If you have a felony conviction finding a job is not easy. Being charged with certain offences such as sex crimes or violent crimes will make it even more difficult to find a job when you leave prison. Luckily, some states such as Indiana have programs that help felons find gainful employment after serving their sentences. One way to start looking for jobs for felons in Indiana is to ask your parole officer if you have one, to guide you to the right agencies.
Programs for Felons in Indianapolis
The National Hire Network (http://www.hirenetwork.org/content/indiana) is engaged in helping felons and other ex-prisoners find gainful employment. While not providing direct employment opportunities or job placement services, H.I.R.E guides those seeking jobs to agencies and organizations that can help them.
Another non-profit group that works to help recently released ex-felons re-enter the community and the world of work is Public Advocates in Community re-Entry (PACE) (http://www.paceindy.org/). The mission of PACE is to help ex-prisoners become “law abiding, productive and responsive members of society.” PACE helps to place pre-screened ex-felons into the workplace by assisting with finding job placements. In addition to jobs, PACE also helps and encourages educational development of ex-prisoners to improve their chances of re-integration into society.
The Indiana Department of Corrections offers a good re-entry program for ex-felons. The Department’s interactive website helps with creating resumes. Under its Road to Re-entry program, ex-prisoners can also find training programs that will help them improve their odds of finding employment after leaving prison. In fact, the entire Indiana government website (http://www.in.gov/idoc/reentry/2715.htm#employment) offers a lot of programs geared towards helping ex-prisoners become useful members of society. Another program to explore on the website when looking for Indiana jobs for felons is WorkOne (http://www.in.gov/dwd/WorkOne/).
The collaboration between the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Re-Entry (http://www.indy.gov/eGov/Mayor/programs/Ex-OffenderRe-EntryProgram/Pages/home.aspx) and The Department of Public Safety provides support in helping ex-felons return to the community. While the re-entry program is not a job placement service as such, it helps put ex-prisoners in touch with organizations that can help them in many areas of their life as they return to their communities.
RecycleForce (http://www.recycleforce.org/about) is a recycling business that employs ex-prisoners and helps them find employment. The business also assists by providing transitional employment for up to six months, training and support to help felons get their lives back on track.
Founded in 2003, Blue Jackets Inc’s (http://www.bluejacketinc.org/about) mission, according to its website is “…to provide adult ex-offenders and other hard to employ individuals the tools and opportunities to become productive members of society.” The program will help ex-felons find transitional jobs and even help ex-convicts find employment in more permanent placements, as well as provide training.
While it may not be the best way to go about it, doing searches online using terms such as “jobs for felons in Indianapolis” and “jobs for felons in Indiana” will bring up hits of possible job openings.
You will also find that searching online can lead to forums that offer advice and help to ex-felons. Other resources that can help the ex-felon in Indianapolis find jobs or improve their chances of finding one are:
- SHARE Network (http://www.in.gov/ofbci/share/)
- Goodwill Industries (http://www.goodwill.org/)
- Dress for Success (http://www.dressforsuccess.org/affiliate.aspx?sisid=31&pageid=1)
- National Re-Entry resource Center (http://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/)
Housing for Felons in Indianapolis
As with finding jobs, it takes some effort to find good housing for felons in Indianapolis. While some ex-prisoners can find accommodations with families or even in their own homes, many have nowhere to call home.
The Christian-based Indy Grace Place (http://indygraceplace.org/index.php) offers transitional housing for former prisoners. While only a temporary respite, it provides these individuals with safe places to live while they put their lives in some order. You can apply online to Indy Grace Place, which offers mentoring and helps ex-cons improve their lives.
Felons can also contact The Indiana Housing Now (www.indianahousingnow.org ) organization for help in finding suitable housing. Some churches and other religious organizations also provide short-term housing for some ex-offenders.
Returning to the free world after prison can be hard, especially for those persons who were incarcerated for many years. However, with programs like those listed above, and help and support from family members, it is possible to find a job in Indianapolis.
It is also important that the ex-felon ensure that resumes and cover letters are well written. Fully disclosing your criminal background is also a good idea. If you hide this from a prospective employer and the truth comes out, you may not get the job or you could be fired if you are already employed.