WATCH | Project JumpStart is helping some ex-convicts learn job skills
Project JumpStart gives ex-cons a shot to succeed
Project JumpStart is a pre-apprenticeship program that teaches ex-convicts the necessary skills to get a job in the construction industry. What separates JumpStart from other similar programs is its strict rules and no-nonsense culture.
This firm approach has led to extraordinary results. JumpStart has over fifty employers who have hired at least one of their graduates.
The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. Further complicating this issue is the recidivism rate. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that three years after being released, about two-thirds of ex-convicts find themselves back behind bars.
Programs like Project Jumpstart are breaking this pattern by helping ex-offenders find jobs. The Department of Justice says that 93% of felons who are employed during supervised release do not return to prison.
There are a lot of programs that are sucking money out of grants, but not really doing a lot for the students who complete them.... A lot of programs would keep people in because they get more money.
Jack Diehl helped design JumpStart but he wasn't fully convinced at the beginning. He eventually signed on as head instructor and started by laying down firm guidelines.
The JumpStart program last 29 days. There is a strict three-strike system in place for the students. The list of violations includes:
- Missing a class for ANY reason
- Showing up late
- Not signing in
- Using a cell phone in class
- Not following safety procedures
JumpStart says that it has roughly 700 graduates with 80% still working in the skilled trades today. McShane works with each student after they graduate to match them with employers who are looking to hire.