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I have worked in Community Correctional Centers for almost twenty (20) years. These centers are for inmates making a transition from jails and prisons back into society. These inmates have been in prisons anywhere from one to twenty years, sometimes referred to as Half-way-Houses and Work Release Centers. The average stay at a Community Correctional Center is six (6) months, and the person is still incarcerated by the state or federal government. Part of the requirements to being accepted into these types of centers is to obtain, and maintain gainful employment, during these final six (6) months of incarceration. In most all cases these Centers have "Job Coordinators" to assist in the inmate obtaining full time gainful employment. Hence, once a inmate if fully released from prison, they already have employment (see "Second Chance Law"). Community Correctional Centers and Work Release Centers handle most all of the contact between the inmate and the perspective employers, disclosing all criminal aspects of the inmate, seeking employment. The positive notes of these Community Correctional Centers are that the inmates are very dependable for showing up to work, and on time. The Work Release Centers usually provides the transportation, or shows the inmates how to arrange positive transportation. Inmates must maintain their employment for the six (6) months, or risk returning back to prison to complete their sentence. The inmates receive random and regular drug screens by the Community Correctional Centers, ensuring they are "dug Free" employees. The Community Correctional Centers make regular contact with the employers, maintaining a positive relationship between the inmate and the employers. Make no mistake about this, any inmate in any type of these State or Federal Programs "commit a new crime, or is suspected of committing a new crime" they are returned back to the referring agency (State or Federal Prisons). All successful Work Release Centers have a 100% employment rate...! Inmates are taught employment seeking job skills in preparation of their release by certified Case Managers. And, are allowed to seek out employment on their own, while their Case Managers, and "Job Coordinators" monitor their "job seeking techniques". I have always suggested when inmates fill out employment applications, and come to the part of the application, "Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony", to leave this "blank". This, more often than not, will give the inmate a chance at a second, or follow-up employment interview. Whereas, the inmate can come face to face with the prospective employer to explain their situation, and arrest. If necessary, the Community Correction Centers will intervene, with the follow-up interview. If you simply check, "Yes" on the Employment Application, you are very unlikely to get this opportunity, for a follow-up interview. Community Correction Centers and Work Release Centers will not allow inmates to work in areas of employment, that relate to their criminal charge, due to "third party liability". For example, if a inmate is coming out of prison for Bank Embezzlement, the Centers will not allow the inmate to go back to work at a bank, etc. In most cases I have found that employers are willing to give ex-convicts a second chance to work in the community, if they presents themselves properly dressed, and honest. Most people coming out of prison have some type of Supervised Release (probation, Parole, etc.). These probation officers have detailed reports from the Community Correctional Centers, Work Release Centers, and the inmates "Prison Conduct Report" to assist probationers. Probation Officers are often seen by inmates as a person just waiting on them to "mess up, so they can be sent back to prison". This is not true, probation officers also demand that ex-offenders be full time employed, and drug screen the ex-offenders, with random on site job and home checks. Probation Officers are often a great tool in assisting ex-inmates in obtaining employment, if asked..! In closing, always ask your employers for a letter of recommendation, if you plan to move on to bigger and better employment (Employee of the Month Certificates, Letters of Accommodations, Copies of G.E.D./High School Graduation Certification, and Honorable Military Discharge Certificates, Etc. I encourage any person being released from and State or Federal Prison to apply to their Case Managers in prison for Work Release, for their final six (6) months of their sentence. Utilize these six (6) months to make a smooth transition back into society, take these programs seriously, they are very good programs, and they are condensed, but offer inmates more transitional skills than most prisons can offer in six (6) years of incarceration. There are a lot of very strict Rules & Regulations at thes

February 22 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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