About the Study

In 2022, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Employment and Training Administration’s Reentry Employment Opportunity (REO) Program to fund Mathematica, Inc. and its subcontractors—RTI International and Abt Associates—to conduct the Partners for Reentry Opportunities in Workforce Development (PROWD) Grants Evaluation. The PROWD grants effort is a first-of-its-kind partnership between DOL and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons to support states’ provision of employment-related reentry services to people in minimum- and low-security federal prisons, residential reentry centers, and the community. In 2022 and 2023, DOL awarded funding to grantees in sixteen states. The PROWD grants aim to improve employment outcomes, strengthen communities where grant programs operate, and increase justice and workforce system partnerships.

The PROWD Grants Evaluation aims to understand the implementation and impact of reentry employment programs that prepare people exiting federal prisons to find and maintain good jobs after release. The evaluation includes foundational fact-finding activities including a synthesis of recent research, early and full implementation studies of the PROWD grants, and an impact and cost-benefit evaluability assessment and study. It also includes a sub-study on the outcomes of participants of registered apprenticeship programs in federal prisons. The evaluation design and activities are informed by experts with lived experience, PROWD grantees, and researchers with expertise in the field.

This Department of Labor-funded study builds on evaluations of prior DOL reentry efforts, including the Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release and Pathway Home grants, which focused on incarceration at the state and local levels. The PROWD Grants Evaluation will help build the evidence base about what works for employment-focused reentry programs serving people exiting federal prisons.

Project Duration: 60 Months

Contract End Date: September 2027

Contractor: Mathematica, Inc

For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.