top of page

"Trends & Career Paths"

Work is so important to our self worth and esteem, and it provides us a means for food, hygiene, and rent. Work is how we survive. Getting a job is difficult with out any convictions, let alone once a lifer is released after many years of incarceration. The task of securing a job is going to be hard but worth it. Putting together resume is a way of promoting all the good attributes of the person; make sure it is well put together. About only one in five inmates have a job lined up upon release. College graduates face a similar problem without a criminal record, showing work experience upon completing a long term of education and not being employed for a long time. Students lean on their involvement with extracurricular activities and letters of reference when they are building their resume for the first time. Letters of endorsement are great to collect even for only one's self esteem, it can remind us of how others see us and build us when we are down. Positive words and positive actions are a way for a person to being to make amends. Working in the community not only bring self sufficiency, but it also builds our pride in the community and in ourselves. The resume is the place to really shine, show your skills. With all the tools in one's corner shining bright, it will lead to opportunity.

There are many different career paths. General trends lead to at entry positions if the inmate has been incarcerated for long terms, this may be the best place to feel no pressure and be able to integrate back into the workstream.

Creating a resume is difficult when you have not worked for a long time or if you have never "worked" at all. Be creative in the resume by including the participation in programs and letters of reference from peers and staff of facilities. The inmate spends their time locked up working on behavioral changes in group therapy and organized groups like AA, they may even have a job like distributing mail or books. They may be an assistant to others that need help learning to read or using the library. Encouraging others and administering group talk can also be considered on a resume. It is important to have the inmate note all their programs and any certificates they may have completed while housed.

School is also a great addition to any resume. Not only is the enlightenment beneficial to teach of why behaves the way they do, or teaching critical thinking with math, education is empowerment and it helps in the amends process. While incarcerated many inmates have the ability to join college classes and study. Every item you can imagine will be used to create a resume to be seen by future employers. Many of the prisons offer education and training programs for their inmate population. Although the trainings offered does vary between institutions, most put their convicts through various life skills training courses. By doing jobs in prison like sorting books and cataloging in a warehouse, inmates learn valuable skills. There are jobs in assembly, warehousing, and production available within the felon friendly employers. Many jobs are not going to be high paying positions, but many do have medical benefits and are centrally located near bus routes. There are labor jobs for those with a construction inclinations. Food service is another place to look, whether it be agricultural, packaging, cooking or serving, many individuals find working in food is a great transitional job. Cleaning is something many inmates become really good at, even though their cells are limited, many are able to keep a clean detail on small spaces. With a keen eye to detail, inmates may find working in janitorial work is naturally fit to tem upon release. If they have been trained with geography and know how to drive, there are opportunities to become a delivery driver ot truck driver for long hauls. Being released does not mean it is going to be easy to find a job, but with a good resume and screening of skills an convict should be able to find an entry level position. Consistent delivery, self advocacy, dedication to a doing good job, reliability, and loyal to the employer will give the convict a job that could be long term or be a transition to something greater. Either way, the felon would be able to look after their own means. Building a strong resume is key to the success.

When working on a resume it is important to find the jobs you want to work for. First, look at the future employer advert for what they want a person to do. Then the resume is tailored to the job requirements. It is a place for the convict to say they have experience with the exact wording the application is seeking to find. For an example, if their skills lay in the library distribution, they may have communication, collaboration, indexing, research, and inventory. The auto parts store needs a person that can find items that are indexed. Jobs are relatable when you get to the root of it. Look to see what the prospective employer si seeking and build the resume based on the skills one has to the skills they are needing. If someone is helping an incarcerated person find a job, they may tell they to get trained first to the job market. Currently there appears to be many entry level positions available throughout the country. The case with Richard, He has education and has been facilitating groups. He is part of a 12 step program and helps other inmates as a mentor for GED testing. He will be able to use his skills to get a civilian job upon release. Specifically to him, I have suggested he get into the automotive painting or body restoration as I know people that could possible offer him a job upon release. Ultimately, he will need more education to get the retirement job he will need to build his future post working.

Working with a professional agent will help them fit the convict to the jobs available in their area. But until the convicted person is released, they cannot do much but be reflective and remorseful.

People can learn and grow to be better people, that is why we have a department of corrections and rehabilitation, right? Taking a reflection and analysing each point of a person's life is how I have had to build a resume, and it made me feel good when sitting down with a professional, and they say what an impressive resume I have. Those endorsements go a long way in the amends. Healing within the inmate and bridging them back to society with works that are noted..

Once an inmate is released, there are many different employee referral services available. If a released individual finds themselves in a bind, they can call 211.

211 is available to approximately 309 million people, which is 94.6 percent of the total U.S. population. 211 covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To find out whether 211 services are offered in your area and to obtain more information, visit

How 211 Works

211 works a bit like 911. Calls to 211 are routed by the local telephone company to a local or regional calling center. The 211 center’s referral specialists receive requests from callers, access databases of resources available from private and public health and human service agencies, match the callers’ needs to available resources, and link or refer them directly to an agency or organization that can help.

Types of Referrals Offered by 211

  • Basic Human Needs Resources – including food and clothing banks, shelters, rent assistance, and utility assistance.

  • Physical and Mental Health Resources – including health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health resources, health insurance programs for children, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, and drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.

  • Work Support – including financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs.

  • Access to Services in Non-English Languages - including language translation and interpretation services to help non-English-speaking people find public resources (Foreign language services vary by location.)

  • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities – including adult day care, community meals, respite care, home health care, transportation and homemaker services.

  • Children, Youth and Family Support – including child care, after-school programs, educational programs for low-income families, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services.

  • Suicide Prevention – referral to suicide prevention help organizations. Callers can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers which are operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Jesse James Hollywood AC4442

Youth at risk So, it’s been 21 years since the summer of 2000 and I’ve learned so much. As a criminal, a fugitive, and an inmate all stemming from a false identity as a drug dealer with some real char

Please forgive me

Richard Randall Monday, July 11, 2022 I have been incarcerated now for 29 years; I have been assigned a new identity by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As a result of my past


bottom of page