has not been repeated previously.


Department of Justice

Materials Needed


Application Difficulty


Evidence on Investments in Reentry

Every year, over 650,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons and approximately two-thirds of those people are likely to be rearrested within three years of their release. Formerly incarcerated individuals are released into society with little to no income, with the expectation of expecting their future earnings to be reduced by up to 40%.

Investments in reentry programs improve the ability of formerly incarcerated individuals to reintegrate into society and improve public safety. A study found that individuals participating in reentry programs had a recidivism rate of 47% compared to that of 53% among individuals who did not participate in reentry programs. A study found that recently released individuals who received treatment from a social worker and attended a community employment program were 22% more likely to receive and report earnings at some point during their first year out of prison as compared to recently released individuals who did not receive social work services or attend the community employment program. This study also found that recently released individuals receiving social work services and attending the community employment program had higher median annual earnings than those not receiving the social work and community employment program services ($2,960 compared to $462). 

As this evidence shows, supporting individuals as they make the transition out of jails and prisons is one of the most important ways to ensure the stability of those individuals and their communities. 

Evidence on Investments in Financial Security and Employment

Financial security is another critical component of safety—not only because financial security and employment opportunities help people address their basic needs, but also because these investments have been shown to increase safety. One study showed that emergency financial assistance for those experiencing economic insecurity reduced total arrests, including a 51 percent reduction in arrests for violent crimes. Short-term financial assistance has been shown to decrease violence and crime. And decreasing unemployment has been shown to reduce property crime. Offering workforce development for industry-based credentials in locally growing fields (such as health care, manufacturing, and IT) reduced the likelihood that program participants with prior criminal records would be rearrested by about 40 percent. 

A study of data in both the US And UK found that increasing the availability of well-paid entry-level jobs when a young person is entering the job market could have a lasting impact on their likelihood of committing future crimes. Increasing youth employment, such as through summer jobs programs, has been found to reduce violent crime by up to 43 percent—with long-lasting, positive effects.  Unemployment insurance (UI) provides a crucial safety net that promotes household well-being, and generous UI benefits may lower local property and violent crime rates. UI may also minimize adverse contact between the unemployed and the criminal-legal system, including by decreasing the likelihood of arrest and any corresponding inability to afford court imposed fines and fees following conviction. However, the benefits of our nation’s patchwork of unemployment insurance programs are distributed unequally, with Black workers 24 percent less likely to receive unemployment insurance than their white counterparts over the last 30 years.

It is common sense that improving economic conditions will make communities safer—and this conclusion is born out in the research. Ensuring that individuals and families have the resources they need to thrive not only meets a safety goal in and of itself, but also has a dramatic impact on rates of violence and harm. 

Grant Writing Resources

Grants.Gov Resources

Applicant Training Videos (step-by-step guide on how to find grants, set up an account on, and submit an application)

Applicant FAQ page

Other Resources

Community Toolbox’s Applying For Grants Toolkit (Outline of process + example applications)


Q: What is community safety? 

A: We use the term “community safety” as well as “non-carceral safety” to indicate an approach to reducing violence and harm that invests in people over punishment. This can include unarmed civilian first responders and community violence prevention, but must also center preventative and root-caused focused solutions such as investments in schools, healthcare, and the environment. These solutions not only create holistic safety by improving well-being, they have been directly tied to reductions in violence. 

Q: How do the grants in the American Rescue Plan and other recent bills fit into this database? 

A: This database contains grants contained both in specific legislation (like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, and the Inflation Reduction act) but it focuses primarily on grants funded annually through the federal budget process. Please see our resources specifically on ARPA and IIJA for more information on funding opportunities in those bills. 

Q: Where should I go if I have additional questions? 

A: Feel free to reach out to with questions or comments. If you’d like to suggest a grant, please fill out this form


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