Assessment of the Transfer of Community Employment Services (CES) from CORCAN to Community Corrections

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Key Words

community employment service, offender employment, community reintegration

What it means

An initial assessment of the transfer of Correctional Service Canada’s (CSC) Community Employment Services (CES) from CORCAN to the Community Reintegration Branch (CRB) did not reveal strong differences in outcomes between the pre-pilot and the pilot models. Given the new model emphasizes building capacity through employer engagement; the full impact of the transfer may not be evident until later in the initiative.

What we found

Overall, results revealed few differences between the pre-pilot model and the pilot model.

Quantitative results revealed:

  • A 13 percentage point increase in CES full-time employment from the pre-pilot to the pilot period.

Qualitative results revealed:

  • Staff experienced some difficulties with the implementation of the new CES model. For instance, challenges in engaging employers were noted, with major themes being offender-specific obstacles (e.g., employers hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record), the ability to build good quality relationships with employers, and the need for more funding for offender training and supplies.
  • The continued incorporation of some aspects of the old model was reported by many staff, particularly the development of an offender’s pre-employment skills prior to job placing. It appeared that many staff continue to work on job-readiness activities to some extent because they find it faster, better quality and they enjoy working with, and getting to know, the offender prior to job placement. 
  • Being part of the community corrections infrastructure was considered a particularly positive aspect of the new model for many staff, as they considered it to improve case management integration. 

Why we did this study

The responsibility for the delivery and management of CES was transferred from CORCAN to CSC’s Community Corrections infrastructure for a two year pilot period. Part of this transition was to change the focus of CES activities from job development to job readiness. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether anticipated outcomes of the pilot project were achieved.

What we did

We used quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine whether there have been improvements in employer engagement and job availability, job placements (number, type, quality, reason left), and offender post-release outcomes (job attainment and maintenance, revocation). Three types of information were used, including: 

  • Staff interviews (N = 44);
  • Archival job-based analyses: all community jobs obtained during a six-month period in 2011 and 2013; and
  • Archival offender-based analyses: all offenders released on their first term during a six-month period in 2011 and 2013 who obtained community employment.     

For more information

Nolan, A., Power, J., Woods, M., & C. Cousineau (2014).  Assessment of the Transfer of Community Employment Services (CES) from CORCAN to Community Corrections Infrastructure (Research Report R-324)Ottawa, ON: Correctional Service of Canada.

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