1/11: Formerly Incarcerated Persons Introduction

Re-entering society and entering a work setting can feel overwhelming, but when you are ready to make a change in your life for the better, this guide will be helpful. This Formerly Incarcerated Persons Guide lays out what you will need to know and do to successfully re-enter society. From what documents you will need to maintaining healthy relationships and making career progress, this guide covers a wide range of topics. Throughout the guide, there are links to several organizations who can assist you along the way.

Refer to this one page handout to learn how to navigate this guide.

2/11: Step Up with Assistance

Returning to society after being released from serving time can be difficult, but resources are available to help you along the way. There are programs are designed to support individuals as they transition back into society after incarceration and break the cycle of arrest, incarceration, release, and re-arrest. The Second Chance Act was passed in 2007 to fund services that help such individuals.

3/11: What to do After Your Release

Learn about the essentials you will need to keep in mind after your release.

4/11: Important Personal Identification Documents

Read up on the documents you will need to have and their importance once you are released.

5/11: Local Resources to Help You Succeed

Access search tools that allow you to find organizations near you that assist formerly incarcerated persons in need of financial aid, food, housing, legal assistance, transportation, unemployment services, and much more. There are several organizations and programs that help.

6/11: Catch Up on Technology

Technology is an integral part of society. You may want to learn or re-learn skills that are important in everyday life to enhance communicating with others and managing your finances. Luckily, there are resources out there to help.

7/11: Top 5 Things to Know About Expunging or Sealing Records

Expunging your criminal record means that all records of your arrest and any information about court proceedings will be removed from your record as well as the public record. Sealing a record means that it cannot be accessed by the general public. Here are the 5 most important things about Expunging and Sealing Records.

8/11: Apply for Jobs

While finding a job may be difficult, maintaining a positive attitude and being persistent is crucial. Keep in mind that there are companies that will hire individuals with records and that there are several resources in your community to assist you along the way.

9/11: Interview for Jobs

Learn about how you can prepare for your job interview and how to address your record during the interview.

10/11: First Day on the Job

Learn about the do's and don'ts for your first day on the job!

11/11: Money Management Tips

As a formerly incarcerated person, it’s important to keep in mind that obtaining or updating documents and forms of identification or fees may come up. Be sure to call these organizations or look on their website to see what fees you may have to pay and if there are any waivers you can complete that would allow you to not pay the fee. You will want to consider these fees along with other expenses.

The Illinois workNet Money Management Guide provides information and resource on how you can reach your financial goals from getting started and saving to tips for paying for education and even retirement. Be sure to also check out this list of Managing Finances Resources to learn more about budgeting and managing your finances.