Employing parolees decreases recidivism, promotes public safety, and earns employers up to $9000 per parolee
More than 700 Southern California Parolees attended the Job Fair presented by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO). “This is a huge Success!” says Maria Franco, the Regional Administrator for Parole Region III that sponsored the event. “This is a win-win situation all the way around. I saw a parolee get a job on the spot. When parolees get jobs! Everyone is safer because employed parolees are less likely to commit crimes and return to prison. That also cuts down on taxpayer’s expense.”
Studies show that drug-free parolees with a steady job and stable housing are least likely return to prison. But more than half of all the prisoners in LA County who were released in the three years from 2007-2009 landed back behind bars. DAPO’s goal is to help end the cycle of poverty and joblessness that contributes to increased crime and recidivism. They joined with several LA County partners in hosting a Parole and Community Team (PACT) Job and Resource Fair specifically for unemployed parolees on Feb. 23, 2011 in Pasadena, California.
More than 20 Southern California companies discussed job opportunities with parolees. Thirty resource providers were also there to help parolees become more employable by participating in resume writing seminars, mock interviews, and assisting parolees in filling out job applications.
There’s help for local employers who are willing to give parolees a second chance too. Employers can get a federal tax break of up to $9000 for hiring a parolee. For more information on this program, prospective employers should call the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Processing Center at 866-593-0173 or seek information online at http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Work_Opportunity_Tax_Credit.htm .
There is also a program to help give peace-of-mind to employers who are concerned that parolees may fall back into old habits, Employers can bond their parolee employees for up to $25,000. Information on that program is available from WorkSource at http://www.communitycareer.org/
The PACT Job and Resource Fair was hosted by CDCR’s DAPO in partnership with Work Source California, the State of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the City and County of Los Angeles and the City of Pasadena.