DAPO Director Jerry Powers, center, says finding employment for formerly incarcerated individuals helps reduce recidivism.

By Joan Bys, Parole Agent III
Los Angeles Central 3
Division of Adult Parole Operations

The Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) Director Jerry Powers was on hand with the Mayor of Los Angeles for a press conference announcing the placement of 264 formerly incarcerated Angelenos in jobs throughout the city since July 2016.  The press conference took place in Downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 8 and was attended by seven former inmates, Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mayor Garcetti, Director Powers, and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

In the summer of 2016, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Reentry was awarded a three-year, $8.9 million contract with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to help stabilize more than 1,300 formerly incarcerated men and women by providing them with transitional employment, job training and other resources that put them on pathways to careers.

The grant has been successfully used in several ways, and DAPO became involved through the Fair Chance Hiring Fairs, which trained and introduced parolees to employers in the community.

In May of this year, Los Angeles Parole Administrator Vincent Thompson arranged for a specialized week of training for parolees which concluded with a job fair attended by nearly 100 employers.

Director Powers highlighted the importance of parolees obtaining jobs upon release, stating that we must not put up barriers to gainful employment.  He cited the reduction in recidivism when a formerly incarcerated individual has obtained employment.