An Innovative State Partnership Program

Hassan A. Latif, Executive Director, Second Chance Center

Colorado enacted legislation in 2014 to establish the Work and Gain Education & Employment Skills (WAGEES) program, which directs state resources for grants to community-led organizations that serve a local client base of formerly incarcerated people who are navigating the reentry process. The program is available to people currently on parole who are assessed as medium risk and high risk to recidivate by the Colorado Department of Corrections Division of Adult Parole. Throughout the program, the grantmaking intermediary, Latino Coalition for Community Leadership, provides administrative oversight as well as leadership, resources, and capacity-building skills to help WAGEES partners meet the needs of their communities.

As other states consider community safety investment models of their own, the WAGEES program is a strong case study to guide future efforts. Key findings from this model are outlined in “Investing Justice Resources to Address Community Needs.”

For more information on Colorado’s work in this space, visit Transforming Safety Colorado.


Photo credit: James Chance, Chance Multimedia