Investing Justice Resources to Address Community Needs

Research Report

Investing Justice Resources to Address Community Needs

Lessons Learned from Colorado’s Work and Gain Education and Employment Skills (WAGEES) Program

Abstract

In this report, we highlight Colorado's Work and Gain Education and Employment Skills (WAGEES) program, which represents one of the first partnerships between a state department of corrections and local community organizations to support community-driven public safety investment. The report describes the WAGEES program and shares lessons learned for other states interested in exploring a community-based public safety investment strategy. Qualitative interviews with stakeholders suggest that directing resources to community-based organizations can strengthen efforts to support people returning home from prison. With more than half of states already taking steps in the last decade to reduce the number of people under correctional control, WAGEES is a strong example for how funds saved can be reinvested beyond the traditional criminal justice system.

Centers

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