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The Second Chance Act

A Q uarterly N ewsletter F ocusing on B est P ractices and C urrent I nitiatives / S pring 2008

By Tim Campbell, President of ARAMARK Correctional Services

I
had the privilege of witnessing President George W. Bush sign
into law the Second Chance Act. Introduced by Congressman
Danny K. Davis, 7th Congressional District of Illinois, the
Second Chance Act allocates federal grants to state and local
governments to provide re-entry programs for non-violent inmates
once they are released from correctional facilities and institutions
and to reduce recidivism.
As a corporate supporter of the bill’s passage, it was an
honor to stand with industry partners, including the American
Correctional Association, American Jail Association, and the
National Sheriffs’ Association, at this historic event. Another
highlight was being able to personally thank Congressman
Danny Davis and Senator Sam Brownback for their perseverance
in bringing this legislation into law.
In this newsletter, you will learn more about successful
inmate training programs which, in the future, may be sponsored
ARAMARK Correctional Services President Tim Campbell and Congressman Danny by the Second Chance Act.
Davis at the Second Chance Act bill signing ceremony.

President George W. Bush reaches out to Thomas Boyd Wednesday, April 9, 2008, after signing HR 1593, the Second Chance Act of 2007. Mr. Boyd spent more than
20 years in and out of the prison system until he took his daughter’s advice and enrolled in the Jericho program in Baltimore. His success in the re-entry program was
noted during the President’s remarks when he said, “He’s working, back with his family; he’s a good guy. And I want to thank you for coming, Thomas.” White House
photo by Eric Draper

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The Second Chance Act

What Inmate Training Does ARAMARK


Correctional Services Provide?

O
ur Inmate to Workmate® program offers job skills
training to inmates in more than 50 facilities across the
country, provides participants with hands-on training
and certification, and prepares inmates for jobs in the culinary
and retail management industries.
Created in 1999 to address dwindling funding for inmate
training programs, Inmate to Workmate® has been the subject
of many news stories. In its January-March 2008 edition
of Staffing Management, the Society for Human Resource
Management published a cover story examining how former
prisoners represent an untapped source of potential employees.
When considering the value of Inmate to Workmate®, the
reporter wrote, “The program adds no extra cost to taxpayers
and ultimately benefits the local community with an increase in
the number of trained workers. It’s a win for clients, inmates, Inmate to Workmate® residents learn skills that will prepare them for careers in
communities and ARAMARK.” culinary and food service occupations.
Together with our clients, and the hard work of very
dedicated ARAMARK front line managers, Inmate to Workmate® help them gain employment upon their release into society, and
has proven that by providing offenders with education and life the local community benefits from an increase in the number of
skills, everyone wins. The offenders learn job skills that will trained workers.

Why is the Second Recidivism Facts


Chance Act’s Passage Each year, 600,000 individuals are released from prison and

Important? seek to rejoin their communities.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly two-thirds of

R
released prisoners in America are re-arrested and one-half are
educing recidivism benefits all of society by saving
re-incarcerated within three years.
taxpayer dollars and justice system resources while
giving ex-inmates a second chance at becoming positive
A 2001 study by the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank
contributors to the economy and to society at large. Perhaps more
importantly, and probably overlooked, are the benefits realized devoted to researching issues on crime and justice, found that
by the families who have their loved ones back in the home and job training reduced recidivism rates by 20 percent, proving that
leading honest, productive lives. While future research will need inmates who work while in prison have a better chance of finding
to bear this out, the Second Chance Act and programs it funds may
employment upon their re-introduction into their communities.
have the potential to favorably impact the children of ex-offenders
simply because their parents are home and active in their lives.
Re-entry can be a daunting prospect for many. Often, ex-
offenders are not prepared to deal with the everyday challenges that
confront them outside of the facility walls, and they end up back those who are gainfully employed are less likely to commit crimes
where they started – incarcerated and still lacking the practical job than those who are not.
and life skills that are necessary to find stable employment and As President of ARAMARK Correctional Services, I
become contributors to society. have seen firsthand how job-training and support programs in
Research has shown that an individual’s status in the correctional facilities help reduce recidivism rates and facilitate a
workforce affects his or her likelihood of committing a crime: successful re-entry into society for thousands of inmates.

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The Success of
Re-Entry Programs
O
n July 19, 2006, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and prison. The Plainfield Re-Entry Educational Facility (PREF),
Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner J. David under the aegis of the Indiana Department of Correction, is
Donahue opened the nation’s first re-entry program: the doing something to help. PREF aims to reduce recidivism
Plainfield Re-Entry Educational Facility (PREF). rates through providing offenders a real-world experience that
The facility is designed to help reintegrate offenders helps them succeed once they have completed the terms of
back to society by creating an environment that more closely their sentence and returned to their communities.
models what they can expect in a community. PREF offers both PREF provides “full-immersion” curriculum, which
vocational and life skills training which is making a difference includes educational classes, vocational training, substance
in Indiana. abuse treatment and cognitive behavior programming.
Most recently, Commissioner Donahue wrote a letter to In addition, residents learn about family reunification and
me outlining how Inmate to Workmate® successfully dovetails parenting, anger management and problem-solving. While
with the nation’s first re-entry program. PREF may more closely resemble a college campus than a
In it, the Commissioner noted, “ARAMARK does not just correctional facility, the program is rigorous; residents must
serve food to offenders. The company is an active contributor to meet PREF standards or they will be placed back into a facility
the Department’s mission of preparing offenders for successful appropriate to their classification and risk-level.
release to the community as law abiding citizens. Through Every resident takes part in Education and Vocational
ARAMARK’s Inmate to Workmate program, offenders are Skills Development. Those who already have a high school
provided skills and certification they need to secure jobs that diploma or have earned a GED have the opportunity to obtain a
will help them avoid a criminal lifestyle and become productive vocational training certificate and be classified into appropriate
members of Indiana communities. Recently, the U.S. Department jobs – either inside or outside the facility. PREF offers vocational
of Labor approved a new Apprenticeship Program built on the training in business services, building trades, culinary arts
Inmate to Workmate curriculum, which was jointly sponsored (which includes residents in the Inmate to Workmate® program),
by the Indiana Department of Correction and ARAMARK. This electronics repair, landscape management and horticulture, and
apprenticeship program will provide even greater credentialing small engine repair.
to the offenders as they seek employment
once released from custody. Inmate to
Workmate is currently providing over
300 offenders with culinary and life skills
that will enable us to continue to reduce
recidivism and prepare non-violent
offenders to return to their communities
and families with a new work ethic and
commitment to refrain from criminal
behavior. In short, ARAMARK is a
trusted partner of the Indiana Department
of Correction, and provides Indiana’s
taxpayers and our correctional institutions
a valuable service.”

Plainfield Re-Entry
Educational Facility:
Helping Indiana’s
Offenders Return to
Society
In 2008, more than 17,000 inmates
will be released from Indiana’s prisons.
Many of them face an uphill battle when
returning to their homes, as they often
lack the job skills and support systems Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue announcing the opening of the
needed to keep them from returning to Plainfield Re-Entry Educational Facility.

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The Second Chance Act

Family reunification is also an important focus of the PREF


program. Specialized courses help men return to their families
as husbands and fathers. The Prevention and Relationship
Enhancement Program (PREP) is one example of a best-practice
program that reduces the divorce rate and helps families reunite.
A state representative is on hand to assist residents with child
support issues.
Additional life skills and other social skills programs are
also available to the residents. Financial services counseling –
such as helping residents to establish a savings account – gives
ex-offenders a solid foundation that is critical for establishing
and building financial independence and responsibility. A
variety of classes, workshops and volunteer-facilitated programs
focus on helping residents transition from inmate to community
citizen. PREF’s culture of support, teamwork and mutual
respect is perhaps the most critical training opportunity of all.
Since PREF’s opening in January 2006, more than 200
residents have completed the program and just five percent
of the residents released by PREF have returned to Indiana
Department of Correction custody. While the ultimate success PREF residents gain specific job skills through hands-on training
of the program relies heavily on the residents’ willingness
to apply the program’s tools they’ve gained once they are to reducing recidivism and providing for greater public safety
released, PREF is a working example of the state’s commitment in Indiana.

Excerpts from President


Bush’s Comments on the
Second Chance Act
T
he country was built on the belief that each human being centers. It’s done in churches and synagogues and temples and
has limitless potential and worth. Everybody matters. We mosques.
believe that even those who have struggled with a dark I like to call the folks who are engaged in this compassionate
past can find brighter days ahead. One way we act on that belief work, “members of the armies of compassion.” They help
is by helping former prisoners who’ve paid for their crimes -- we addicts and users break the chains of addiction. They help
help them build new lives as productive members of our society. former prisoners find a ride to work and a meal to eat and place
Our government has a responsibility to help prisoners to to stay. These men and women are answering the call to love
return as contributing members of their community. But this their neighbors as they’d like to be loved themselves. And in
does not mean that the government has all the answers. Some of the process, they’re helping prisoners replace anger and suffering
the most important work to help ex-convicts is done outside of and despair with faith and hope and love.
Washington, D.C., in faith-based communities and community- The bill I’m signing today, the Second Chance Act of 2007,
based groups. It’s done on streets and small town community will build on work to help prisoners reclaim their lives.

Written and produced by ARAMARK Correctional Services


1101 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
800.777.7090 (Ask for Corrections)

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