Finding a job after prison challenging for many

by Wendy Wohlfeill on July 28, 2011

Securing employment after being released from prison can be a serious challenge for many ex-offenders – and help determine whether someone stays out of prison.

For the last decade, the Westside Health Authority’s Prisoner Re-entry Center has helped hundreds of former prisoners find jobs.

That’s especially challenging in today’s labor market, says center director Roger Ehmen.

“Society says and the court says that once you’ve served your time and done your parole that you’re on an equal playing field with everybody else. But in the employment industry that is not the case. You carry the X on your back for the rest of your life.”

Click here to see the second of a two-part series.

(Click here to view part one.)

There’s great need for programs to help ex-offenders. It didn’t take long for Bethel New Life to find 20 people for the first class of participants for a year-long prisoner re-entry program it’s offering.

The program, which is funded by a $255,768 Second Chance grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, will be able to help 120 people over the next two years. Those interested in applying for future openings in the program should call Donna Germany at 773-826-8430, ext. 228 or e-mail dgermany@bethelnewlife.org.

Bethel New Life is still seeking employers to work with the first group of participants. An ideal employer would support Bethel’s mission and be able to offer entry-level job training and mentoring. Tax breaks are available.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Shanika Finley July 31, 2011 at 11:45 am

What is the placement rate of these agencies? Who is monitoring the organizations to make sure that the funds are being used appropriately? As I campaigned I met many people with backgrounds who received no help from these organizations.

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