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Navigating the Challenges of Employment After Incarceration

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One of the major contributors to the high recidivism rate of former inmates is the challenge of obtaining employment after incarceration. Gaining employment is essential in stabilizing your confidence and self-image, which will help keep you from falling back into destructive behaviors. Unfortunately, many who have spent time in the correctional system are already behind in education and work experiences. Couple that with the stigmas attached to anyone who spent time in prison, and you are faced with an uphill battle.

This is where EAC Networks Enhanced Employment Initiative (EEI) plays a role. Through the EEI program, we help individuals with job preparation upon their release from prison. The program assists participants with career readiness and job placement as they look to become productive members of their communities.

Statistics Point out the Problem and Possibilities

Here are two sets of statistics that should be impacted by the other. First, as of January 1st, 2023, the number of job openings in the country raised to 11 million. In a report from December 1st, 2022 (a month earlier), you then consider that approximately 60% of formerly incarcerated people struggle with unemployment. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story, and there are many variables in these stats to consider. However, the main takeaway should be that there are jobs available and people in need of them.

We must stop thinking of people looking for second chances as “second-rate” citizens and provide them the assistance and opportunities to make a positive change.

Methods to Making a Difference

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EAC Network, in collaboration with our Criminal Justice programs, the courts, the District Attorney’s office, treatment providers, and various community-based organizations, the EEI program offers job preparation, job placement, career counseling, and more to individuals who qualify. To be eligible, you must be currently involved in the criminal justice system and be referred by someone within the system, such as a case manager or probation officer, and score medium to high on the COMPAS Risk Assessment. Some specific services include:

  • Skills, abilities, and interest testing
  • Individual career counseling
  • Appropriate interview attire
  • Direct job placement
  • “Ready Set Work” employment and resume workshop
  • Referrals to GED, basic education, ESL, or ESOL schools

Employment After Incarceration Serves the Community as a Whole

It is said, in many instances, that it’s much less about the mistakes you make and more about how you handle them. When individuals want to better themselves and move on from past mistakes, we need to help where we can. They have been held accountable for their mistakes and looking forward to a second chance.

This is why programs like EAC Network’s Enhanced Employment Initiative are so important. The motivation and desire to change are essential, but the hope of employment after incarceration can fade without the necessary tools or direction.

As an employer or potential donor, you have the power to make a positive impact by providing second chances to individuals who are reentering society and eager to demonstrate their potential. By investing in our program and its continued efforts, you can help make a meaningful difference in these individuals’ lives and contribute to our community’s betterment.

Please click here to learn more about how you can make a difference and support our program.

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