Skip to main content

The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration: Implementation and early impacts of the next generation of subsidized employment programs (Redcross et al., 2016)

  • Findings

    See findings section of this profile.

    Evidence Rating

    Not Rated

Review Guidelines

Absence of conflict of interest.


Redcross, C., Barden, B., Bloom, D., Broadus, J., Thompson, J., & Williams, S. (2016). The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration: Implementation and early impacts of the next generation of subsidized employment programs. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


  • The study’s objective was to examine the implementation of the RecycleForce program, which provided subsidized transitional employment, training and social and economic supports for formerly incarcerated individuals.
  • The study authors conducted an implementation evaluation using qualitative and quantitative data from interviews with staff and participants, focus groups with participants, observations, and surveys.
  • The study found that high proportions of participants took part in program services. Many participants were employed in transitional jobs for longer than four months, with participants working 72 days on average. Service partners were unable to replicate the peer mentoring program component.
  • The data used in the implementation study included both qualitative and quantitative data collection. However, the data collection methods and analysis are not fully discussed.
  • The companion impact study was reviewed by CLEAR in June 2022.

Intervention Examined

RecycleForce Program

Features of the Intervention

  • Type of Organization: Social enterprise
  • Location/setting: Indianapolis, IN
  • Population served and scale: Justice involved, adults, unemployed; 500 served
  • Industry focus: Not included
  • Intervention activities: Subsidized transitional employment; social and economic supports
  • Organizational partnerships: Employers, non-profits
  • Cost: Not included
  • Fidelity: Not included

The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded seven organizations to operate transitional job programs for low-income noncustodial parents or formerly incarcerated individuals. RecycleForce, a program of social enterprise RecycleForce Inc. of Indianapolis, IN, provided training for formerly incarcerated individuals to support employment and to assist participants in community reintegration. RecycleForce was originally a transitional jobs program for formerly incarcerated individuals that offered up to 35 hours of employment, job and soft-skills training, peer mentoring, and case management. Through the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD) grant, the RecycleForce program lengthened the transitional employment period and added more service components to the existing model, which included: support for the transition to unsubsidized employment; child support consultation services for noncustodial parents; and a transitional job pathway with a city agency. RecycleForce also added two partners to assist with these additional service components: Educational Data Systems, Inc. (EDSI) to handle employment placement, verification, and unsubsidized job retention; and Child Support Consulting of Indiana to assist program participants who were noncustodial parents with child support issues. Participants worked in subsidized, temporary jobs at one of three social enterprises as soon as they were assigned to the program. They received social and economic support and help in obtaining permanent employment, including occupational training, case management, job development, work-related financial support, and child support assistance. To be eligible, participants had to be formerly incarcerated individuals aged 18 and older. Participants also had to meet the following requirements: receive a medium to high score on the Indiana Risk Assessment System, an assessment to determine risk of reoffending; not be in violation of supervision; and meet DOL grant-related requirements (released from a federal or state prison within the past 120 days, no recent history of working four quarters or more with the same employers, never convicted of a sex offense, and convicted of a crime as an adult under federal or state law).

Features of the Study

The program was implemented in Indianapolis, IN. Five hundred participants were enrolled in the study between November 2011 through December 2013. The study used both qualitative and quantitative data to address the research questions. The qualitative data were collected across multiple site visits and included interviews with program administrators and program staff, interviews; focus groups with program participants; and program observations. The implementation study’s quantitative data included program data to track program participation and services provided, along with a survey of program participants. The authors did not provide any information on the analysis methods used for the qualitative and quantitative data collected.


Intervention activities/services

  • The study found that case management was implemented as planned.
  • The study found that collaboration through peer mentoring was not implemented by program partners as intended. Of the three partners participating in Indiana’s program, RecycleForce was the only partner at which peer mentors and case managers met three times a week.
  • The study found that 100% of participants were employed in transitional jobs.
  • The study found that participants frequently received extensions beyond the four-month program period, and participants spent an average of 5.3 months in the program.  
  • The study found that employment and retention services changed during the study, with RecycleForce taking on most of the job development and verification that was originally done in collaboration with EDSI.
  • The study found that the program met its recruitment targets.
  • The study found that high proportions of participants took part in education and job training (close to 95%) and received work-related support (90%).

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The study authors do not provide details regarding the data collection methods and analyses. The study authors do not describe the observations made during study visits or the qualitative interview data coding or analysis. There is no information on how personal data was kept confidential during data analysis.

Additional Sources

Barden, B., Juras, R., Redcross, C., Farrell, M., & Bloom, D. (2018). New Perspectives on Creating Jobs: Final Impacts of the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs. Washington, D.C: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Reviewed by CLEAR

August 2023

Topic Area

Topic Area