About the Program
The Baltimore Ex-Offender Reentry Program, also known as BERE, is a retraining program focused on providing job placement services for justice-involved individuals in Baltimore, Maryland. Launched by the Work First Foundation in 2009, the BERE program reflects our belief that finding work is an important step to combating recidivism. Far too often, the stigma faced by justice-involved individuals bars them from being employed and earning a stable income, keeps them isolated from the community, and makes it easier for them to fall back into a life of crime. The BERE program works to stop this cycle once and for all.
How it Works
When justice-involved individuals enroll in the Baltimore Ex-Offender Reentry Employment Program, we provide them with both hard and soft skills training, opportunities to earn certifications, resume and interview preparation, and career support. For justice-involved individuals, our work helps to provide a valuable support system that supports them in during the difficult and challenging process of reentry.
The Work First Foundation and our partners have graduated over 1000 justice-involved individuals and have placed nearly 700 into employment. The recidivism rate for program graduates is consistently below the recidivism rates in Maryland and nation-wide. The BERE program gives justice-involved individuals the access to jobs and educational opportunities that they desperately need. In doing so, the BERE program has a positive impacts on not only their lives, but their friends and family, the cost to taxpayers, low-income neighborhoods, and employment rates.
FACTS AND NUMBERS
last updated 8/15/19
National 5-Year Recidivism Rate
BERE PARTICIPANTS RECIDIVISM RATE
SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED TRAINING
TOTAL PARTICIPANTS ENROLLED
program graduation rate
tRAINING cLASSES cOMPLETED
In 2017, the Work First Foundation hosted a seminar with keynote speaker Lt. Governor of Maryland Boyd Rutherford to share the success of the BERE program. At the event, our Chairman of the Board also presented on the important consequences that reentry has for families.
Today, the BERE program continues to be a success in reducing recidivism and strengthening community in the city of Baltimore. The Work First Foundation is always looking for new opportunities to expand our program. By connecting with us on funding and outreach opportunities, we can take and bring our model to new cities and regions.
In the Media
Read what one of our 2016-2017 Work First Fellows had to say about the importance of offering justice-involved individuals an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and get their lives back on track.