College Essay Examples

Career Counselling for Ex-offenders


Offenders in Canada are subjected to punitive correctional measures within the state facilities. Their rights are observed and protected and once they complete their terms of punishment, they are released to proceed with their lives as normal citizens in society. However, full reintegration into the community becomes the hurdle that most of the ex0-offenders face due to the criminal tag associated with them (Chen & Shields, 2020). Most of the ex-criminals find life difficult when society fails to recognize their reformation and the ability to lead a life as free individuals with untainted reputations and names. Their survival is inhibited by this view that restricts their ability to be incorporated for jobs that would make them live comfortably as they fend for themselves (Chen & Shields, 2020). Successful acceptance of the ex-offenders by recognizing and enabling them to work is found to be one of the best approaches to lowering criminal activities while supporting them to sustain their families. 

Ex-criminals face several challenges in the labor markets once they are freed. The problems harden their lives and make them vulnerable to criminality again (Chen & Shields, 2020). Some of the main career issues that ex-offenders face includes negative career attitudes towards work, lack of skills for employment, lack of motivation to look for legal careers, and limited job opportunities. Most of the offenders are found to be high school leavers and they are sent to custody without proper skills for formal jobs (Chen & Shields, 2020). Once they are released, they resurface without the requisite knowledge to use in seeking jobs or to perform in different fields thereby complicating their wellbeing. Also, the majority of offenders who are confined to prisons have little training skills which makes them suffer upon release (Chen & Shields, 2020). Thus, they remain struggling for life after the end of their term.

Additionally, ex-culprits cannot identify their strengths and weaknesses. In most cases, they remain hopeless members of the society who cannot identify specific areas where they can serve or duties that they are good at (Chen & Shields, 2020). The inability to develop self-esteem is an internal killer which when compounded with the criminal guilt affects the ex-criminals making them unable to seek jobs. Moreover, most of them have negative attitudes towards jobs due to reduced morale (Chen & Shields, 2020). The years spent behind the bars waste most of the offenders who fall behind their agemates in economic and social orders. Due to low motivation and self-drive, they feel that they cannot perform to the expected levels and they opt to remain jobless in their life. The ex-offenders can only resort to low-paying jobs making their lives miserable after release. 

The need to support ex-criminals is higher as they are normal members of society. It is possible to correct the apathy observed from the offenders through career counseling to protect society from a surge in criminality and support ex-convicts. A career counseling program aims to lower recidivism by talking about self-knowledge, searching for work, occupation knowledge, career planning, and work adjustment among ex-convicts (Chen & Shields, 2020). The transformed offenders are induced to normalcy through the social adaptive theory that aims transform their thoughts towards society and employment and the general behaviors. More focus is directed towards self-motivation and efficacy among the criminals to boost their search for employment opportunities and to build their confidence. Illustratively, the program aims to open discussion forums where ex-convicts can freely talk about their challenges and roles in society as they share their problems (Chen & Shields, 2020). Also, they set their plans while they learn about themselves through goal setting through the platform offered. 

The career counseling program observes that decision-making is developed based on how individuals perceive information about themselves and the world of work they are being aligned for. Considerations are made on how ex-convicts react, their behaviors, and emotions (Chen & Shields, 2020). Most of the offenders may not opt to regain their old jobs due to the records set but this can only be identified through the procedure. Furthermore, the negative thoughts and attitudes that they may have may be determined through counseling procedures that base their approach on cognitive information theory. Also, the offenders are freed to discuss an issue that they face that may inhibit their view on employment (Chen & Shields, 2020).  The step enables them to explain constraints to their carrier development and the negative thoughts that they may develop. Through established relationships, the counselor can identify these challenges and correct the conditions. 

Employment is one of the greatest determinants of how successful offenders may live in society upon release. Ex-criminals lead exemplary life after detention when they get the opportunity or re-incorporation into the society through acceptance and job opportunities availed to them. Some of the culprits who were initially employed can get back their slots and regain footing. However, the challenge is the ability to get back to their jobs and to secure fresh employment for those who lost chances and those who did not have before. Factors inhibiting offenders’ ability to have good chances are known and the program aims to discuss these in detail together with the culprit to ensure that they become responsible and changed members of the society once their prison days end. 



Chen, C. P., & Shields, B. (2020). Career counseling ex-offenders: Issues and interventions. Australian Journal of Career Development29(1), 36-43.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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