Job Posting: Reentry Specialist
Reports to: Director of Reentry Services
Program Summary: In the past few years, BSM has experienced an increasing number of guests who have been recently released from jail or prison. Meanwhile, criminal justice reforms and mass de-incarceration initiatives suggest this trend will continue to accelerate. BSM seeks to support this population through their unique challenges by establishing the Reentry Services Program (Program). In collaboration with service providers, employers, key agencies of the criminal justice system, and formerly incarcerated advocates for reform, the program seeks to remove barriers and increase opportunities for fuller participation in mutually supportive community.
The BSM Reentry Services Program (Program) will engage individuals pre and post release to assess and respond to immediate needs and goals of increased stability, community engagement, and personal and professional growth. This includes meals, clothes, a mailing address, benefits enrollment, obtaining ID, needs- and work-readiness assessments, appropriate referrals to employers or educational/job-training programs and community resources, connection to medical and behavioral health services, as well as improved knowledge and self-advocacy related to the criminal justice system and civic rights and processes.
The Reentry Specialist (RS) will play a critical role in the transition from our two-year reentry and workforce pilot to our evolving reentry program, working in tandem with the Director of Reentry Services to ensure fruitful partnerships for a shared impact approach, as well as meaningful outcomes for program participants. This newly created position will work with the larger HC team, our partners, employers, and community resources to connect formerly incarcerated individuals to needed services as well as civic, educational and professional opportunities. The tasks of coordinating and developing our partnerships with employers such as First Step Staffing and reentry supports such as the Pennsylvania Prison Society—specifically its volunteer mentoring program—are expected to be key responsibilities of this position.
The RS will work closely with the Director of Reentry Services (Director) to develop program components and practices, while collaborating in an ongoing way with BSM’s Concierge team and, eventually, with additional interns, program associates and staff assigned to the program. The RS will maintain a focus on developing trusting relationships to connect recently incarcerated guests to needed services and care. These relationships will then lead over time to reduced recidivism and increased access to benefits, employment, education, behavioral health services, and possible housing opportunities with support from BSM and its community partners.
The Reentry Specialist (RS) will also be responsible for performing a needs assessment for participating guests, in order to identify the most appropriate supports and services addressing potential medical and behavioral health concerns, housing options, work readiness and employment opportunities, while reducing instances of recidivism and mitigating its destabilizing effects when re-offending does occur. Once participants are enrolled in services, education programs or employed, the Reentry Specialist will oversee and supplement regular contact with participants and their enrollments or employers. Together with the participants, the Reentry Director and the broader Concierge Team, the Reentry Specialist will contribute to individualized service plans seeking to reduce or remove potential barriers to retention and success.
Position Summary: The Reentry Specialist will work closely with the program director to serve as point of entry for participants and to services at BSM services, conducting intakes and assessments to identify appropriate referrals; to facilitate regular contact with participants to maximize retention and outcomes; and, to develop and oversee partnerships to expand options for employment, education and deeper civic and community engagement, including a class curriculum and mentoring program in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Prison Society.
The RS will work primarily during normal business hours, but the ideal candidate will be available on occasional weekends and evening hours as needed. Although based in-house with hours overlapping with BSM’s central hospitality services, the RS is also expected to support outreach efforts with potential participants in the community as well as prior to release from the Philadelphia County Prison System and select State Correctional Institutions. The RS is also expected to maintain official visitation status throughout the State and County prison systems.
We are looking for a highly energetic, divergent thinker interested in creating an atmosphere of hospitality, emphasizing self-selection of goals and services, amplifying each participant’s unique definition of personal, community, educational and professional success. Our ideal candidate has a minimum of 3 years of experience and a demonstrated capacity for collaborating with teams and volunteers, with the expectation that responsibilities will increase. Knowledge of the criminal justice system and reentry resources in Philadelphia is strongly preferred; special consideration will be given to persons with expertise and lived experience in order to center the voice of those directly impacted by incarceration and the criminal justice system.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Work closely with BSM leadership, the Social Services team and program director to expand the capacity of the Reentry Program. This will include developing collaborative and productive relationships with a wide array of partners, including local workforce development agencies and employers, the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, Adult Probation & Parole, the Reentry Coalition, and peer-led reentry mentoring programs.
- Develop trusting relationships with program participants and volunteer mentors, engaging them towards resources offered by BSM and its partners for employment, job training, education, mental health, substance abuse, physical health, legal issues, and (when possible) housing counseling.
- Perform work readiness assessments and intakes for Program participants, tracking progress and outputs using case notes and BSM’s Management Information System (MIS), and facilitating referrals to appropriate services to ensure a smooth and established connection.
- Pair participants with concierges, interns and volunteer mentors, facilitating regular in-person and phone sessions to monitor participants’ progress and ensure retention.
- Provide technical support to concierges, interns and volunteer mentors regarding resources and systems available for returning citizens.
- Host and assist in facilitating regular one-on-one mentoring, group work and special events strengthening cohort bonds and highlighting challenges and policies concerning formerly incarcerated individuals.
- Conduct regular follow-up with employers/educational/training programs to troubleshoot barriers to retention, providing directive feedback to BSM concierges and volunteer mentors as needed.
- Develop new partnerships with educational, job skills training and employment providers to facilitate appropriate referrals for participants.
- Assist in arranging, scheduling job interviews and program intakes for participants, screening and addressing potential barriers to entry.
- Coordinate with HC team and partners to ensure effective direct service for participating guests.
- Participate in relevant service provider groups, advocacy coalitions, and city policy workgroups to build BSM’s capacity to influence conversations around policies and reforms improving opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals, including but not limited to the Workforce Subcommittee of the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition.
- A minimum of three years experience working in services for people who have been recently released from incarceration, and/or demonstrated track record in coordinating and collaborating with teams and volunteers.
- Intermediate training and/or experience in supervising others and overseeing projects.
- Commitment to improving the experience of transition from incarceration for individuals, as well as advocating for better services and policies for persons impacted by mass incarceration.
- Flexibility and openness to working in a fast-paced environment with guests from diverse racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds while managing the administrative, capacity-building and data-reporting needs of a new program.
- Strong communications skills.
- Strong organizational skills and sufficient proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite or similar programs, comfort with basic database skills.
- Strong boundaries.
- Eligibility for visitation / volunteer status to County and State prisons.
Please send a cover letter and resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Reentry Specialist.
Please no telephone or walk-in inquiries. EOE. Unfortunately, only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.