Job search for the Previously Incarcerated

What is the correct term for a person who has been previously in jail.?

The widely used term is 'Ex-offender,' but the politically correct term is 'Previously Incarcerated' implying that not all those imprisoned have offended.

1. How can a person in jail prepare when he is in jail for his job search/career after s/he is released ?

The best thing that one can do before being released is to become competitive in the job market.

2. How does one's skills and presentation compare to those he will be competing with?How can an ex-con ease the mind of potential employers in interviews ? In terms of team integration and all the other 'stigmas' that people could attach to people who have been in jail ?

The first reaction to someone who has been incarcerated is fear. Body language sends a huge message to whom they encounter. Being warm and personable will make potential employers feel comfortable. Companies don't hire people. People hire people hire people. People don't hire people they don't like. The challenge is to be as likeable as possible.

3. Should your book form part of the penitentiary library ?

Of course it should. Any book that offers practical advice and on how to prepare for life after incarceration should be included.

4. Can people find work in prison itself ?

Many prisons offer inmates the opportunity to work and earn a wage. Often these jobs teach valuable skills that can be used on the outside.

5. Does the state help in helping ex-con find work, how can ex-cons make best use of this ?

In the United States, there are government sponsored programs that help the unemployed gain employment. There are even programs that offer tax incentives that encourage employers to hire former inmates.

6. Can a person who has been previously incarcerated past be an asset to an employer ? There are certain careers which could benefit people who have had exposure to the tough side of life.

Casinos may hire former cheats to catch cheats. Computer based firms may hire hackers to outwit hackers and security companies may hire former thieves to keep thieves at bay.

7. What inspired you to write this book ?

For years I taught unemployed and underemployed people to get jobs. A large number of my students had been to prison. These people had a separate set of challenges. One of my students suggested that I write a book using the lessons I use in my classroom.

8. What message in general do you have for the previously incarcerated about job search in general ?

I encourage ex-offenders to develop a plan of action, get all of the help they can, and above all, never give up.

9. We have had quite a few requests on the forum asking how is best to word the fact that some one has been in jail. What is your suggestion on this ?

'I have made some choices that left me indebted to society. I have paid those debts and I am ready to move on.'

For more information and to by the book please visit