Transition and Reentry
StepUp Durham has joined the fight to help bridge the gap between incarceration and successful reentry into the Durham community. One of the ways that StepUp Durham has been able to contribute to the work being done, is by hosting our Employment Training Workshops inside of the facilities. We have had the opportunity to facilitate modules that focus on resumes, interview skills, effective communication and strategic planning.
One of the challenges that individuals have faced in regards to successful reentry is access; access to gainful employment, housing, transportation and resources. In the past, individuals would have to wait until released to try and connect with people and organizations in the community before carrying out the plans that they had created while incarcerated. Thanks to the new reentry initiatives created by the offices of Governor Roy Cooper and the tireless efforts of members of the community that fought for change, organizations are now able to do more work with the individuals before they come home.
By providing the resumes to the individuals, we are able to assist them in explaining how their work experience that they have gained during their period of incarceration makes them strong candidates for several positions. Often times their positions inside of the prisons require them to serve, in whatever capacity, between 200 – 1500 individuals daily. These numbers show that they have the capacity for high productivity and time management skills.
During the interview practice, individuals are able to discuss the decisions that led to their criminal background and focus on the positive choices that have made since that time. The interview process gives individuals the opportunity to share their sense of honor and integrity. These skills equip individuals with their reentry because they gain job seeking skills and strategies that assist them in employment. We are excited about the new ways we get to engage with incarcerated individuals and assist them with successful reentry into the Durham community.
Written by Elizabeth Butler, Employment Counselor