Judge Mathis Looks at Life After Prison

Most of us know what it’s like to look for a job when you don’t have one. But imagine doing that after being physically disconnected from your community, perhaps for years, with little education or work experience, and a criminal conviction that you now have to explain to an employer. All this and more (managing housing issues, drug treatment needs and family relationships are three common examples) confront formerly incarcerated people when they come home and need a job.

Last month, the Judge Mathis Show featured an episode on the role played by employment in the lives of people with criminal convictions. The judge, who is himself formerly incarcerated, understands first-hand what it’s like to bear the burden of a criminal past and how important it is to leave that past behind.

That’s why he invited the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO; an Open Society grantee) and the National HIRE Network on his show. Roberta Meyers-Peeples from HIRE spoke about employment reentry strategies to a roomful of CEO clients who had come home from prison.

Securing a job after prison is crucial not just for the job seekers, but for their families and communities. It also touches on some of the most pressing economic and public policy issues facing us as a country. A successful employment reentry strategy can improve public safety, help governments reduce spending on costly prisons and jails during tough economic times, reduce poverty and joblessness for some of our most disadvantaged citizens and build the economic prosperity of communities. Employment reentry can also promote family stability and a healthier future for millions of children in the United States who have parents in the criminal justice system.

Projects like the one featured on the Judge Mathis Show are designed to help break down barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people by advocating for policy change and offering “how-to” workshops. With the same goal in mind, for over 30 years, CEO has offered immediate, effective, and comprehensive employment services exclusively to men and women with criminal records.

We applaud Judge Mathis for his commitment to this issue and for bringing it national attention.

CEO is proud to be a founding member of the National HIRE Network and of its continued partnership with them to support the employment needs of formerly incarcerated people.



life is hard as is being i was convicted of robbery in 93 an 94..god has giving me the strength to change and better my life..i love cutting hair but have no license.i was cutting in a shop,but others got jealous of my work and called the state to report an unlicensed barber cutting in a shop.times are hard and i'm getting the run around from financial aid!i found a school where i could pay three thousand dollars to get my barber license's but money is funny. what can i do? got bills to pay and a family to support..

I am a mother of 4 I have been in and out of jail. I can't find a job. I did get married but I be damn if he didn't go to jail and he still in there we both come from a good home. I just need a head start on life I no you are a busy man. We just had a house fire and lot everything so its harder now that I have to start all over I owe it to my kids. And myself. I just need a little help like getting my record clear it will mean so much to us I will be willing to do what u say when u say it. This is just the raw part of my story. Its more but iam not trying. To hold u. But thanks for taken the time to read this. Please don't forget I know u have your on problems but I really need your help so I can help myself and kids and others. THANK GOD FOR YOU. AND GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

my name is joel long i did nine years in prison i got my ged in prison now i have my own program called what about the felons inc. we try to help x felons find jobs life skills i worked as a dishwasher for 4 years but now i am 24 hour oxygen would love to meet you program number 336 327 5698 Greensboro n.c. i been save now for 7 year god is first my wife drives our church van shes my rock

Thank you for not forgetting men and women with similiar struggles as you went through. I tried to forget about my felonies (2) convictions from 20 years ago by being very Blessed of owning my own businesses and working as an independent contractor and paying for leads to get accounts. But just recently! I have lost my biggest account forcing me to file bankruptcy and get a part-time job until my business is built back up again. But as I am trying to be as truthful as possible with filling out applications. The employers aren't calling back or giving me a lot of cold shoulders for not hiring me for a simple position of driving. Even though I have got maybe 2 or 3 speeding tickets in over 20 years and never went back in front of a judge again since being convicted 20 years ago. It's tough getting judged on something you have been totally delivered from and keep your head up to know that doing right always is the best way. More so now because its a necessity to provide for my household, daughters (2), and wife. They look at Daddy as being able to do anything and everything. If it is possible to help me espounge my record or get a certificate of release so that I won't have this post over my profile after becoming a productive- tax paying citizen- member of my daughters school foundation- memeber of my subs HOA- Freemason (Royal Arch Member) and an inventor (tailsigns.com) and my 2 girls are honor students. Any advice or feedback would be good. I appreciate knowing that goodness in some folks still exist. Keep your standards.
Michael Mims

I have only one criminal case in my 54 years on earth. I paid my debt to society for for the criminal act I committed in 3/2006. I served 23 days in jail, completed anger management classes, completed half of the 5 year probation (early termination), and paid my probation in full (2010). Now I am homeless, and can't get a job nowhere. I never imagine I would be a homeless grandmother. Help me please! to become a productive, taxpaying citizen again! I need help ASAP! PLEASE!

Hi, I'm George Davis and bp Lorenzo Benjamin are going to start a non-traditional training center for convicted felons, high school drop outs, single parents, & basically anyone who's having problems seeking employment for any reason. Who is willing to make a change in their life.
Our goal is to educate, inform, and empower our community's young adults with a skilled trade that leads to employment.
Our center which is Northwest Florida Restoration Center Inc., in Pensacola Florida. We will offer courses in the following:

Faith base conflict resolution
Money management
Furniture restoration
Small Engine repair
Drapery & Custom Bedding
Sewing & Alterations

We also are promoting entrepreneurship for convicted felons by teaching how to start their own business.

If there is anything your organization can do to help this dream become a reality it highly appreciated. Or point us in the right direction for the things needed such as funds, security, or simply how to go by putting this thing together the right way. "THANKS FOR YOUR TIME"

I have a son that's 25 and on parole did 6months in prison and a single parent and I don't want him to go back there he is my only son could you please help me.Thanking you advance

Is there someone that can really help felons get back into society after serving all of their time with no violations or anything? I wrote Judge Mathis on several occasions but I have never gotten any response from him. I don't know who can help us.

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