When I received the 4th Purpose invitation to a Reentry Simulation for Justice Involved Individuals my first impression was how will this be of benefit to the Knoxville Area Urban League Workforce RISE Reentry Program? I was about to find out and once the simulation began, I became immediately overwhelmed by the many barriers and hurdles a felon faces reentering the community.
Here are some things I learned from this experience:
1. As I was trying to accomplish all that is required for a justice involved individual to become employed dealing with alcohol/drug issues, probation, lack of transportation and proper identification, those barriers only created more barriers that prevented me from even getting close to finding employment.
2. The feelings of frustration and helplessness an ex-felon faces trying to navigate back to into the community and find employment makes the transition even harder.
3. During the simulation, trying to be a law-abiding citizen and find employment that was legal was very hard. The barriers I encountered stacked up against me to the extent that the only recourse was for me to commit another illegal crime which then jeopardized me remaining in the community to continue seeking employment.
The KAUL RISE Reentry Program is geared to assist justice involved individuals to have the navigational support to avoid reoffending and to remove as many barriers as possible that hinder obtaining sustainable employment and occupational training. The RISE Program provides We – Care pre-release, Job Readiness post release Services and R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Reentry Employment Services Program Employers Can Trust) Soft Skills Training as well as connections to felon friendly employers. Your participation is a fresh start to RISE above barriers to employment. Call us today to learn more about our programs and how employers can help. If you have been involved I the justice system, contact our workforce department so we can help you make a smart start back into the community and to sustainable employment.
To learn more about 4th Purpose visit their website at https://4thpurpose.org/
Director of Workforce Programs