The Vocational and Life Skills Program was created by Nebraska Legislative Bill 907 in 2014 with the goals of reducing recidivism and increasing employment for individuals who are incarcerated, who have been incarcerated within the prior 18 months or who are under parole or probation supervision. Participants must begin programming under these conditions, but they may continue programming as the program sees fit for his or her individual needs. Eight programs were funded in Grant Cycle 2, which runs from July 2016-June 2018. The Nebraska Center for Justice Research (NCJR) evaluation was initiated in May 2016 with the primary goal of identifying types of programming and services that best serve the population by reducing recidivism and increasing employment. We provide support to grantees through trainings and site visits as needed and manage all participant data that is entered into the online data management system that was created specifically for Vocational and Life Skills data collection. We also provide feedback and information to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) on the implementation process and data updates on a monthly and quarterly basis.
This grant cycle has built upon the work of many programs and the NDCS reentry team in the first grant cycle, which has increased capacity to provide programming as well as increased the ability to gather data on participants in these programs. In recent months, VLS has benefitted from continued service expansion in programming as well as more local and state interest in connecting reentry resources to one another to better serve participants. The establishment of a reentry advisory council and having an opportunity to speak to Nebraska State Legislators greatly increased the visibility of the Vocational and Life Skills programming in the state. This report details evaluation updates and participant data from Quarter 1 through Quarter 7 of this grant cycle. New information from Quarter 7 is added to the text of this report from previous quarters. All graphs and tables are current through Quarter 7.
UNO Nebraska Center for Justice Research and Peterson, Johanna, "Vocational and Life Skills Quarterly Report: Quarter 7 (January-March 2018)" (2018). Reports. 33.