Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

Legacy Collection

Innovation. Research. Action.

After almost 35 years Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) has ceased operations. The organization leaves behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, including hundreds of research reports, case studies and evaluations about how best to improve programs and outcomes for children, youth and families. We are fortunate that P/PV has decided to archive its publications collection with the Foundation Center's IssueLab so that practitioners can benefit from this knowledge for years to come.

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Supporting Second Chances: Employment Strategies for Reentry Programs

February 8, 2013

The Second Chance Act supports a range of reentry programs around the country, designed to help those returning from jail or prison make a successful transition to life on the outside. In 2008, the Annie E. Casey Foundation commissioned Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) to create a resource that would be useful for Second Chance Act grantees as they develop employment strategies, by distilling lessons from research on a range of employment programs. "Supporting Second Chances" offers concrete suggestions for practitioners, based on a review of relevant literature and P/PV's own extensive experience with reentry and workforce development research and programming. The guide explores strategies in three major areas:Services aimed at helping people find immediate employment;Services that provide paid job experiences to participants; andServices that help people gain occupational skills.For each area, we provide: an overview of the approach, including its history and a brief definition; a high-level summary of the most recent and rigorous research available about the approach; an example of the approach in action; key "takeaways" for Second Chance Act grantees and other programs serving formerly incarcerated individuals; and where to go to learn more.Since the ultimate success of an employment strategy may hinge on a range of additional supports, the guide also features a section called "Beyond Getting a Job," which presents three approaches to help formerly incarcerated individuals get the most out of their paychecks and move into better jobs. The final section synthesizes lessons drawn from across the studies reviewed for the guide.

The Least of These: Amachi and the Children of Prisoners

July 31, 2012

There is no rule book for creating, implementing and sustaining a successful social intervention. Hundreds, if not thousands, of now-defunct social programs attest to this reality. These programs may have succeeded in identifying a social need, a cogent and sometimes creative way of meeting that need, and some capacity (both financial and operational) to launch the effort.These are necessary elements -- but not sufficient ones. The social policy field does not consistently recognize or reward good ideas. Success is often as much a product of unusual circumstances -- confluence of the right time, the right idea and the right people -- as it is a result of inherent program quality and effectiveness.The Amachi program is a prime illustration of the unpredictable nature of success in the social policy arena. Its success resulted from a nearly unique blend of factors -- Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), which had been studying the issue of relationships as a way of helping young people for almost two decades; the Pew Charitable Trusts' interest in the potential of faith-based organizations to meet social needs; the well-known academic John DiIulio, who was looking for practical ways to put Pew's interest into action; a source of stabilizing program knowledge (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America); and finally a leader, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., whose combination of personal contacts, managerial knowledge and experience, and dedication to the idea of Amachi was decisive in making the program a success locally, and later nationally.Politics also played a role: the election of a president (in 2000) interested in faith-based initiatives; DiIulio's role in steering the president's attention to Amachi during its early days in Philadelphia; and the way that attention led to a sustained national focus (with federal program funding) on the target group Amachi was designed to serve: children of prisoners. The interplay of these factors -- along with good luck and good timing -- is in many ways the core of the Amachi story, which is detailed in the pages that follow.

Mentoring Former Prisoners: A Guide for Reentry Programs

November 1, 2009

Few social programs have attempted to provide high-risk adults -- and, particularly, former prisoners -- with mentors. And thus there are few resources that offer practical advice and recommendations for mentoring this population, given its distinct needs, assets and challenges. While much remains to be tested and learned, this manual draws on the experience of the 11 sites involved in P/PV'sReady4Work prisoner reentry demonstration, as well as established best practices in the mentoring field, to provide guidelines for practitioners who are interested in developing a mentoring program to support former prisoners and enhance the effectiveness of other reentry services, such as employment and case management services.The guide was originally published by the US Department of Labor in November 2007 under the title Mentoring Ex-Prisoners: A Guide for Prisoner Reentry Programs. However, because of growing interest in establishing mentoring programs as part of larger reentry efforts around the country, P/PV decided to reissue the guide, along with updated information related to P/PV's evaluation of Ready4Work (particularly findings published in Mentoring Formerly Incarcerated Adults, 2009.)

Working Dads: Final Report on the Fathers at Work Initiative Executive Summary

October 1, 2009

This executive summary draws on findings from P/PV's evaluation of Fathers at Work, a national demonstration funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The demonstration was designed to help low-income noncustodial fathers increase their employment and earnings, become more involved in their children's lives, and provide them with more consistent financial support.The Fathers at Work programs offered a unique combination of job training and placement, child support and fatherhood services at six well-established community-based organizations in Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, CA; and Roanoke, VA. Our findings suggest that the programs produced important benefits for participants, including increased earnings and child support payments.The summary presents an overview of the initiative's implementation activities and participant outcomes and explores implications for policy, programs and researchers.

Mentoring Formerly Incarcerated Adults: Insights from the Ready4Work Reentry Initiative

February 10, 2009

This report explores mentoring as a tool for supporting the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals within the context of a larger reentry strategy -- in this case, the Ready4Workmodel. Ready4Work was a three-year national demonstration designed to address the needs of the growing ex-prisoner population and to test the capacity of community- and faith-based organizations to meet those needs. This report describes Ready4Work's mentoring component; it examines the extent to which mentoring was attractive to participants, the types of adults who volunteered to serve as mentors and how receipt of mentoring was related to participants' outcomes, including program retention, job placement, and recidivism. While this research was not designed to assess the precise impact of mentoring on formerly incarcerated adults, it provides a first look at how mentoring, or supportive relationships more broadly, can fit into comprehensive reentry efforts.

From Options to Action: A Roadmap for City Leaders to Connect Formerly Incarcerated Individuals to Work

May 1, 2008

On February 28, 2008, P/PV, along with The United States Conference of Mayors, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and the City of New York, convened the Mayors Summit on Reentry and Employment, where 150 city leaders, policymakers, practitioners and academics came together from more than 20 cities to share strategies for connecting formerly incarcerated people to the labor market. From Options to Action was inspired and informed by discussions that took place at the Summit, as well as P/PV's experience in the field and a review of pertinent literature. It is meant to provide a framework for reentry efforts, with guidance for cities in early planning phases as well as those implementing more advanced strategies. The report presents practical steps for achieving a more coordinated, comprehensive approach to reentry at the city level, including identifying and convening relevant stakeholders, addressing city-level barriers to employment, engaging the business community and working with county, state and federal leaders to implement collaborative approaches and produce needed policy change.Because mayors and other municipal leaders are confronted with the day-to-day reality of prison and jail reentry and see its detrimental effects in their cities, many have already begun to seek out, test and refine lasting solutions. We hope this publication will support their efforts, as they work to interrupt the revolving door of recidivism -- and offer hope to returning prisoners, their families and communities.

From Options to Action: A Roadmap for City Leaders to Connect Formerly Incarcerated Individuals to Work Executive Summary

May 1, 2008

The executive summary of From Options to Action summarizes the six practical steps outlined in the full report for achieving a more coordinated, comprehensive approach to reentry at the city level:Getting the Lay of the Land details the planning phases of citywide reentry initiatives, from identifying stakeholders to using data to understand how to invest resources.Assembling a Task Force suggests essential elements for ensuring the effectiveness of a citywide task force, including establishing a clear set of goals, timeline and measures of success.Making Collaboration Work explores strategies for coordinating among city agencies; county, state and government; and community- and faith-based organizations.Addressing City-Level Barriers to Employment encourages city leaders to take a comprehensive inventory of legal barriers to employment and ensure their own hiring practices do not discriminate unfairly against those with a criminal record.Engaging the Business Community addresses strategies for working closely with the private sector to create employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.Taking It to the Next Level suggests state and federal policy changes that city leaders may seek to influence.

Ready4Work In Brief: Update on Outcomes; Reentry May Be Critical for States, Cities

May 30, 2007

This issue of P/PV In Brief provides updated data from the Ready4Work prisoner reentry initiative, with a focus on the prison crisis occurring in many cities and states. While much more research is needed to understand the true, long-term impact of prisoner reentry initiatives, outcomes from Ready4Work were extremely promising in terms of education, employment and program retention, with recidivism rates among Ready4Work participants 34 to 50 percent below the national average.Funded by the US Department of Labor and the Annie E. Casey and Ford foundations, Ready4Work was a three-year national demonstration project designed to address the needs of the growing ex-prisoner population and to test the capacity of community- and faith-based organizations to meet those needs. Ready4Work programs provided employment services, case management and mentoring in 11 adult sites around the country (data from seven juvenile sites are being analyzed separately).

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