The 30 2+2 Re-entry Collaborative was developed and launched in 2014 by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, under the leadership of U. S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, in partnership with the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of New Orleans, Loyola University and other interested stakeholders. It is designed to evaluate the effect of permanent employment on recidivism.
The goal of the Collaborative is to employ two re-entry court participants with each of 30 participating business partners (60 reentrants total) for a period of at least two years. The United States Attorney’s Office has enlisted the assistance of Dr. Marcus Kondkar, an Associate Professor in Loyola University’s School of Sociology, to evaluate the success of the program. Data will be collected during the course of the program to assist in the evaluation.
Because of the intensive hard and soft skills training offered by Angola Prison’s Re-entry Program (described below), the 30 2+2 Reentry Collaborative is currently drawing its participating reentrants exclusively from that program. In the future, we hope to develop other avenues through which to draw qualified, well-trained reentrants.
How the 30 2+2 Re-entry Collaborative Works: In order for the 30 2+2 Re-entry Collaborative to be successful, we must have businesses willing to participate by hiring our re-entry participants. Businesses interested in participating in the program will need to complete the attached Business Survey form. The purpose of this form is to 1) indicate to us your company’s willingness to participate in the program and 2) give us an idea of your employment needs.
The Angola Re-entry Program:
The Angola Re-entry Program provides intensive hard and soft skills training to reentry participants who have been selected by one of a number of local judges for their reentry courts. Angola’s re-entry program was developed by Angola Warden Burl Cain in collaboration with Judge Laurie White and Judge Arthur Hunter of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
Re-entry court judges select candidates to participate in the reentry program. In order to participate, the re-entry candidate must plead guilty to a non-violent, non-sex related crime and receive a sentence of no greater than 10 years. The participant is then sent to Angola to serve his time and there they enter the Angola Re-entry Program. The re-entry participants are segregated from Angola’s general inmate population. During their incarceration, the re-entry participants receive social, moral and vocational mentoring in addition to hard and soft skills training from a group of mentors and trainers who are inmates serving lifetime sentences. These mentors and trainers have been hand-selected by Angola management after demonstrating a life-change and an interest and skill-set that makes them ideal for training and mentoring others. All participants without a high school degree must also obtain their high school equivalency degree (GED) while incarcerated.
After a period of at least two years and only after completing all phases of the program, the participant is considered for early release by the sentencing reentry court judge. If approved by the reentry court judge, the participant is released from incarceration and placed under the supervision of the reentry court judge and a probation officer for up to five years. While under supervised release, the reentry court participant must meet all conditions of release, which includes meeting with the reentry court judge once per month and submitting to regular drug testing in addition to other criteria.