Workshop held to increase opportunities for ex-offenders - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Workshop held to increase opportunities for ex-offenders

(WMC-TV) - The Tennessee Department of Correction is inviting ex-offenders and their families to a unique workshop this weekend. The goal is to decrease crime by increasing opportunities for ex-offenders to find work and other help.

Men and women being released from jail face a number of challenges, one of which is staying out of jail. Helping ex-offenders is one of the goals of Tennessee's Department of Correction and its Probation and Parole Office.

"So we have a lot of programs here such as our thinking for change program, our anger management program, our relapse prevention program," said April Buckner, Probation and Parole Office.

Next Wednesday, Buckner's office will team up with the city, the county, and the Tennessee Re-Entry Collaborative to offer a series of workshops for ex-offenders and their families.

"We are teaching job readiness. We are teaching how to do a resume. We are teaching how to dress, how to talk," she explained.

And organizers say not only can ex-offenders learn employment skills at the workshops, organizers will also focus on social issues. Everything from child support, to substance abuse, to anger management will be discussed.

Buckner describes the workshop as an extension of the services her office provides on a daily basis.

"We're making sure that we give them the skills and the tools to become productive law abiding citizens, so that they don't go back," she said.

In the past 12 months, Buckner has partnered with local employers to help about 91 people find work. They hope to help even more ex-offenders with their upcoming workshop.

The resource and information event for ex-offenders runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mid-South Fairgrounds' Pipkin Building.

Shifting Gears Community Outreach, along with 60 to 70 other organization will also take part.

For more information, call April Buckner at (901) 354-3705 or email her at

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