Employment Opportunities for People with Criminal Histories
The American criminal justice system has often been criticized as little more than a revolving door through which disadvantaged people spend the bulk of their lives in prison with brief interludes of freedom interspersed. Unfortunately, such a view is not completely unjustified. Even ex-convicts with an earnest desire to turn their lives around after release can run into unanticipated challenges that leave them little choice other than to revert to their old ways.
However, resources do exist for emerging offenders who want to get away from their old lives. Berks Connections, of which I am a board member, offers a variety of pre- and post-release services to former convicts who want to establish a home, pursue employment or further their education. These include the following:
- Resume writing, job search assistance and reentry success workshops through Pennsylvania CareerLink
- Employment referrals and assistance through the Residents of Berks Community Reentry Center
- Career exploration, resume assistance, and job placement and coordination through Berks Personnel Network/Threshold
Finding gainful employment can pose a huge challenge for former offenders, especially since many companies are hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record regardless of the nature or severity of the charge. However, many others understand that those who made mistakes in the past can still offer a great deal of talent and enthusiasm.
Berks Connections and its partner organizations work to identify and coordinate those Berks County employers who have expressed a willingness to give those emerging from the criminal justice system the opportunity to build a life. A good criminal defense attorney in Reading, PA knows that only a small share of a client’s challenges take place in the courtroom and can help put you in touch with the services you need to succeed upon release.