Story by Douglas Broome, Parole Agent III
Photos by Jennifer Barnes, Parole Agent II
Los Angeles Central Parole District
LA Central Parole District, which sponsors monthly meetings for female offenders, recently hosted its Annual Holiday Luncheon attended by 51 female offenders.
Kimberley Guillemet, LA Mayor’s Office of Reentry, discussed “The Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” also known as Ban the Box. The initiative prohibits employers from inquiring about criminal histories until a conditional job offer has been made. Additionally, Guillemet acknowledged the challenges that formerly incarcerated women face. Female offenders have often suffered from some type of abuse prior to committing their criminal acts. She also spoke of the need to establish and secure pathways to permanent employment for female offenders.
Noreen McClendon, Director of Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles, spoke passionately to the group about utilizing all available resources to assist with their reentry and to seek out additional resources if needed. She urged the group to do a personal inventory and moral assessment. She encouraged the group to “know” their strengths and weaknesses, social traits, good and bad characteristics, motivations, and attitudes before seeking assistance.
In addition to being provided a holiday meal, the women were also able to access the brand new Second Chance Boutique, a collection of recently donated clothing from agents and other individuals that assist female offenders with obtaining clothing for all occasions. Each female offender also received a hygiene kit.
During the meeting, Sandra Anderson was honored as the LA Central Parole District’s Female Parolee of the Year. The honor was bestowed upon her for having a positive and productive parole program. Some of Anderson’s accomplishments include graduating from the October 2017 Career Pathways 180 Reentry Job Preparation and Fair and enrolling in a culinary program at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
Through the hard work and dedication of LA Central’s Gender Responsive Agents, the meetings have grown in size; the resources and services have been bountiful; and the collaboration with community stakeholders have proven to be fruitful.’