A source for help if you qualify
State departments of vocational rehabilitation were created to help people who have disabilities find jobs. These disabilities can be physical, mental or even a learning disability. And many people how have been incarcerated can claim one of these.
Every state has a department of vocational rehabilitation, and tribal nations also have them. These agencies provide job training, counseling and placement and can sometimes offer funds for qualified clients to get a college education at a public community college or public college or university.
Since an estimated 75% of people leaving a correctional facility have a disability of some sort, many in reentry may be eligible to apply for some of the services offered. They must have a significant barrier to getting or keeping employment in order to receive the services, however.
These services are not an entitlement. You must really want to work and need to do everything you can to prepare for and find employment if you want to take advantage of these benefits.
You can find a link to your state’s vocational rehabilitation department by checking out the Department of Education’s Job Accommodation Network website. For more information check out our blog article on the subject.