Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI)
- Intensive 2-year program combining transitional jobs with cognitive behavioral therapy, case management, coaching, and other support services
- Features novel combination of violence prevention and workforce development interventions aimed at reducing incidence of violence
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Promising (Third-highest tier)
Promising (Third-highest tier)
READI is not yet in any of the major clearinghouses, but has demonstrated positive preliminary results in an independent, high-quality evaluation conducted by UChicago Urban Labs
$23,000 per participant annually
Outcomes and impact
- Preliminary results indicate that participants may experience reductions in shooting and homicide victimizations and arrests
- 72 percent of participants who begin transitional employment programming are still working after six months
- 56 percent of participants who begin transitional employment programming are still working after 12 months
Keys to successful implementation
- READI’s three concurrent referral pathways—individual and community-based referrals, referrals from the justice system, and the predictive analytics tool—ensures that the program can reach the most deeply disconnected young men in five of Chicago’s most challenged neighborhoods.
- Access to extensive justice system data on individuals and sophisticated analysis capability enable READI to ensure that all referred participants are in fact at the highest levels of risk.
- Delivering the READI model through well-established community-based partners makes engaging the hardest-to-reach young men less challenging than it would otherwise be.
- Designing a highly detailed RFP ensured that prospective community-based partners clearly understood the commitment and expectations of delivering the READI model with fidelity and allowed Heartland Alliance to make highly informed decisions about which vendors to partner with.
- Commitment to hiring individuals with relevant lived experience has been instrumental in building trust and authenticity in both the READI Chicago intervention and its day-to-day service delivery.
- Collaboration between the University of Chicago Urban Labs and the Social IMPACT team at Heartland Alliance has ensured the collection and analysis of data to inform real-time program improvements and program accountability.