Guide Offers Prisoners and Reentering Citizens Helpful Tips on Navigating Educational Programs and Job Opportunities
Date:  09-11-2012

Taking charge of one’s life by setting and achieving goals is basis for new government guide
A new U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education guide, Take Charge of Your Future: Get the Education and Training You Need, helps inmates wanting to jump-start their future, and newly released citizens hoping to accomplish greater things in life, by providing step-by-step guidance to seeking educational and job opportunities.

The guide is written in user friendly language and gives sound and practical advice. Getting out of prison is an exciting yet confusing and stressful time for many. Not knowing what resources and services are available can often add to that confusion and stress. Take Charge of Your Future offers tips and information for setting goals and lists service providers that can be contacted for free help.

The guide addresses the importance of developing computer skills to help with resume writing and sending job applications online. But it also gives sage advice on creating a “game plan” to succeed in achieving goals. The guide suggests researching to see if a potential job carries restrictions against those with a criminal history. This little nugget of information can save a job applicant from experiencing the bitter frustration of applying for a desired job only to be told the company does not hire individuals with a criminal record.

Putting together important documents is another tip for becoming job-ready. Along with one’s social security number, birth certificate, license or state ID, the guide suggests getting documentation of one’s criminal history to make sure the information is correct. Colleges and businesses are using criminal background checks more frequently and incorrect or information that should have been sealed can cost an applicant a chance to be employed or attend college.

For those with a spotty work history, or for those wishing to get a GED or go on to higher education, the guide offers help on how to gather necessary documents, set goals, find resources and find self-empowerment to succeed. Written with inmates and those on community supervision in mind, the guide can be downloaded by reentry professionals to be given to clients as a tool for successful reentry.

Source: The Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy

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