Skills Building

2012 Reentry Skills Building Handbook. Forsyth, GA: Georgia Department of Corrections, 2012.

While the local services are Georgia based, the bulk of this handbook contains a wealth of excellent information and resources that will help an ex-offender make a successful transition back into the community. Forms and checklists for the released individual to fill out are spread throughout this guide and make the reentry process less intimidating. Not only giving the ex-offender direction, this handbook can be used by the community corrections practitioner in making sure the reentry process is effective for the ex-offender. Chapters following an introduction about getting organized cover identification, housing, employment, careers, work ethics, transportation, money management, education, applying for social security, health and life skills, mental health, alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and recovery, family and friend relationships, child support, and living under supervision.


Adult Pre-Release Handbook: Pre-Release Information for an Informed Re-Entry and a Successful Transition. 5th ed. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Corrections, 2010.

This guide will help offenders in determining where they are at in terms of preparing for release and in creating a plan to succeed once they leave prison. This handbook contains eleven chapters: identification; life skills; housing; education; transportation; living under supervision; family; restorative justice; health; money management; and employment.


Atkinson, Rhonda, et al. Project Metamorphosis. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections, 1999.

Project Metamorphosis was created to enhance the education and training of adult inmates in order to reduce recidivism. A functionally-contextual educational curriculum was developed integrating basic academic, employability, and cognitive skills training for learners at a variety of skill levels. The newsletter format is utilized within this curriculum because it is appropriate for adult learners and easily duplicated. This website provides access to the eight volumes of this program. Titles of the volumes are: Learning About Project Metamorphosis and self; Success is a Thinking Skill — Work; Keys to Loving Relationships; Success is a Thinking Skill — Decision-Making; Keys to Loving Relationships [part 2]; Finding and Keeping Jobs; Parenting Series; and Money Management.


Bush, Jack, Barry Glick, and Juliana Taymans. Thinking for a Change: Integrated Cognitive Behavior Change Program. Version 3.1. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, 2011.

Thinking for a Change (T4C) is an integrated, cognitive behavior change program for offenders that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and development of problem solving skills. T4C is designed for delivery to small groups in 25 lessons and can be expanded on to meet the needs of specific participant group. The T4C program is used in prisons, jails, community corrections, probation, and parole supervision settings. Participants include adults and juveniles, males and females.


Employment Information Handbook. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Prisons 2011.

This handbook “provides prisoners with contacts and other information that can help them to prepare for release” (p. 2). Sections contained in this guide are: purpose; what to do to prepare for release; employers who hire ex-offenders; federal programs to help ex-offenders; state and federal jobs for ex-offenders; loans and grants; programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor; other programs not directly related to employment; how to get a birth certificate; state contacts for vital documents; how to get a driver’s license; state contacts for driver license information; Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service; how to get money to continue ones education; and appendixes—job search information, sample resume, sample job application, and Federal Bonding Program State Bonding Coordinators.


The Maryland Prison to Work Project: Facilitator’s Resource Handbook. Baltimore: Maryland State Department of Education, 2001.

“[I]nformation, curriculum and activities …proven to be effective with preparing offenders for release, transition, and employment” are provided (p. I-4). The following sections comprise this manual: introduction; course narrative; instructional and career resources–overview, resource list, “The Art of Facilitation,” career readiness handouts covering assessments, general employment information, vital records and employment laws and regulations, career exploration and job search, applications, cover letters and resumes, and interviewing, and instructional activities regarding assessment, exploration, job search, and transition/employment; career center; job fairs; and transition and retention services.


Prisoner Reentry Resource Manual. Anchorage: Alaska Department of Corrections, 2010.

The Reentry Manual includes nine Steps to successful reentry, and is designed to function as both a teacher’s guide and inmate workbook, with space to take notes, checklists to gauge reentry readiness and worksheets to create resumes, budgets and spending logs. Objectives are listed at the beginning of each Step, followed by a simple, step by step process for meeting them.


Ransom, Gary R., and Scott Nicholson. Offender Transition Program: Resource Manual. Washington, DC: U. S. Bureau of Prisons, 2010.

Information for inmates making the transition back into the community is provided in this manual. Resources are organized into the following sections: Internet resources; career exploration; general assistance programs; business/consumer education; substance abuse and mental health; and appendixes covering the Department of Labor state level contacts, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Service Corp of Retired Executives, and the Federal Reserve Bank.


Reasoning Skills Program [Lesson Plan]. Fairfield, IA: Department of Correctional Services, 2005.

Access to the Reasoning Skills Program for offenders on probation is provided. This set of 12 lessons “are designed to help you learn to think more clearly and to show you how to make decisions that get you what you want without creating new problems for yourself or others” (p. 1). Lessons cover: what does it mean to have a problem; responses are not an accident; bicameral mind (emotional and rational decisions); values; management of emotions; Darth Vader versus Robert E. Lee (understanding the dangers of being seduced by the emotions of power, control, and elation); problem solving; fate, nature, and nurture (the negative consequences associated with blaming these for ones problems); callous heart; Insurance Game (to show how the harm done by a criminal act goes far beyond the act itself); Isaiah (that being part of a system contributes its negative consequences even if one does not directly participate in the wrong themselves); and finding your way (life goals).


Simulated Online/Kiosk Job Application. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, 2008.

Each year, more and more employers are requiring job applicants to apply online or at a computer kiosk. Offenders in prisons, jails, parole and probation offices, faith-based agencies, and community-based organizations can use this CD-ROM to practice completing an employment application using a computer that does not have access to the Internet. This simulation training program provides basic information about computerized employment applications, tips for completing online job applications, a printable worksheet that can be used to prepare offenders for using these systems, and a full-length interactive application with context sensitive help. At the completion of the process, the user can print out the information that was entered.

SAMHSA’s Anger Management for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Clients

“Changed for Good:  Anger Management” course…on the Members Only section of the CMCA website