Wildcat Service Corporation, founded in 1972 by visionary social entrepreneur Herb Sturz, was the first organization in the United States to design and implement a transitional work program for unemployed persons with criminal convictions. Since our founding, Wildcat has continued to add innovative services and programs centered on transitional employment, job placement and workforce development to help justice-involved individuals, the homeless, the chronically unemployed and public assistance recipients achieve economic wellbeing.
As a pioneer in transitional employment, Wildcat touches the lives of tens of thousands of justice-involved individuals and their families. We are proud that our work informs the national conversation about mass incarceration and justice reform.
Our work rests on three pillars:
- Economic Stability
Almost all incarcerated individuals return to their communities. These individuals face significant barriers to successful reentry including:
- Social Networks
- Untreated mental health and substance disorders
- The psychological trauma of prison.
Policymakers across the political spectrum agree that employment is crucial to reduce recidivism. Stable, supervised work provides a framework for a daily routine that reduces idleness, a precursor to crime. Employment enhances self-esteem, strengthens family ties and support networks, and leads away from the behaviors and associations that tend to lead to recidivism. Yet the Prison Policy Initiative estimates that 27 percent of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed—a higher unemployment rate than at the peak of the Great Depression.
Research shows a strong correlation between unemployment and recidivism. Barriers to employment—including job readiness, eroded social networks, family, logistical and legal challenges and the stigma of incarceration–result in huge costs not just to individuals and families but to society.
The Fedcap Group operates an array of programs dedicated to providing second chances and changing the lives of the previously incarcerated.