CoreCivic is working to help prepare incarcerated individuals for successful reentry by providing innovative workforce tools and training through a partnership with Rebound Training and Employment Services. Rebound trainers teach the skills necessary to become a successful online freelancer or remote worker upon release.
Research from the Bureau of Justice Statistics finds approximately 60 percent of formerly incarcerated individuals struggle with unemployment. By providing job tools and training while incarcerated, CoreCivic is helping increase residents' chances of landing a high-quality, long-term and stable job.
CoreCivic is piloting the Rebound Employment program at five facilities. Those enrolled in the program learn skills to become productive on sites like Upwork.com and Freelancer.com. They also learn nine digital vocations that are most in-demand on those sites. This includes how to design websites, become a virtual assistant, work in customer support and more.
"You can decide where you want to work from, and when you want to work," said Phil Alfaro with Rebound Employment. "I think that's a big thing that makes such a different paradigm than what we're used to."
The Rebound Employment program also gives incarcerated people the opportunity to continue their training and receive coaching and support even after release.
"The whole world had a wakeup call in 2020 with the pandemic and it's really a two-sided coin," Alfaro said. "One is waking up the folks that there's a new way to work. The other is—besides making more money—flexibility."
According to the Freelance Forward 2022 report, freelancers contributed $1.35 trillion to the U.S. economy in annual earnings in 2022. That's $50 billion more than 2021.