Inmate Post-Release Assistance - Florida

Also, check local county help centers, i.e., Vocational Rehabilitation, Salvation Army, etc.
Some of the following is pre-release, which I did not edit out.
I. Agency for Workforce Innovation
Contact: Caldwell Bldg.,
Suite 100
107 E. Madison St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-921-3223 fax
Web Site: www.floridajobs.org/Default.htm
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: Reuben Patrick,
Bonding Services Coordinator Agency for Workforce Innovation
Caldwell Bldg.,
Suite 229
107 E. Madison St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-488-1647 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: Chuck Birchfield,
WOTC Coordinator Agency for Workforce Innovation
WOTC/Workforce Programs Caldwell Bldg.
107 E. Madison St. Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-921-3120 fax
E-Mail: chuck.birchfield@awi.state.fl.us
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.
Unemployment compensation program in Florida is administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). Information concerning unemployment compensation, and complete applications are available on the Internet, using the unemployment/re-employment link, or at any One Stop Employment Center.

Contact: Tom Clenndening,
Process Manager
Unemployment Compensation Program
Agency for Workforce Innovation
Caldwell Bldg.,
Suite 200
107 Madison St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-921-3223 fax
Web Site: www.myflorida.com
II. Criminal Record Repository This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet and learn about the process of sealing, expunging or cleaning it up. 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, completed fingerprint card and a $39 fee, payable to the "Florida Department of Law Enforcement," must be submitted.

Contact: Florida Department of Law Enforcement
USA/Public Records
P.O. Box 1489
Tallahassee, FL 32302
E-Mail: background@fdle.state.fl.us
Web Site: www.fdle.state.fl.us/CriminalHistory
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: Charlie Crist,
Attorney General
The Capitol, PL 01
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Web Site: http://legal.firn.edu
IV. State Department of Corrections
Prison Industry Program

Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE) is a state authorized, not-for-profit manufacturing and services corporation that manages and operates the state's correctional industries. Inmates may be trained in any of 55 different industries.
Market studies determine which products are manufactured. Prevailing market wages are paid to inmate workers if items produced are sold to wholesaleres for retail resale. Much of the money paid to inmate workers is returned to the state in the form of room and board costs, victim restitution, crime compensation, as well as inmate transition and support services.
PRIDE provides job readiness skills prior to release. When inmate workers are released PRIDE, through its Labor Line Division, offers job placement in private industry. Labor Line is a division of PRIDE that provides transitional support.

Contact: Greg Hackley
PRIDE Enterprises
12425 - 28th St. North St.
Petersburg, FL 33716
727-570-3366 fax
E-Mail: ghackley@pride-enterprises.com
Web Site: www.pridefl.com
Work Release There are 26 work release facilities in Florida. To be eligible for work release, an offender must meet the following criteria: (1) be in custody at least 90 days; (2) have no disciplinary reports for the previous 90 days; (3) be at community custody security level; and (4) have only 7 to 18 months remaining on his/her sentence. Work release participants leave the facilities for work during the day and return to the facility during non-working hours.

Contact: Terri Gilliam,
Bureau of Transitional Service
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-410-2500 fax
E-Mail: gilliam.teresa@mail.dc.state.fl.us
Pre-Release The pre-release program is 100 hours in duration. As of December 2002 the course will be mandatory for all offenders being released from Florida prisons. Approximately 26,000 to 28,000 offenders are released yearly. The state currently operates a program developed by Daytona Beach Community College. The program teaches employability skills, value clarification, interview skills and general life skills. Offenders who do not have jobs are referred to One Stop Career Centers.

Contact: Terri Gilliam,
Bureau of Transitional Services
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-410-2500 fax
E-Mail: gilliam.teresa@mail.dc.state.fl.us
Post Release Transitional Program Post Release Transitional assistance provides substance abuse counseling and housing for recently released offenders if the former offender has need of such as determined by the parole department. Floria has contracted with faith-based organizations to provide post-release housing for up to 90 days. The state also provides Transitional Assistant Specialists to assist recently released offenders in their transition back into the community.

Contact: Terri Gilliam,
Bureau of Transitional Services
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-410-2500 fax
E-Mail: gilliam.teresa@mail.dc.state.fl.us
V. Florida Department of Corrections

Community Corrections Post-release supervision is under the direction of the Florida Department of Corrections. Sentences are flat sentences. An inmate my be released with no supervision after the sentence has been served, or one may be released from state custody to probation supervision for a period of time as stipulated by the court. A small population remains who were sentenced under old laws and are released to parole supervision. There are four regions, divided according to Florida judicial circuits, each with a number of local offices to provide easy access for supervisiosn purposes.
Contact: Tina Hayes,
Director of Community Corrections
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Rd. Talahassee, FL 32399
850-921-8195 fax
E-Mail: hayes.tina@mail.dc.state.fl.us
Web Site: www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/comcor
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: Florida Public Defender Coordination Office
311 South Calhoun St., Suite 204 Tallahassee, FL 32301
850-488-4720 fax E-Mail: fpda@nettally.com Web Site: www.fpda.state.fl.us
B. Legal Services
Florida Legal Services publishes a directory of legal service providers in Florida.

Contact: Florida Legal Services, Inc.
2121 Delta Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32303
850-385-9998 fax
Web Site: www.floridalegal.org
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid provides services, with private bar assistance, for sealing and expunging criminal records. They also assist in petitioning for restoration of civil rights including voting rights. They help employees and applicants for certain sensitive positions obtain employment exemptions from the regulating agency.

Contact: Mitchell S. Ritchie
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid
126 West Adams St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
E-Mail: mitch.ritchie@jaxlegalaid.org
C. State Bar Association
Contact: John F. Harkness, Jr.,
Executive Director
The Florida Bar
650 Apalachee Pkwy.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-561-5826 fax
E-Mail: flabarwm@flabar.org
Web Site: www.flabar.org
One-Stop Career Centers One-Stop Career Centers offer employment services to job seekers and employers in Florida. There are 24 Regional Workforce Boards in Florida which are responsible for implementing the employment programs in their regions. Services available include referrals to employment, career counseling, assistance with job search andplacement, access to computers/internet, resume preparation, phone/fax machines, copy machines, interest, aptitude and basic skills testing and other special programs tailored to meet employment needs of those facing barriers to employment.
A directory of One-Stop Career Centers in Florida is available at www.workforceflorida.com
Contact: Web Site: www.workforceflorida.com
Operation New Hope Community Development Corporation Operation New Hope Community Development Corporation rebuilds low-income communities by offering training and employment to neighborhood residents, 60% of whom are people with criminal records. Operation New Hope works with area churches to provide building/construction skills as well as mentors for each participant. Participation in the program ranges from three months to one year, after which time graduates may be placed in private construction industry jobs. Operation New Hope assess applicants before release from incarceration and works closely with the Florida Department of Corrections.

Contact: Kevin Gay,
Executive Director
Operation New Hope
Community Development Corporation
1321 N. Main St.
Jacksonville, FL 32206
904-354-4673 kghope@fdn.com fax
House of Hope The House of Hope, a faith-based organization, offers shelter and job placement to recently released people with criminal records. Substance abuse, anger management and spiritual counseling are also available. Participants apply through the correctional facility chaplains' department six months before their anticipated release date. Program capacity is five residents. House of Hope staff utilizes one stop centers and program contacts to obtain employment for its participants. Residency time ranges from three to six months.

Contact: Thomas Johnson,
Executive Director
House of Hope
P.O. Box 12113
Gainesville, FL 32604
E-Mail: www.hohinfo.org

Time for Freedom, Inc. Time for Freedom, Inc. offers transitional housing and support for recently released men with crimnial histories. Time for Freedom mandates attendance at four programs, AA/NA, cognitive thinking, bible study and life skills. All residents are expected to work, with limited job referrals available. Future plans include expansion of cottage industries to generate operational funds as well as teaching vocational skills. Graphic arts/printing is operational at present.

Contact: Bernie DeCastro,
Executive Director
Nelson Kowalzyk,
Administrative Assistant
Time for Freedom, Inc.
P.O. Box 819 Ocala, FL 34470
E-Mail: TFF@gate.net; buzzkowalczyk@yahoo.com

If you know of any resources for people on their way out of prison,
please contact me,  Kay Lee




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