Probation Parole Officers Give Second Chance to Citizens Reentering into Society through Job Fair
Each April, the U.S. Department of Justice Office celebrates Second Chance Month where programs support the incarcerated to reenter into the workforce.
ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how local law enforcement gives people a second chance at life.
In the United States, 1 in 3 adults have a criminal record limiting access to jobs.
Community Supporter Chandrika Hall says, “I have boys, sons, godsons, all who have been kinda postponed of their future, what else they have to offer, and through the penal system, criminal justice, between the schools and all the employment agencies, I’m glad to be out here to represent the companies that are offering them the opportunity to move forward.”
Probation parole officers hosted a job fair to support the unemployed.
Re-Entry Program Manager Carmen Coutee says, “I’ve seen the difficulties that people have with a criminal record getting a job, a lot of times, it’s very discouraging for that population going to different places, trying to gain employment, to make a livable wage, and being turned down or a door slammed in their face, just because they made a mistake at some point their life.”
When someone has a criminal record, employment is a major barrier to reentering society.
General Manager of Cracker Barrel Restaurant Shon Jenkins says, “It feels great for me being able to allow people to have a second chance because we all know that a lot of times people do make mistakes. My goal is to always help people understand that the mistakes that they make, that there are employers that are willing to help them.”
Coutee says when the community supports reentering citizens, it promotes public safety.
“Everyone has to have the means to survive and live and maintain households, so our department and the State of Louisiana has seen that need, so re-entry has become a big part of the state of Louisiana.”
Through the job fair, applicants gained access to job employment.
The Alexandria District Probation and Parole will have a resource fair by the end of the summer.