Nationwide — Felon, felony, criminal record, ex-offender, ex-con, etc., etc., etc. These labels in the job market are a hindrance. They are a separating factor of who gets in and who goes in File 13 even before an interview. Once an individual had completed their time of incarceration, they are further subjected to pre-employment biases and hiring manager judgments many years after the court imposed sentence is said and done.
Prisoner re-entry is not new to the Tripletts who are certified Georgia prison volunteers. Their work and reach extends inside and outside the prison system so they remain truly in tune with the needs of those coming out of the system. Not only are Jenny and Rufus a husband and wife team in 25 plus years of marriage as showcased in their best-selling book, Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century, but also as business partners.
“There appears to be a lot of people fighting to stop mass incarceration. That’s great. But the fight is twofold. The fact still remains that several people are incarcerated and return to incarceration because they don’t get the help they need on the outside. That’s where we come in with providing valuable resources and reliable information. The majority of the information provided to inmates inside the system as to what is available outside the system for them, is wrong. We clear that up and help them move forward. We get companies and organizations to see how they can help. The more we encourage people to stop judging those that have been formerly incarcerated and think outside the box, they actually understand what we are trying to do,” says Jenny Triplett, co-Editor-in Chief of the magazine.
Prisonworld Magazine has been in print since 2007, ships domestically and internationally, was recognized by the White House as a “creative form of media” and a letter of acknowledgement from President Obama as well as numerous other recognitions for community work and activism. Jobs for Felons workshops stemmed from the idea of the Triplett’s book, Future Entrepreneur Network – Jobs for Felons: From Inmates to Entrepreneurs, to be released in July 2016. While teaching inmates to tune into and develop their entrepreneurship skills while incarcerated, upon release they may not be able to immediately start their ventures. Parole and probation require steady employment and that is where the cycle of continuous struggle to secure employment begins.
“That little box on employment applications “have you ever been convicted of a crime” stops so many people from getting a fair chance. Employers see that and move on to the next applicant. The Ban the Box movement has helped but employers may and can discriminate in other ways. We teach the skills needed to be better prepared, push past the application to obtain an interview, how to dress, how to interview and how to talk about your previous incarceration in order to present yourself for job opportunities. You can always work on your own ideas while working a job to make sure you stay in compliance with the terms of your release,” says Rufus Triplett, co-Editor-in-Chief.
The Jobs for Felons workshops will start in Atlanta on July 30 from 10am to 12pm at the Dawah Center of America, and will visit various cities across the country through the end of 2016. The workshops are free of charge, but all attendees must register as space is limited. Additional help is offered in select specialized areas for a fee on a first come, first served basis. The Tripletts are requested keynote, session and panel speakers about prisoner re-entry and prison reform for various platforms which include corporations, wellness retreats, correctional facilities, non-profit organizations, schools, radio shows and print magazines. This added workshop to their portfolio has already moved to the top of their requisitioned list. To register for the Atlanta event, go to https://prisonworldjobsforfelons.eventbrite.com.
For more information on Jobs for Felons workshops and how you can bring one to your city go to www.prisonworld.info or connect via social media on Facebook and Instagram @Prisonworld. To contact the Triplett’s about their work or speaking engagements, call 678-389-2646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org