For those who attended last month’s virtual luncheon with Jeff Zmuda, Kansas Secretary of Dept. of Corrections, you realized the value in their reentry program that offers a second chance to screened former offenders who have proven themselves to reenter the workplace. They have the drive and skills – now they just need the opportunity. The Department of Corrections can also work with you to find candidates to support your workforce.
You can make a difference in the life of someone looking for a job opportunity
If your organization is looking to provide a job opportunity to a screened job seeker, we invite you to contact the Kansas Department of Corrections at KDOC_CareerCampus@ks.gov
You can also explore the related links below to learn more about the program.
Process / Key areas of the Program
At admission all incarcerated individuals are assessed for their needs related to education and employment. An education and employment plan is developed to start building education and employment, improving on any pre-incarceration education and employment.
Education & Employment
*Adult Education (GED)
*Career Technical Assistance & Other Higher Education: Welding; Electrical; HVAC; Carpentry; Plumbing; Solar Energy and Photvoltaic; Wind Technology; Fiber Options; Manufacturing; Business Management; Applied Science; Coding; Networking; Science Health Information Systems; Office Administration; more coming Industry Jobs During Incareration (esp. in manufacturing)
*Job Readiness Soft Skills Training
*Work Release Programs
*Soft skills development through cognitive programming
*Wrap around case management
*Address other risk areas (substance abuse, family, etc.)
Job Specialists and Workforce Services work with facility and parole staff, and employers, to transition to employment, and support sustained employment after return to the community.
This includes pre- and post-release: *Job search
*Screen per employer's requirements, including providing criminal history if/as needed
*Set up zoom or phone interviews pre-release
*Address transportation, equipment/clothing and other needs to secure employment
*After employment, provide support and respond to questions or concerns by employers
Job Specialists can do do targeted outreach and recruitment for specific employers in need of a pipeline of workers, by:
-Establish the positions of interest and the skills and training needed
- Establish any specific screening criteria related to skills, aptitude, assessments, conviction history, etc.
- Make screened referrals for interview and hiring based on the agreed-upon criteria.
-Work with colleges to connect incarcerated and returning individuals to high-demand occupations for employer partners
Get inspired and read some of these stories of lives that have been transformed in the reentry program.
Eugene B.: This Kansas City businessman used the job skills he learned during incarceration to start his own painting business. He has since hired ten returning individuals, and all but one has succeeded and advanced. Before incarceration, Mr. B. had work experience in corporate human resources, which he built on in starting his own business. He knew from that experience how important it is to be sure any vetting process is not unnecessarily screening out people who can do the type of work safely. He recently noted during a panel discussion that, “Too often it is the fear factor that is perpetuated. Really scrutinize the business case for hiring people coming out of prison.”
Carl H: During incarceration, Mr. H. used the time to take courses towards a degree from a local college, working an industry job to earn funds to pay tuition. Upon release, he completed his degree, and eventually went to work for a non profit that provides mentoring and programming to incarcerated and returning individuals.
This is a great panel discussion hosted by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce on January 11, 2021, on second chance hiring.