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Employment w/a Criminal Record Finding post-incarceration employment can be an almost monumental task. Find tips, job offers and stories from those of us that have experienced it first hand.

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 09:20 PM
berries9 berries9 is offline
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Default Hope for Felons

I wanted to tell a bit of my story so that maybe people will realize that there IS hope. I'm not gonna lie, I worked HARD. But, here is an idea of what is possible.

I was released from state prison on February 23, 2017. I paroled to a halfway house that was very strict about what hours you could work and where you could work and even what you could eat. I started working through a program at Goodwill that allowed me to show what I was capable of. I am a 43 year old petite woman, but you better believe I worked in the back of the warehouse doing the physical labor just like the men.

I started to work a second job waiting tables at night on the weekends when the halfway house would allow which wasn't much. On March 13, I went into court to get visitation with my kids re-established. My ex-husband fought me with his attorney and I could not afford one and legal aid turned me down. I was successful in my bid for visitation.

First of May I moved out of the halfway house and moved to a homeless shelter. I was lucky that my PO approved this but I needed to work more hours so I could pay child support. I worked 40 hours a week waiting tables, 28 hours at Goodwill. I eventually got moved to an Office Assistant position at Goodwill, they saw that I was willing to do whatever it took.

On June 19, Goodwill hired me full time as a Career Specialist. With the raise in pay I was able to buy a car and rent a house within walking distance of my kids. Buy the end of August I was able to quit my 2nd job.

On December 4, I went back into court and was awarded joint physical and legal custody of my children. Again, I had no attorney, I represented myself in a 3 hour hearing that included the cross examination of witnesses. Against my ex and his attorney's best efforts, I won!

I just hit my one year mark since my release. I have been back to the women's prison and told my story. I have been appointed to the Governor's committee to figure out how best to help people coming out of prison succeed. Every day in my job, I help former felons find that first job since their release. Those jobs are rarely glamorous or highly paid. But if they are willing to put in the work, then they will be amazed at how things turn out.

My story isn't over, it's just beginning. And I'm not special, I'm just like everyone else. It just takes being hungry for something better. I once said I wanted my life back. Forget that. I've got a new one, a better one. I once thought my best years were behind me. I am so excited for the future now!
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2018, 11:02 PM
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Thanks for sharing. Goodwill is a good resource.

Even unpaid volunteer work can lead to paid opportunities (or even a potential career, as in your case) if one puts in the effort and gets noticed.

One step at a time...
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:14 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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It's wonderful how you have come so far so fast!!! I love seeing people post of their personal experiences with being a newly released felon. Generally we only see the negative sides. I'm happy for your continued successes and pray things continue to on this upward direction. Hard work does pay off as you have shown.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:22 AM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
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Welcome to Prison Talk and thanks for sharing your very positive story with us.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:18 PM
GaReform GaReform is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berries9 View Post
I wanted to tell a bit of my story so that maybe people will realize that there IS hope. I'm not gonna lie, I worked HARD. But, here is an idea of what is possible.

I was released from state prison on February 23, 2017. I paroled to a halfway house that was very strict about what hours you could work and where you could work and even what you could eat. I started working through a program at Goodwill that allowed me to show what I was capable of. I am a 43 year old petite woman, but you better believe I worked in the back of the warehouse doing the physical labor just like the men.

I started to work a second job waiting tables at night on the weekends when the halfway house would allow which wasn't much. On March 13, I went into court to get visitation with my kids re-established. My ex-husband fought me with his attorney and I could not afford one and legal aid turned me down. I was successful in my bid for visitation.

First of May I moved out of the halfway house and moved to a homeless shelter. I was lucky that my PO approved this but I needed to work more hours so I could pay child support. I worked 40 hours a week waiting tables, 28 hours at Goodwill. I eventually got moved to an Office Assistant position at Goodwill, they saw that I was willing to do whatever it took.

On June 19, Goodwill hired me full time as a Career Specialist. With the raise in pay I was able to buy a car and rent a house within walking distance of my kids. Buy the end of August I was able to quit my 2nd job.

On December 4, I went back into court and was awarded joint physical and legal custody of my children. Again, I had no attorney, I represented myself in a 3 hour hearing that included the cross examination of witnesses. Against my ex and his attorney's best efforts, I won!

I just hit my one year mark since my release. I have been back to the women's prison and told my story. I have been appointed to the Governor's committee to figure out how best to help people coming out of prison succeed. Every day in my job, I help former felons find that first job since their release. Those jobs are rarely glamorous or highly paid. But if they are willing to put in the work, then they will be amazed at how things turn out.

My story isn't over, it's just beginning. And I'm not special, I'm just like everyone else. It just takes being hungry for something better. I once said I wanted my life back. Forget that. I've got a new one, a better one. I once thought my best years were behind me. I am so excited for the future now!
What a great thing to read! I hope you will speak for those who have no voice & let the lawmakers know what is really needed for a successful reentry. Safe housing & a job is the start. Please keep us posted on how it goes for you & enjoy what you've worked so hard for.
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:25 AM
Kimimi Kimimi is offline
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This is wonderful I am so happy for you and your children. It's also nice to see that all your hard work is making a positive difference in your life. This is just he beginning of your story and I hope it keeps getting better and better for you. Thank you for sharing!!!
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:35 PM
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TenToesDownBaby TenToesDownBaby is offline
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This gives me so much hope for my man who is currently serving a two year sentence... He has so much potential and intelligence. Thank you for telling your story.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:22 AM
Forgiveness 121 Forgiveness 121 is offline
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God bless you, amazing testimony
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