Yes, you can build a successful and productive life after incarceration. Today’s episode discusses tips and tools on how to overcome barriers to employment and build a life for yourself and your family.
Justin and Jason Hannibal grew up in a 2 parent, solid middle-class family with more opportunities than most. Despite having this advantage, these twins changed the direction of lives when they moved from college to incarceration. Listen as they share their struggles and celebrate their victories.
Things learned during and after incarceration that set them up for success:
- You cannot do the same thing and expect different results. While incarcerated, it was repeated frequently that engaging in the activities that brought them there would only ensure that they would return. No one ever wins in the crime game.
- Prisons are set up for recidivism and not rehabilitation. Although is possible to obtain your GED if you have not graduated from high school, the jobs you are being trained for are not found in the communities you are going to have to return to.
- Class and social status have nothing to do with the tendency to commit a crime. You are driven by your desire for instant gratification.
- Education is key. Mentors are needed in the community. It takes more than 2 parents to raise a child successfully.
- No one owes you anything we you are released. If anything, you owe the people who sacrificed to support you while you are away.
- Secure a driver’s license as soon as you get home. You need to have the ability to move, even if you do not have a car.
Background checks become prevalent after the attack on September 11. Since that time, marking the box asking if you have a criminal history automatically excluded many from even getting the first interview. Today, over 35 states and 125 cities and counties have enacted Fair Chance and “Ban The Box” laws to reduce some of the barriers to gainful employment.
If you have anything on your record, face it head on. Prepare a well- written document regarding the situation and be prepared with a well- rehearsed explanation of the situation and the lifestyle changes that have occurred since release. It is possible to get a job, but you will have to work hard to get a desirable one.