Imprisonment is tough enough already but there is more for a former convict once they are out of prison. Their chances of landing any type of job are slim unless they seek it from a former convict. They already have a record and so it is quite hard to convince anyone that they have turned a new leaf.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Every year, over 600,000 Americans are released from prison for various offenses and even though they have served time, they have a hard time convincing employers to look beyond those damning records. Jean Cobbs, 52, who served an 11-year stint for attempted murder has been out if orison for 4 years now and his accumulated experience won’t get him a cleaning job. He says he has tried to express his remorse but all he gets from his potential employers are apologies.
Changes are coming
Even though several companies have pledged to help inmates get jobs but bailed at the last minute, a few for-profit and charitable organizations are picking up this mandate. The Fortune Society based in Harlem coaches former inmates on how to secure a job and turn their lives around. Cobbs and several others are already benefiting from this.
Other organizations overlooking one’s records include Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York and Cascade Engineering, a manufacturer based in Michigan. They monitor former inmates closely to ensure that they stay within the law and in so doing, help them make something out of themselves.
Not Allowed by the Law
The law does not allow for a person to be denied employment based on their record. Whether you are a formerly convicted personal injury from Toronto or a man-slaughter convict, you have the chance to become a productive member of the society and the only to do that is by being gainfully employed. However, it hard to prove that the reason for not getting a job lies in being a former convict as employers will not give that as their determining factor. They will find ways to make it sound like you didn’t fit the bill without incriminating themselves.
Should Former Inmates Get Jobs?
The orison system itself is geared towards reforming convicts. Everyone who walks in there is given skills that they can use in the world outside to make them useful to society. Well, it is true that some of these guys are hardcore criminals who need lots of rehabilitation to turn them around but isn’t that why they were in prison?
Do they deserve a second chance? Sure, they do and the society should help them integrate a little easily. Getting a job is the first way to help these people get their lives back and even though they could need more monitoring that those who’ve never been behind bars, they sure shouldn’t be denied jobs based on a crime they have paid for over and over again.
The companies offering coaching, training, and jobs to former inmates are only a handful at the moment, but they will pressure more to jump on board over time.
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