The labor market, bad for everyone right now, is even worse for those with serious criminal records, reports the Charlottesville (Va.) Daily Progress. Jason Ness, the reentry program manager for a Virginia community corrections program, said those coming out of jail are now competing against law-abiding unemployed men and women looking for jobs below their qualifications.
Ness’ program provides transitional planning for offenders who are about to be released from jail. Many face the burden of not only supporting themselves and their families but a need to pay off court costs and fines before they can get their driver’s license back. Most of Ness’ clients are looking for entry level jobs in kitchens or construction. He said half of his clients find jobs within the first three months of working with the program. Of those people, 83 percent have kept that job for at least three months.