Data Management for Pre- and Post-Release Workforce Services

Issue Brief, Lessons from LEAP
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
May 31, 2018
Authors
Jillian Stein

Key Findings:

  • Gaining access to corrections data was critical to providing AJC services in the jail—from recruitment, to service delivery, to planning for release.
  • Most sites relied on a mix of paper files and multiple MISs to track participant data. Key challenges included the strict security of justice data, lack of capacity to modify existing databases, and lack of staff internet access from within jails.
  • Aggregating data from multiple sources and entering it into multiple systems created capacity challenges for many sites. Staff often had to double- and sometimes triple-enter information across systems.

In 2015, 20 LEAP grantees established jail-based AJCs to offer employment-related services to incarcerated individuals and connect them to further support immediately upon their release into the community. To successfully provide—and link—these jail- and community-based services, grantees needed to collect and synthesize data gathered by different stakeholders, including jail administrators, workforce administrators, case managers in the jail- and community-based AJCs, partner service providers, and participants. For most grantees, this was their first attempt to track data across corrections and workforce systems. Decisions included whether to use or modify existing data systems and how to manage data flow between organizations. This brief describes how grantees collected, managed, and used data to recruit inmates, track service delivery from pre- to post-release, stay in touch with participants, and measure outcomes.