HR=Humans Represent: The Get Out of Jail Green Ticket


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There have been plenty of Ex-Offender Job Fairs put on by various organizations nationwide to help former inmates find work. This has been taken even further as of late, as news has spread about job fairs which are going on in prisons with inmates not yet released. Prison training programs are also changing, and now include green jobs training. Combine these two recent trends, and the result is that networking for convicts/ex-cons has now become easier for those with a record.

To get a little more specific on inmate/former inmate green collar jobs, they not only provide such individuals a ticket out of the unemployment line like they would every other American, but they also give them the chance to break the incarceration cycle. Green training programs, such as the one implemented in Chicago, have been funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Chicago’s program will help provide jobs for 650 ex-convicts.

In the last month, San Quentin State Prison has their first “Green Job Fair” for those with less than 10 years left on their sentence. The goal is to let them see what might be available when they are released, and what types of opportunities in the industry will be open to them. Typically inmates end up in basic construction, janitorial, or food service, so these green opportunities show them additional job paths which are open to them. San Quentin’s job fair had over 60 green businesses participation in areas such as organic farming and agriculture companies, technology firms, and of course green construction.

Besides the Ex-Offender Job Fairs out there to assist former inmates, in Los Angeles there’s Homeboy Industries. Homeboy Industries is a gang intervention program which helps keep at-risk you out of the gangs and off the streets. These former inmates can take part in a variety of programs – one of which is a solar panel installation program. In nearby Phoenix Arizona, Arizona Correctional Industries (a self funded business through the Arizona Department of Corrections) which employs inmates offers a green mattress which utilizes the recyclable cotton core.

Between offering green products, green job fairs, and green job training it seems the prison systems these days are providing the tools to green up inmates. Who says you can’t write your ticket to freedom and a green job?

ACI Flyer.pdf

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Harry Reisig

I was glad to read this posting today. The challenge is that returning citizens face finding work is profound. While job training in green industries is fantastic, when they have to check the felony box on applications, they are at the end of a long line for work. To address this challenge, and provide a deeper support network, I’ve been putting together a new program of green entrepreneurship for returning citizens, Replanting Roots. Our goal is to create a ten month fellowship on a high intensity urban agriculture project where fellows work and learn together to develop the skills, spirit, and support network they will need to start a new as entrepreneurs. Please check us on facebook, or our website http://www.replantingroots.org



Thanks for the comment! I also had read in Indian Country that a Tribal member from the Red Lake band started an academy (the Wells Academy) for his business which hires “people who have made poor decisions in the past, which he says are made up of the ”formerly misguided, ex-convicts, alcoholics”. They get training in the machining industry, scholarship opportunites, and apprenticeships through his program.