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How to Find a Job after Being Released on Parole

Parole Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

How to Find a Job after Being Released on Parole

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If you or someone you love has questions about how to find a job after being released from parole, this post is for you.

Employment may affect your parole status, and not securing a job may affect much more than your bank account. In fact, unemployment and its consequences may impact every part of your transition.

Searching for a job and receiving a job offer in a reasonable period of time may be one of the conditions of your supervised release from prison. In other words, if you’re not looking for work every day – or you don’t have a job – you might violate the terms and conditions of your parole.

Are you or someone you know eligible for parole?
Contact attorney Greg Tsioros today to get them the help they need 

When You Can’t Find Employment after Parole

It’s definitely challenging to find a job after parole but, if you can’t find a job, do communicate frequently and openly with your Parole Officer about your search for employment and/or your current employment status. Provide your Parole Officer with job search documentation – show him or her when you contacted which companies and indicate the results of your contact.

Did you schedule an interview? Did you send a resume or work samples? Did you follow up?

Tell your Parole Officer if you’re having trouble finding a job. He or she may recommend resources or offer to help. That’s because your Parole Officer is also working with other parolees with similar experiences. He or she might even offer you job leads.

Show your Parole Officer that you’re doing your best to secure a job. He or she may be willing to offer help if your best efforts are sincere. If, however, you don’t take the time to present a job search log and you can’t show him or her how you’ve spent time in the job search, he or she might be less sympathetic to your plight.

What are the Consequences of Not Finding a Job

Obviously, not having a job can mean you don’t have sufficient financial resources to support yourself. Not having a job can also negatively affect your return to society in the following ways:

  • Housing: You need an income source to receive housing support from many rental assistance providers. If you don’t have a job, you may be disqualified from getting this necessary assistance.
  • Mandated Behavioral or Treatment Programs. If the court requires you to take an anger management, chemical dependency, domestic violence, sex offender, or other mental health therapy, you’ll need to pay for it. The money you earn from a job may be necessary for you to receive necessary services.
  • Child Support. If you have children, you may be required to pay child support and/or you may be permitted to see your children in supervised visits. Without a job, you can’t pay your child support. This might prevent you from seeing your kids.
  • You may have a mental or physical condition that requires medication. These medications may be expensive and, without employment, it may be difficult to pay for them.
  • Lack of employment may be stressful for you and/or loved ones.

In addition, unemployment may create challenges with your support system. It may create challenges for those providing your housing or anyone who’s offering financial assistance as your return to the community. Lack of employment can strain your important relationships with family and friends.

Of course, not having a job is probably the hardest on you. Take the time to write down your long-term goals. Break down each goal into small steps and make the effort to achieve them.

Stay in touch with your Parole Officer and others involved in your process to find work.

Why You Must Stay Accountable after You Get a Job

Receiving a job offer is only the first step. Tell your Parole Officer the employer’s name, the name of your supervisor, the address of the business, their phone number, and your work schedule.

The Parole Officer must have transportation and schedule details before you start the job. He or she must ensure you’re following the proper guidelines. You must show your Parole Officer how you’ll get to and from work. You must return home before your curfew.

After you are hired, you must provide a proof of hours you work to the Parole Officer. This is usually accomplished by providing him or her with paycheck stubs in your visits.

If you aren’t provided with paycheck stubs, discuss an alternative plan with your work supervisor and Parole Officer. You must maintain accountability. For instance, you might agree to maintain a written log of your hours and ask your supervisor to sign each at the end of each week.

If you’re on Work Release or Intensive Supervised Release, your Parole Officer or his or her designee must verify your assignment prior to your acceptance of it. He or she may need to visit you during your work hours as part of the process.

When You Should Consider a Transitional Job

Because you’ve got to find a job, it may be less important to find the perfect job that suits your interests and skills at the start.

Your first job might not match your desired career goals. That’s okay. Consider your first job, or even the first few jobs, as a transition. The job or jobs can help you to achieve financial stability or even move into a better job in the employer company once you’ve proven yourself.

In the interim, a transitional job:

  • Provides a regular paycheck
  • Shows you’re dependable
  • Creates an employment history for your resume

You’ll also feel the pride of accomplishment. Realize that accepting a job, even if it’s not your ideal job, is preferable to not working. Once you’re financially stable, you don’t need to keep a job that doesn’t suit you. It may be time to start a career.

Consult Texas parole attorney Greg Tsioros to discuss your case »

Why a Job Coach Can Help You after Parole

If you have a disability, you may qualify for reasonable accommodations from your employer, such as using a special workspace or using special equipment or software to do your job. You must tell the employer about your disability in order to discuss reasonable accommodations.

Consider identifying a job coach in this scenario. He or she helps people with disabilities to arrange reasonable accommodations before you start a job. These accommodations can help you to keep a job as well.

The following careers may be suitable for parolees. Work hard, build a network of contacts, and always make good choices to build your career:

·         Restaurant and Food Service Industry: Search for food prep worker jobs at the entry level; short-order cook jobs at the secondary level; or chef/head cook jobs at the established level.

·         Warehouse Operations: Search for freight/stock laborer roles at the entry level; transportation attendant jobs at the secondary level; or transportation, distribution, and storage management jobs at the established level.

·         Information Support: Apply for customer service representative roles at the entry level; computer user support specialist jobs at the secondary level, and network/computer administration jobs at the established level.

Consult your Parole Officer or Supervised Release Officer prior to applying for any position. You’ll need to understand if the terms of your parole restrict you from the type of work or where you’re allowed to work in the future.

Why It’s So Difficult to Find Work after Parole

Many ex-offenders know it’s difficult to find any job after prison. Although release from prison means he or she is technically free, it can be difficult to learn that future employers don’t want to hire him or her for an array of reasons.

This reality can make it much more difficult to return to the world. It can ultimately lead him or her back to prison.

Let’s consider some of the justifications a future employer may use to deny hiring an ex-offender:

  1. Legal liability. The employer may consider legal liability first. If the ex-offender commits a crime as an employee, the employer is likely to be held liable in part or in full. This might result in significant losses to the company, including attorney fees and/or damage awards. The employer might not want to take a risk of hiring even a well-qualified ex-offender.
  2. Reliability questions. The employer may assume that an ex-offender is unreliable. Under the terms and conditions of his or her parole, an unreliable worker could end up back in jail. The loss of the worker can affect the company’s productivity. In addition, the employer may improperly assume that the worker will be late for a shift, want to leave early, call in sick, or make errors. It’s up to the applicant to do his or her best to address reliability questions.
  3. Morale in the workplace. Employers may have concerns about their workplace morale. The ex-offender may be perceived as someone who will make colleagues nervous or worried. The issue can be addressed when the employer doesn’t disclose the ex-offender’s criminal history to his or her co-workers.

Why It’s Difficult to Get Job Interviews after Release from Prison

The reality is that ex-offenders must work harder than other job applicants to get interviews. After a job interview – even when the applicant makes a great first impression – he or she may be subject to a background check. A background check may nullify the goodwill he or she generated during a personal interview.

Almost 700,000 people are released from prison each year in the United States. It’s just a fact of life that it can be difficult to find work after incarceration.

Use the following tips to support a job search after parole:

·         Prepare for future employment in prison. Get as much education as possible. If dealing with substance abuse, get help before you’re granted parole.

·         Be upfront. Consider asking a future employer “Give me a chance.”

·         Know how important it is to find a job. Work hard to find a job to get boosted self-confidence and financial stability. Having a job is essential to reentering society.

·         Identify a non-profit organization to help in identifying post-prison job opportunities, such as The Fortune Society in New York.

·         Look for employers who’ve previously given jobs to ex-offenders, such as Cascade Engineering in Michigan or Greyston Bakery in New York.

Understand that ex-offenders face significant employment challenges. The law may say that the employer is prohibited from directly using the ex-offender’s prison record to deny him or her a job, but it’s very difficult to prove employer discrimination.

According to research published by The Urban Institute (2008), 45 percent of ex-offenders required at least eight months to find a job after release.

Contact an Experienced Texas Parole Attorney

If you or a loved one is eligible for parole in Texas, the best time to consider how to find a job after being released on parole is now. An experienced Texas parole lawyer can improve parole hearing outcomes.

Contact The Law Office of Greg Tsioros in Houston at 832-752-5972 to schedule an initial case evaluation.

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