Release preparation begins the first day of incarceration.
The prospect of having to search for meaningful work upon release from prison can be a daunting one, particularly for inmates who have been out of the labor market for a number of years. Many inmates acquire valuable skills and work experience through programs like Federal Prison Industries (FPI), vocational training opportunities, and/or other occupational education courses offered at Bureau facilities. But inmates nearing release in today's society need to re-learn, or perhaps for the first time learn, how to effectively "search for a job."
Although it is the Bureau's philosophy that release preparation begins the first day of incarceration, focus on release preparation intensifies at least 18 months prior to release. The Release Preparation Program includes classes in areas such as résumé writing, job search, and job retention. The program also includes presentations by community-based organizations that help ex-inmates find jobs and training opportunities after release. The BOP places appropriate inmates in Residential Reentry Centers prior to release to help them adjust to life in the community and find employment. Some inmates will be eligible for a release gratuity, clothing, or money for transportation to their release destination.
The Inmate Transition Branch provides additional pre-release employment assistance. Many institutions hold mock job fairs to provide inmates an opportunity to practice job interview skills and to expose community recruiters to the skills available among releasing inmates. Qualified inmates may apply for jobs with companies that have posted job openings. This Branch also helps inmates prepare release folders that include a résumé; education certificates, diplomas, and transcripts; and other significant documents needed for a successful job interview.