START is more than a program, START-OPP is a partner.
START-OPP brings together employers, corrections entities, supervision agencies and reentry service providers to help returning citizens.
START-OPP gives returning citizens the tools to succeed in their “next chapter,” and provides employers the tools they need to make START participants their most successful employees.
Each stakeholder has different needs:
- Corrections need training programs to prepare releasing individuals
- Returning citizens need skills-training, a living-wage job, and reentry support
- Employers need workers, and they need help supporting returning citizen employees
- Supervising agencies and reentry service providers need access to clients and compliance with conditions
START-OPP is a resource for all stakeholders, to help each party achieve a successful outcome.
Upon release from prison, many people struggle to obtain identification and other prerequisites for employment and housing.
- Driver’s license or birth certificate
- Bank account
- Cell phone
- Stable housing
- Social services
START-OPP’s mentorship and network of wrap-around service providers help START program participants navigate these challenges, paving the way to stable employment.
Where START-OPP started
START-OPP was incubated by the Aleph Institute, a leading chaplaincy and criminal justice advocacy non-profit in North America, serving the breadth of US jails and prisons. Aleph has provided reentry support services to thousands of returning citizens during its 40 years of operations, and is keenly aware of the impact of both meaningful employment and unemployment on clients’ odds of successful reentry.
This deep experience and understanding of the criminal justice process in the US, and the relationships that Aleph has built not only with corrections and supervision, but also with corporate America as a leading voice in sentencing and corrections reform, shaped the launch of START-OPP with the focus on ensuring returning citizens are set up for success.
START-OPP’s team includes criminal justice advocacy and policy experts, experienced business leadership, organizational behavior leadership, human resource leadership, corrections leadership and a combined 30 years lived experience as incarcerated individuals or family members of incarcerated individuals.
START-OPP is the grateful recipient of a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation.
START-OPP believes in iterative learning and development. In order to create a program that is properly responsive to constituent needs, it must be smart enough to track reactions, flexible enough to react to real-time outcomes, and agile enough to react in a meaningful timeframe.
We recognize that candidates, employers, corrections and supervision all have different requirements and that there is no single program blueprint. Individual employers have different needs and each employer partner program must be custom tailored to ensure success for both the employer and its START employees.
We craft each new program based on the needs of each individual actor. By having START-OPP team members from each actor category including returning citizens, employers and corrections, START-OPP is able to anticipate problems and solutions and to communicate these solutions in a way that makes sense to each player.
START-OPP is committed to a 360’ strategy for successful reentry.