Job and resource fair at Marion County jail helps inmates

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A job and resource fair held at a Marion County Jail Wednesday offered inmates a chance to prepare for life after their release.

According to staff at Jail II, inmates were surveyed about their top concerns about adjusting to life outside the jail. Based on the responses, organizations and companies were brought in to answer questions and provide opportunities.

Inmates had the chance to learn about housing, jobs, healthcare and even mentoring options. This marks the first time such an event is held inside the jail.

"I think that the collaborative effort, that holistic approach, will make a big difference," said Damon Lane, the re-entry employment and education liaison.

This is all part of a strategy to reduce the number of people who are stuck in a cycle of incarceration.

The inmates who attended the fair are nearing the end of their time in the jail. They have been living in a "re-entry pod" and preparing to join  the workforce.

"Really make them work toward the end deal which is getting in touch with community partners and people that are willing to hire them for second chances," said Jared Nuetzman, a unit manager.

Jail staff said they plan to make the job and resource fair a quarterly event.