We support central Iowans returning from prison.
Launched in fall 2018, CIRCA will work with 188 individuals at four locations who are at higher risk for re-committing a crime. The locations are:
- Iowa Correctional Facility for Women in Mitchellville
- Newton Correctional Facility
- Fresh Start Women's Center
- Fort Des Moines Community Correction Center
The goal of the project is to reduce the number of returning citizens who commit another crime to less than 20 percent, compared with the average recidivism rate of 35 percent.
“This grant is a major opportunity to help employers connect with skilled workers who can fill needed jobs, in addition to helping those returning from prison receive greater support so they can successfully re-enter our community. We are looking forward to working with many partners to greatly expand our efforts in this area as a key strategy to help more families achieve financial stability.” - Elisabeth Buck, President, United Way of Central Iowa
The project will work with individuals in the following ways:
Support in securing a job, with a focus on connecting people to jobs in construction, retail and food service, transportation distribution and logistics, and health care
Access to additional education and training as needed
Personal development training
Legal assessment and some additional support for legal issues
Case management to work through challenges based on a successful model in Texas
Why it's needed
Each year, 5,000 citizens return to Iowa after serving time in state prisons. One year after release, 60 percent of people convicted of a crime are not employed, according to the National Institute of Justice, which can lead to additional issues. Most people released from prisons are re-arrested within three years, and 70 percent of children with an incarcerated parent will follow in their parent’s footsteps.
The U.S. Department of Labor is providing all of the funding for the project through a $1.5 million grant. Learn about the project and view our other partners here.
Amber Ramirez, Program Manager
Damonte Stogner, Case Manager
Megan Marsh, Case Manager