Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Michigan

I. Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services

Contact:
Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services
P.O. Box 30004
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-3034
517-373-2129 fax
Web Site: www.michigan.gov/csi

Information about State Department of Labor resources may be of interest to:
• potential employers looking for incentives to hire individuals with criminal histories;
• service providers and individuals with criminal histories who are looking for assistance in finding employment; and
• researchers and policy makers looking at current programs to ascertain what programs are effective and serve their intended purpose.

A. Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Contact:
Employment Services Agency
Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth
3032 West Grand Blvd - Ste 9-450
Detroit, MI 48202
313-456-3171
313-456-3162 fax

B. Tax Credits
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

Contact:
Michigan Bureau of Workers’ & Unemployment Compensation
WOTC Unit
Cadillac Place
3024 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 11-450
Detroit, MI 48202
313-456-2105
313-456-2132 fax
Web Site: www.michigan.gov/csi

C. Unemployment Insurance Office
Unemployment compensation is a social insurance program designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work, generally through no fault of their own, for periods between jobs. In order to be eligible for benefits, jobless workers must demonstrate that they have worked, usually measured by amount of wages and/or weeks of work, and must be able and available for work.

The unemployment compensation program is based upon federal law, but administered by states under state law.

Claims for unemployment benefits can be filed at state Bureau of Workers’ & Unemployment Compensation (BW&UC) locations throughout the state. One may also visit the web site listed below, to receive contact information of local BW&UC offices, as well as obtaining forms that might be useful.

Contact:
Unemployment Compensation (UC) General Information
Cadillac Place
3024 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202
800-638-3995 (in state only)
Web Site: www.michigan.gov/csi

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II. Criminal Record Repository

This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet. The criminal record repository can also tell the individual who else is legally entitled to have access to his or her record.

A written request must be submitted to the Criminal Justice Information Center including a name for record search, date of birth, race, sex and social security number. A fee of $5, payable to the “State of Michigan,” should accompany the request.

Contact:
Criminal Justice Information Center
Michigan State Police
7150 Harris Dr.
Lansing, MI 48913
517-322-1959
517-322-0635 fax

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III. State Attorney General

Employers and service providers may obtain information from the state attorney general regarding occupational bars, the licensing of individuals with criminal records in certain jobs, and whether the state has laws that limit what employers may ask job applicants or protections against employment discrimination based on a criminal record.

Contact:
Office of the Attorney General
G. Mennen Williams Building, 7th Floor
525 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-1110
517-373-3042 fax
Web Site: www.michigan.gov/ag/

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Michigan Department of Corrections

The Michigan Department of Corrections requires all inmates to get their GED as a condition for parole, unless the inmate is over 60 years of age or is found to be incapable of doing so through testing. Additionally, inmates who have limited work history and are assessed as lacking employment skills during the intake process are also required to participate in Career Technical Education as a condition of parole. The Department of Corrections also has a number of specialized programs, including providing public works crews and a joint program with Habitat for Humanity. In the latter program, inmates build walls, cabinets, cupboards, landscaping materials, and comforters and, in one facility, assemble entire houses. Participants undergo thorough screening. They must also accept a mentor to help them address life skills issues. Habitat for Humanity building staff assist inmates to prepare and post resumes. As a result of this preparation, many participants find employment shortly after release. The department requires all inmates to participate in a pre-release program in the 12 months prior to their earliest release date. This program includes basic preparation for completing applications, developing resumes, interview preparation, including issues such as dress and presentation, and visits from staff at employment agencies, who identify the industries where employment may be available in different parts of the state, discuss the difficulties of the job market, and inform them of alternative options open to them.

Contact:
Michigan Department of Corrections
Grand View Plaza Building
206 E. Michigan Ave.
P.O. Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909
517-335-1426
517-335-0045 fax
Web Site: www.michigan.gov/corrections

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V. Michigan Department of Corrections Field Operations Administration

Michigan Department of Corrections Field Operations Administration

The State Division of Parole refers all parolees in need of job skills training, job placement, and other pre-job preparation to Michigan’s state workforce development system, Michigan Works!

Contact:
Michigan Department of Corrections Field Operations Administration
Grandview Plaza
206 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
517-373-6391
517-373-6883 fax

Contact:

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VI. Legal Assistance

Free or low-cost legal resources, both in civil and criminal law, are helpful to individuals with criminal histories in learning about relevant state laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal histories or addressing other legal issues resulting from having a criminal history.

A. State Public Defender

Contact:
State Defender Office
Legal Aid & Defender Association, Inc
45 Griswold St., Suite 2500
Detroit, MI 48226
313-965-4384
313-965-3262 fax
Web Site: www.ladadetroit.org

B. Legal Services

A list of services around the state is available at the State Bar website: www.michbar.org. Click on the “Access to Justice” button at the bottom of the screen and click on either the “Legal Aid, Legal Services, and Dispute Resolution Programs” button or the “Programs Eligible to Receive Pro Bono Donations” button.

Contact:
Legal Aid & Defender Association, Inc.
45 Griswold St., Suite 2500
Detroit, MI 48226
877-964-4700 or 313-965-9419
313-965-9694 fax
Web Site: www.ladadetroit.org

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St.
Lansing, MI 48933
800-968-1442
517-482-6248 fax
Web Site: www.michbar.org

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VII. Local Service Providers

Community agencies are available to assist individuals with criminal records find employment. This information will inform individuals with criminal records about government agencies and community-based organizations that assist with employment, education or vocational training. Researchers and policy makers may find this information useful in identifying agencies and service providers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Michigan Works!

Michigan Works! is Michigan’s state workforce development system offering 110 service centers in 25 regions throughout the state. These centers provide locally designed and operated services, including staff that are able to meet the needs of the local population and training and other skills needed to prepare individuals for the demands of the local labor market. Employers seeking workers can post their job listings on a web site. Job seekers can post their resumes for review by employers who are recruiting workers. Many services are offered on a self-serve basis. However, if a client needs help dealing with particular issues or difficulties, such as how to address their criminal record to an employer, the centers have specialized staff able to meet the individual’s needs on a case-by-case basis. Center staff are sub-contracted from local agencies, but are not separated by agency within service centers. Clients can register anywhere in the state where they will be entered into a central system, so that their account can be accessed from any other center. Locations of service center are available at the web site: www.michiganworks.org/page.cfm/14 or by calling 800-285-WORKS.

Contact:
800-285-WORKS
Web Site: www.michiganworks.org/page.cfm/14

Project Transition

Project Transition is part of Matrix Human Services, a multi-service social service agency. It is a residential treatment program that is mandated by the court or parole. A person with a criminal history may stay from 90 to 180 days. There is a mandated 12-week outpatient component as well. Participants receive various forms of counseling ranging from substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, and anger management. Workshops are presented on resume writing, dressing for work and how to find and keep jobs. There is no job placement or development available. At this time there is a question as to the future of this program. No new clients are being accepted; however, aftercare for current clients will continue.

Contact:
Project Transition
16260 Dexter
Detroit, MI 48221
313-862-3400

Transition of Prisoners, Inc.

Transition of Prisoners, Inc. (TOP) is a program that accepts people with criminal records who have been released from incarceration 30 days or less. TOP utilizes the services of area churches, community agencies and social service agencies to offer assistance to its clients. After attending four weekly group sessions a client is matched with an area church and a mentor. A case manager develops a transition plan with the client to meet the needs of the individual client. The assigned mentor assists the client in completing the transition plan. TOP provides referrals for basic essentials, food, clothing, shelter, and helps to arrange for job training and/or job development. Workshops on developing cognitive skills and conflict resolution are conducted in-house.

Contact:
Transition of Prisoners, Inc.
P.O. Box 02938
Detroit, MI 48244
313-875-3883
313-875-3886 fax
Web Site: www.topinc.net

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit provides services to individuals who are serving probation or have been recently released from a county or state correctional facility for a non-violent offense. Services include job readiness training, paid transitional work experience, basic academic and remedial training to improve math or reading skills and job placement. Employment follow-up/retention services are also provided.

Contact:
Employment Development Services
New Start Employment and Training Project
Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
3111 Grand River Ave.
Detroit, MI 48208
313-964-3900, ext 406
Web Site: www.goodwilldetroit.org

Women Arise – PROVE Project

PROVE (Post-Release Opportunities for Vocational Education) was created by a community-based program with funds from a federal lawsuit brought by women prisoners in Michigan. The participants, formerly incarcerated women, receive educational/vocational assessment, assistance in meeting educational and/or vocational goals and obtaining employment. PROVE provides monthly peer meetings, counseling, parenting classes, tutoring, grade monitoring, educational advice and application assistance.

Contact:
13100 Averhill
Detroit, MI 48215
313-331-1800
313-331-8797 fax

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