Transitioning from Prison to the Workforce
Reverend Bolivar Flores, Case Manager of Latino Outreach at Jersey City Employment and Training Program, describes how New Jersey Reentry Corporation and his faith helped him successfully transition from prison to the workforce.
"Welcome back. My next guest believes that everyone deserves a second chance. And he's sharing his mistakes to help inspire others. He's Reverend Bolivar Flores, case manager for Latino Outreach, in the Jersey City Employment and Training Program at the New Jersey Reentry Corporation. Welcome to the program Reverend Flores. Thank you for having me. Thanks. It's important that you're sharing your story, because you understand what life can look like when you choose the wrong thing and then when you are supported and helped to get back on your feet. Let's talk a little bit about your story. How did you get connected with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation? Yeah. So in 2015, I go to jail, because I make mistake. So when I get out from jail, my friend recommend me go to New Jersey Reentry Corporation. I attended the class for one week. What was that class? It's orientation class. Help you with the ID, with birth certificate, and find employment. So in this week make the [unintelligible] too. So when I attended this class, my case manager present to me Governor Jim McGreevey. So help me find my birth certificate and my ID, and... So you did not have the appropriate documentation here in the United States? You didn't have what you needed to gain your citizenship? Is that what it is? No no no. I have my Green Card and my passport, but when I go to jail, the correctional office destroyed my passport and my Green Card. So when I get out from jail with no ID, it's hard find jobs, improve who I am. So when you got out of jail, had you gone through a transformation in that time while you were incarcerated? Were you reflecting on yourself? Were you reflecting on the choices you had made? What was that process like for you? I started reading the Bible. And I believe God changed me in jail. I listened to voice from God. And I become a new man. And so you get out, and I'm guessing you want to become employed, right? But there are certain challenges for those who have been incarcerated in terms of finding a quality job? So what did you believe was next? What were your options? So when I get out from jail with no place for live, with no ID, so it's hard. My friend told me about New Jersey Reentry Corporation, go to them. So I go to New Jersey Reentry Corporation. I submit my application for start the orientation week. And this week, Governor McGreevey working hard with my Ambassador country for give me the birth certificate and my passport. Also applied, free applied, for my Green..."