400 female prisoners will be getting out of jail by the end of the year. Today, they’re looking for jobs. The prisoners are having some luck; the state offers a tax credit to companies who hire people who’ve been released from jail. We followed one prisoner as she works to transition from being locked up to being free.
Nicole Humphrey is serving a five year sentence after being convicted for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines. “Being in prison is not just the end of the road, it’s a new beginning.” Folks at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women say Humphrey has been a model prisoner. She received her GED and she’s received certifications in a variety of horticultural programs. “Some things root faster, but as you can see this from a cutting has roots.” In prison, Humphrey works in green houses, she raises and maintains plants. Soon, she’ll be installing an irrigation system. In jail, she focused on education and life after prison, “So, I have several licenses in the horticulture green industry.”
Behind the razor wire at LWIC time passes a little slower than it does on the outside, so rather than focusing on time Humphrey has focused on education and improving herself. “It’s a new world, it’s new beginnings, and I’m very excited about it.”
LWIC has been hosting job fairs for ten years. They were the first prison in the state to host job fairs. Humphrey is glad she was able to attend and she says she’s excited to prove herself once she gets out. “I’m educated, I’m dedicated, and my work ethics will prove their self.” She’s hoping to have a new job and a new place to live lined up by the time she gets out of prison.
There were 19 organizations with booths at the job fair today. Jail administrators say they’re trying to get prisoners trained for jobs they’ll be able to get and keep once they’re released.