Ex-Offender Job Fair

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

With the unstable economy, finding a job can be a challenge and it can be even more difficult for those with a criminal record.

With a handful of applications, Roger Rains says he wants a job just like anyone else.

“I'd like to have a good job. I'd like to have benefits. I'd like to have a career maybe,” said Rains.

But as an ex-offender he says he has had trouble finding a potential career.

“Just because you're an offender don't mean you're a bad person, you're still able to work. You're still able to perform duties and stuff. There's just a stigma that goes with it,” said Rains.

Members of the Southeastern Kentucky Re-Entry Task Force, made up of several organizations, like the Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Probation Office, realize that stigma. That is why they held a career fair in Laurel County, trying to help ex-offenders get a 'second chance.'

“I hope they see that from the people that are here that they realize that it's not a bad thing for their company to be associated with hiring these people,” said Crissy Norman, Chairperson for

“We're just big supporters in the fact that these are, many of them are hard working people and want a job and want a chance to improve themselves,” said Diana Bybee, an employer.

“You try to go out and get a job anywhere and everybody wants to turn you down. And this is great that they have something like this because you have to have a job,” said Lutricia Rains, and ex-offender.

She hopes the event will give her a chance to get one.

Members of the task force say ex-offenders are not the only ones who benefit from getting hired. They say employers are eligible for tax credits for hiring people with convictions. Organizers are planning another fair in January.


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