TEEM's Reentry Services program serves incarcerated individuals who are six to nine months from being released from prison. Services begin pre-release and continue 12 months post release. This program works to prepare participants to secure and maintain meaningful employment, thus tax consumers into tax producers and helping ease incarceration costs for the state by reducing recidivism.
Education is one of the foremost barriers individuals impacted by incarceration face. Lack of education and lack of access to educational resources are major issues facing individuals as they endeavor to rebuild their lives and secure employment. TEEM works to overcome this barrier by providing GED preparation, computer navigation, keyboarding, job skills training and soft skills classes. These courses not only give our participants the credentials they need to secure employment, but also the confidence and relational skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.
Our programs are evidence-based and supported by research. Classes offered at TEEM are approved by the Department of Corrections.
The Job Placement department at TEEM is committed to training and preparing our participants for long-term, successful employment. Securing full-time employment nearly cuts in half recidivism rates for individuals transitioning out of incarceration. We individually assess our participants’ skills, passions and goals and work to lay out a path to achieving those goals. TEEM’s ‘Ready For Work’ classes equip our participants with the tools and information necessary to successfully secure employment, including resume writing, interview coaching, job searching and dressing professionally. Our commitment to success goes beyond removing the barrier of joblessness. We strive to help our clients build confidence, live purposefully and put an end to the cycle of incarceration. Job Placement helps our clients move beyond the walls and stigma of their pasts and pave the road to self-sufficiency.
Individuals transitioning out of incarceration must not only overcome the physical walls keeping them from a successful life, but also the social stigma attached to their pasts. TEEM’s Job Placement department works to build relationships with businesses throughout Oklahoma City and its surrounding areas, giving our participants the chance to apply for their open positions. Individuals who complete TEEM’s Job Placement program have a proven work ethic and tangible skills to offer. Through strategic partnerships, we help our clients gain skills employers are looking for, such as forklift certification, commercial driver’s licenses and more. Your organization can get involved by providing internship and employment opportunities to our participants, or volunteering your time as a guest speaker in our classes.
BENEFITS OF JOB PLACEMENT:
Ready for Work
- Ready for Work’ is a six-week course that equips students with the necessary tools for successfully establishing a career. It provides a comprehensive framework for searching and securing a career. The course also focuses on appropriate workplace etiquette and how to prosper and thrive in a work environment.
- Upon completion of ‘Ready for Work’ students are equipped with the information, confidence and skills to be a valuable employee and self-sufficient citizen.
- Students have the option to receive a free haircut and access to our professional clothing closet.
- Students have the appropriate identification to work.
- Job Placement TEEM members are available for additional support and guidance during the application and interviewing process.
- TEEM assists clients with federal bonding.
- TEEM utilizes a 18-month service model to insure participants are equipped with the necessary tools needed for self-sufficiency. Once enrolled participants graduate TEEM's program, they are eligible for 12-months worth of services.
TEEM’s case managers help our participants overcome the barriers holding them from finding and keeping employment. We work to set our participants on an individual path to self-sufficiency and to help them achieve their goals. To make the re-entry process successful and smooth, we help our participants secure transportation, identification, housing, appropriate clothing and any other needs. Through direct action and referrals to other community resources, we systematically eliminate the potential barriers our participants face. Our case managers act as the catalyst in helping individuals find and practically prepare for meaningful employment.
Our participants are also paired with a one-on-one mentor six months before their release date to provide support, stability and friendship as they prepare for to transition back into the community. TEEM mentors walk alongside our participants as they take steps to ensure a successful re-entry into society. In organizations like TEEM, individuals who are paired with a mentor are twice as likely to find and maintain gainful employment. Because many of our participants lack healthy role models and adequate support, mentors play a vital role in helping achieve success in the workplace and in personal life.
For many incarcerated individuals, charges and fines only multiply following conviction. Once offenders are released from prison, corrections fines and family law matters make the reentry process more difficult. TEEM houses an attorney through Legal Aid to help participants with these and other issues.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma provides legal assistance, including expungements, reinstatement of driver's licenses, and family law matters to TEEM participants. In 2014, Legal Aid placed a full-time attorney in-house at TEEM to better meet the needs of our participants. This service provides a great asset to participants as they work towards becoming contributing community members.