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PTSD in previously incarcerated individuals and the importance of mental rehabilitation

According to the American Psychiatric Association, post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The term PTSD has become more common in our culture, but it also has several other names you might recognize, including “shell shock” and “combat fatigue.” These names, which are most often affiliated with military service, have declined in popularity as our understanding of PTSD increases. While PTSD is still often associated with veterans or active military professionals, the truth is that PTSD is much more far-reaching. Research shared by the American Psychiatric Association […]

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What the FIRST STEP Act means for previously incarcerated individuals

On Dec. 21, 2018, the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person, or FIRST STEP Act, was signed into law. This piece of bipartisan legislation is (literally) the FIRST STEP in transforming prisons into facilities that will reduce recidivism and strengthen our communities and economy.  The legislation increases funding for vocational and rehabilitative programming, reduces mandatory sentence length for drug-related offenses, allows inmates to reduce their sentence through good behavior and adds humanitarian restrictions, among other things. But, what does that technically look like and how will it affect incarcerated individuals? The program is founded on increased assessment […]

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Frequently asked questions by HopeWorks students – past, present and future

While HopeWorks staff may not physically be in our office, that doesn’t mean we’re closed! Our employees are working remotely to ensure that our students receive assistance and guidance during this unprecedented time. Because of the nature of the situation, we’ve received an influx of questions about our programs and services. We’ve created this document that will update as inquiries are received. Q: When will the next Personal and Career Development (PCD) class start? A: Our next PCD class was originally slated to begin April 29 – however, it will be pushed back to a later date. If you would like […]

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What’s IELCE?

HopeWorks’ education programs extend beyond Personal and Career Development and HiSET (GED) classes. HopeWorks offers classes for ESL (English as a second language) speakers from more than 40 nations! Our Integrated English Literacy and Civic Education (IELCE) classes provide hope and opportunity – the HopeWorks way.  IELCE classes help students build their English-language confidence and acquire cultural skills that will help them secure a job, apply for U.S. citizenship and solidify their standing in America. HopeWorks’s ESL department aims to serve people from all over the world with a number of free classes at locations across Memphis and Shelby County. […]

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What stands in the way of meaningful employment?

The three things that prohibit employment for recently released individuals (education, opportunity, experience) and how to combat it. Getting out of prison isn’t the end of an inmate’s journey – it’s the beginning. There are several obstacles to overcome before reintegration is possible and, with a criminal record, these hurdles can feel insurmountable. At HopeWorks, our team strives to provide services that equip previously incarcerated individuals with the tools necessary to combat these challenges. Here are three things that can stand in the way of achieving meaningful employment upon release. 1. Education Most entry level positions require at least a […]

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