Windows to Work

Windows to Work Testimonial - Jonathan

When Jonathan was in the final year of a three year sentence, for possession of controlled substances and multiple theft charges relating to his drug addiction, he enrolled in Windows to Work while he was incarcerated at Oakhill Correctional Institution.  Jonathan enrolled because he really wanted to make significant changes with his life upon his release.

Once Jonathan was released he attended Windows to Work Job Club at the Dane County Job Center on a weekly basis. Jonathan's only work history was with a family member's company.  Though he had the option to go back to work there, it was an unhealthy environment for him. Luckily Jonathan was able to use the company as a reference. Jonathan also faced additional challenges as he attempted to stay away from "the old crowd" that would lead him back to drug use and self-destruction.

About three weeks after his release and a lot of hard work applying for jobs Jonathan was offered an entry-level position with a local manufacturing company making $12.50 per hour. Jonathan made a decision to make his job his first priority and succeed in learning his position and anything else his employer would teach him. After nine months of dedication to himself and his job Jonathan was offered a promotion and a pay increase to $14/hour!  At the one year anniversary of being released from prison Jonathan is celebrating his job success and reaching his goals.

Windows to Work (WTW) provides re-entry tools, support and career coaching services to incarcerated individuals beginning 3-12 months prior to release and for approximately one year post-release. While the Workforce Development Boards manage the program throughout the state, EATA administers the Windows to Work program at Oakhill Correctional Institution. Interested individuals must enroll while in the Institution.

This program is designed to address individual’s criminogenic needs that can lead to recidivism including: employment, education, anti-social cognition, anti-social personality and anti-social companions. The program’s goals are to reduce recidivism for participants after their release from incarceration, increase employment placement opportunities, increase lengths of employment retention and increase wages.

While incarcerated participants complete a 12-week program to prepare for their release. The Windows to Work program curriculum consists of cognitive intervention, general work skills and expectations, community resources assistance with applications and resumes and job seeking. Once released the participant works one-on-one with their Windows to Work Coach while looking for employment and/or training opportunities. The program also has a financial assistance component to assist with transitioning back to the community. Financial Assistance may be provided on a case-by-case basis and can be utilized for work-related clothing, transportation, housing and education.

FFor more information about this program, please contact Julie Larson, Windows to Work Coach at (608) 242-7414.