If you’d like to learn how to better deal with helping ex-offenders find jobs, the National Institute of Corrections offers some excellent training programs and information that are available free of charge on its website.
As an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, the NIC conducts onsite training programs for corrections agencies and their partners, but anyone can take advantage of what it offers online and use the information and manuals to create or enhance their own training curriculum.
One of these training programs, “OES: Building Bridges,” highlights the work of OES (Offender Employment Specialist) professionals in jails, prisons, probation and parole, community corrections, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations. Various professionals give examples of best practices, and show how to overcome challenges, and identify tools and strategies for improving outcomes in offender employment. A free manual that includes a suggested three-day training schedule can be ordered on the website.
Those working within the prison system or who want to find out how things work at career resource centers within jails and prisons can order the “Career Resource Centers: An Emerging Strategy for Improving Offender Employment Outcomes” bulletin to learn more.
NIC also provides a tool for ex-offenders to use in their job search – a CD with a simulated online/kiosk job application designed to give people an opportunity to practice completing an online job application with tips on how to do it
While these three items are the most useful the NIC has to offer, it has other publications with research and information of interest to job developers both within and outside of the prison system.
For more information and to order materials, visit http://nicic.gov/owd, and click on “library resources” at the bottom of the page.