The Nebraska Department of Labor recently trained twenty Nebraska Department of Corrections (NDCS) employees from across the state in a train-the-trainer program.
The participants will train others at their facilities who focus on helping incarcerated individuals prepare to return to the workforce when released.
Grace Sankey-Berman, Reentry Administrator for NDCS, says that employment is a “major stabilizing factor” for people leaving prison, and that it can greatly reduce recidivism.
She says Nebraska’s low unemployment rate means some employers are more than willing to give people leaving prison a chance, which she says can help more than just the individual and the employer.
“Because we all stand to benefit from that. And we stand to benefit in the sense that they will not be going back to prison, and we are paying a lot of money to keep them in prison, while we can just use a fraction of that amount to provide a little bit of support and open a few doors for them and give them a chance to succeed.”
Sankey-Berman says the trainers learned about on-line job searches and applications as well as using skills and interest assessments to help inmates prepare for jobs that would be a “good fit” for them.
For more information, the website is corrections.nebraska.gov.