July 8, 2009 RSS feed

Reading & Recidivism: An Interview with Author Walter Mosley
Recently, Freedom Ticket had the opportunity to interview Walter Mosley. Mosley is the author of more than 29 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. Another of his series is a powerful trilogy about an ex-offender, Socrates Fortlow, and his adjustment to life in Los Angeles after being released from prison.


As you developed the character of Socrates Fortlow, what did you learn about the reentry challenges facing people who were formerly incarcerated?


You have a long period of punishment and then a long period of suspicion. It’s not impossible to build a life. As a matter of fact, it’s very possible to build a life, but most of the details of every day are against building it.


How can reading and libraries help people make positive changes in their lives?

One of the things that can cut down recidivism is learning how to read and learning how to read better. Books are important things to people in prison. Whenever you encounter a book, there’s an opportunity.


If Socrates Fortlow were a real person and looking for a good book to read, what would you recommend?

Wow! I’d probably say “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo. Because it’s really dealing with the issue of being criminalized by a society that doesn’t care at all about you and at the same time that it’s up to you to make a life for yourself.
 
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July 2, 2009 RSS feed

Resume Tips for Ex-offenders from ISEEK

Ex-offenders benefit from having resumes that show how they have been rehabilitated as well as their skills and qualifications. 

Many job seekers struggle to create an effective resume. A resume is a document that you create to accurately market your qualifications for your chosen career. 

All resumes should: 

Be truthful. State your skills and abilities accurately. 

Target your audience. Highlight skills and activities relevant to a specific career. 

Be brief. Limit your resume to one or two pages, and use fewer words for scannability. 

Be professional.
Print your resume on high-grade paper using a quality printer. 

Be accurate.
Proofread your resume (and have a friend do the same) for any errors. 

Include all related experiences.
Include personal information if it is unique and related to the job. Example: If the job description indicates speaking Spanish is preferred and you speak Spanish, include that information. 

Ex-offenders benefit from having resumes that show how they have been rehabilitated as well as their skills and qualifications.
 
Positive activities to add to a resume include: 

Previous employment. List length of time employed, accomplishments on the job, positive performance reviews, promotions and other attributes. 

Education. List enrollment and completion of any job training or work-skill programs. Also list courses passed and graduation from post secondary programs.  

Community, religious or social activities that show responsibility, longevity or work skills. 

Military achievements. 

Source: ISEEK 

For more employment resources specifically for ex-offenders from ISEEK, please visit: 

http://www.iseek.org/guide/exoffenders/index.html

 
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