Inmates Look To Make Better Decisions After Job Fair Inside SCI Waymart

CANAAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A second chance at life -- that's what inmates living behind bars in the state prison in Wayne County saw in a career fair.

The career fair was inside the prison walls.

Some inmates say they are ready to make better choices once released.

Some of the inmates have spent decades at the State Correctional Institute in Wayne County. The career fair provided them with avenues for a successful career path.

With the letters D.O.C. labeled on their back, prospective employees were all in prison jumpsuits inside SCI Waymart.

We weren't able to show inmates' faces but we sat down with one named Paul. He along with about 80 other inmates listened to speakers at the career and reentry fair.

"So much things have changed and you want to be successful and you don't want to ever come back to prison and you want to prove to yourself that you've used your time wisely," Paul said.

After decades behind walls and barbed wires for attempted murder, Paul has watched his son grow up from afar. Once he leaves prison, Paul will have a real chance to be part in his family's life, hopefully with a job.

"My family has been supporting me the whole time I have been in prison. I want them to have a good impression and want them to know they didn't waste their time on me."

With tips he got at the career fair, Paul believes he is ready.

"Being paroled and going home is your second chance. This right here is like they are giving you the tools for when you go home."

"We are the Department of Corrections so we try to do everything possible to correct not only the behavior but to correct their thinking. If they think they can be successful and we give them the skills to be successful then they will be successful," said Michelle Lipko, SCI Waymart.

"My rap sheet may say that I did something wrong but when I get out that is who I am going to show people who I am," said Rashaad, an inmate at SCI Waymart.

This time next year, Paul plans to walk out the doors and put this prison behind him.

"It's not just about going home and not going back, it's about me doing something, being successful," he said.

Prison officials tell Newswatch 16 that D.O.C. stands for Department of Corrections and not punishment. They hope the inmates use this career and reentry fair wisely.

10 comments

  • donny hud43987

    Johnny, um no I was never in prison you loser! I work for a large corporation, and do well for myself, and we do not hire convicted felons

  • Fredric Underhill

    Despite the “once a con always a con” bigotry and Susy Cream Cheese attitude of most personnel and corporate types, we are now, nationally at 4.2% unemployment and headed lower with the Poconos being an exception by design.

    There are no workers out there. I, as an Ossining JayCee, helped bust 23 “graduates” out of Sing Sing into labor and lower construction jobs. Sure, we cherry picked from a cherry picked list.

    WE HAD ZERO return to prison. Multiply that by $150 a day inside.

  • donny hud43987

    The corporate world does not want or will not hire convicted felons!! a background check is required for almost every job,, they made their mistakes let them live with them, construction or being a laborer are probably there options once they get out of prison,, legitimate corporate positions, …forget it!!!

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