Generally, ex-offenders face several challenges in their aim to re-enter society following termination of their jail terms. In this case, persons with prior convictions for criminal offences usually have difficulties in finding housing and gainful employment for a variety of reasons, one of which is the reluctance by employers to employ ex-convicts because of concerns about their delinquent history (Davis et al., 2013). In addition, company policies and rules may hinder the recruitment of ex-convicts found guilty for specific crimes such as fraud, which would make the ex-convict ineligible to work in the financial sector. Often, the ex-convicts inability to find gainful employment could also result from lack of training and education with numerous ex-convicts lacking appropriate interview knowledge or primary job search skills. Although, majority of ex-offenders wish to live out their lives as law-abiding citizens after their release from jail, they face significant challenges to meet basic needs (Davis et al., 2013). Therefore, Florida’s re-entry program should implement changes that ease the ex-offender’s job search by for example providing job skill and interview training.
The best organizational assessment strategy in assessing the need and impact of change in Florida’s re-entry program is the organizational impact assessment. This elicits information about the status of personnel and entities in the organization to adopt change and transformation. The organizational impact assessment helps in identifying the explicit and implicit impacts on the organization’s workforce and stakeholders, as well as how these changes will affect achievement of the mission to reintegrate ex-offenders (Greenberg, 2013). Therefore, the assessment provides a more in-depth appreciation of the different impacts and the manner in which the organization should best prepare to deal with such effects. The organizational impact analysis will also point out various interrelated aspects of the organization that may either facilitate or hinder the program’s feasibility. Essentially, understanding such conditions will allow the Florida re-entry program reset priorities and scope so as to positively use available resources (Greenberg, 2013).
The organizational impact analysis will ensure the collection of reliable and valid data during the performance assessment by identifying broader possibilities regarding the proposed solutions. Indeed, one of the strategy’s most important goal is identification of the organization’s most important services especially with regard to their contribution and importance to the ex-offenders (Pope et al., 2013). In addition, the organizational impact assessment focuses data collection on critical assets such as personnel, systems, and processes; which aids in collecting data that is required to develop an organizational continuity strategy. Further, this strategy also enables the thorough and in-depth analysis of organizational processes, from which the program can gather data on the most reliable and stable programs. The resulting data benefits the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations by identifying resource wastage once the new changes are implemented (Pope et al., 2013).
Finally, in order to assess organizational performance, the program will rely on several sources of data and information. Pre-existing official data on absorption of ex-offenders into the workforce and housing system, for example, may contain data directly linked to particular differential factors such as race or religion, which will inform the program’s future focus (Pope et al., 2013). This source of data avoids many disruptions to the daily working of the organization, thus saving on critical time and money resources. A second source of data is the use of qualitative and quantitative survey instruments, which allow for the elicitation of information from ex-offenders that can be used to re-focus the scope of the re-entry program. Surveys are particularly useful in documenting the ex-offender’s perceived experiences in their search for employment and housing, again informing the change process (Pope et al., 2013). Finally, focus groups can also be used for collection of data to allow ex-offenders discuss challenges faced in reintegration and how these problems can be alleviated.
- Davis, C., Bahr, S. J., & Ward, C. (2013). The process of offender reintegration: Perceptions of what helps prisoners reenter society. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 13(4), 446-46
- Greenberg, J. (2013). Organizational behavior: The state of the science. Abingdon: Routledge
- Pope, J., Bond, A., Morrison-Saunders, A., & Retief, F. (2013). Advancing the theory and practice of impact assessment: Setting the research agenda. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 41, 1-9