Reentry Resources for Employers

Resources for Employers

Over 8,000 individuals are released from DOC incarceration on an annual basis, and upwards of 65,000 individuals are under some form of correctional supervision in the community at any given time. Many of these individuals are eager to reenter the workforce, and DOC provides numerous trainings and opportunities in order to prepare reentering citizens for gainful employment in the community. As employers face continued challenges in hiring and retention, DOC looks to connect job seekers with meaningful employment opportunities throughout the state of Wisconsin.

For additional information on how to connect with job seekers, please email

DOC & DWD Employer Survey Results

Education and Training

DOC offers Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Career & Technical Education (CTE) at 18 correctional institutions and nine correctional centers. ABE programming includes General Education Development (GED); High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED); and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, while CTE programming is offered across 23 different areas of study (Barbering/Cosmetology, Computer Numerical Control, Horticulture, Masonry, Welding, etc.).

DAI Education Services

In the past 10 years, the DOC has expanded its existing programming to offer several short-term CTE training opportunities to better prepare releasing persons in our care for employment in high-demand fields. DOC contracts with local Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) member colleges to provide these training academies, which often occur on campus and culminate in the individual earning a technical diploma or certificate within the span of approximately 2-4 months.

For additional information regarding these CTE Initiatives, please see the CTE - Academies and Mobile Labs Information found in the Reentry Programs Tab. To review the CTE Initiatives by Fiscal Year, please review the Becky Young Reports found in the Annual Reports Tab. You may also reach out to the Reentry Unit for more information at

Job Labs and Employment Programs

DOC offers various employment-readiness programming both in the institutions and in the community. These programs are designed to provide individuals with the resources and skills necessary to obtain and maintain meaningful employment. DOC partners with each local workforce development board throughout Wisconsin to offer the Windows to Work Program , which is designed to provide pre-release programming as well as post-release wraparound services for job attainment and retention.

Further, DOC provides the Community Corrections Employment Program (CCEP), which is designed to provide supportive services for individuals in the community as they seek to obtain meaningful employment. The Windows to Work and CCEP programs also offer various financial incentives for employers to hire individuals with a criminal record. For additional information regarding these programs, please email

DOC, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW) created the first Institution-Based Job Lab in the state of Wisconsin in 2018 at the Oakhill Correctional Institution (OCI). Through this project, persons in our care have access to a host of programs and services, including: career readiness programs, job search assistance, resume development, services for veterans, registered apprenticeships, and assistance for individuals with disabilities. A critical component of this project is the ability for persons in our care to create unique Job Center of Wisconsin (JCW) accounts, which can then be accessed when the individual is released to the community. Due to the success of the OCI project, DOC and DWD have established institution-based job labs at 11 institutions.

For additional information on how to engage with these programs and the job labs, please email

FAQs - Employing Justice Involved Individuals

Question: What are the rules for considering a criminal arrest and/or conviction when hiring?

Answer*: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides guidance in the consideration of arrest and/or conviction records in making employment decisions. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) provides further guidance for employers in this area.

*This information is not intended as legal guidance, nor is it intended to be legal advice. If seeking a legal opinion, please consult with an attorney.

Question: What is “work release” and how do I become a work release employer?

Answer: Work release through the DOC occurs primarily through the Wisconsin Correctional Center System. Some persons in our care who are housed in minimum security DOC facilities earn the privilege of a work release placement, which allows them to work in the community alongside the public during the time they are incarcerated. All persons in our care on work release pay income taxes; room, board and transportation; child support; and restitution owed to victims. Work release pay also provides persons in our care with the opportunity to save money for release. Before an employer can become a work release site, DOC staff will complete a site assessment, which includes a review of work site conditions, as well as proximity to taverns, liquor stores, and adult entertainment establishments (among other factors). If interested in seeking information related to work release, please reach out directly to the nearest DOC facility, or email

Question: If I have someone who works for me that is under correctional supervision in the community, how can I obtain additional information regarding their rules of supervision?

Answer: If an individual is under correctional supervision in the community, he/she will be assigned to a specific Probation/Parole Office. The standard rules of supervision can be found here


There are several incentives in place to promote the hiring of individuals with criminal records. As noted, DOC provides many educational and technical training opportunities for those who are releasing from incarceration. Further, incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to work in various capacities during their period of incarceration. These skills are often transferrable to the community upon release. In addition to hiring trained and motivated workers, employers can also take advantage of several financial incentives for hiring individuals with a criminal background.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program offers federal tax credits to employers as an incentive to hire people in specific target groups. “Ex-Felons” are considered a target group, and they may qualify for the WOTC if they are convicted of a felony or released from prison for a felony within one year of the date of hire. Employers can claim a maximum tax credit of $2,400 per new hire under this category.

The Federal Bonding Program provides Fidelity Bonds to anyone whose background usually leads employers to question their honesty and suitability for employment. “Ex-offenders” are often eligible for a basic $5,000 coverage bond (with a no deductible amount of liability for the employer). Either the employer or the job applicant can request the Fidelity Bond through the Wisconsin Job Center System here.

The Certificate​ of Qualification for Employment (CQE)​ is a certificate for which an individual who is subject to a collateral sanction from a prior criminal conviction may obtain an order of limited relief from certain barriers to employment or licensing in the State of Wisconsin. The prior criminal conviction must have been for a crime other than a violent crime as defined in s. 165.84 (7). The CQE application and further information is provided on the Wisconsin State Public Defenders website.