Marked for life January 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm
One of the many things I juggle around in my head throughout the day is how my husband will find employment once he is released to the halfway house. (side note: I realize I keep using my husband, from now on I will to refer to him as J). I spend some time during the day researching how felons can find employment opportunities. Let me tell you, there is not much to find. I thought maybe there would be some resources I could apply for, or someone to contact that can help us. I am J’s only advocate, his voice on the outside. I feel that if I can just start the ball rolling now he will have a better chance one he is eligible for the halfway house in May.
J is college educated, worked for the same company for over 14 years, is a dedicated, hard-working, and extremely loyal individual. But you know what? All of that means nothing now. Years of hard work and dedication mean absolutely nothing. He is starting over and will have to scratch his way to the top, we know this and are prepared for the battle. Unfortunately due to the nature of his crime his degree is also worthless. I sent him text-book study guides for the comptia A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. We feel that the IT field will be a good option for him.
How do you transition back to society with a felony record? Employers don’t hire felons, if you check that box on an application 99% of the time it is thrown into the circular file. I need to find creative ways to market my husbands abilities while disclosing his past. I know it is not going to be easy, it’s just a matter of finding that one person willing to give him a chance, the proverbial needle in a haystack. I’m sure I will write more on this process once we find out when he will be going to the halfway house.
If I could offer one piece of advice to family members of the incarcerated it would be to help them get educated in any way you can. Do what you have to do to help them better themselves to make it easier when they get out. J and I have discussed this numerous times in our nightly conversations. Inmates tend to get lazy, there are a handful in his unit that don’t work and resolve to sleep and watch TV all day. I was appalled by the lack of educational opportunities in the DOC, more on that at a later date.