WHO? The 10-session Makin' It Work program (updated 2015) targets ex-offenders in transition from various correctional environments (prison, jail, residential re-entry, probation/parole) to community and the world of work.
WHY? The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 6.9 million people were on probation, in jail or prison at the end of 2003. At least 95% of all State prisoners will be released from prison at some point, and 67.5% will be rearrested within 3 years. Long-term employment in a job earning a living wage is the single greatest deterrent to recidivism, but many ex-offenders are poorly prepared with the prosocial attitudes and interpersonal skills employers demand. As a result many quit or are fired from otherwise good job placements, even though they may have the vocational or technical skills to succeed. WHAT? Through structured guided group discussion, benign confrontation, targeted role plays, and thought-provoking stories and activities, the Makin' It Work program challenges ex-offenders to examine how their own attitudes and perceptions have justified a tendency toward harmful or illegal behaviors. Participants then explore the hidden code of conduct employers expect good workers to understand, and practice valuable new communication and problem solving skills to handle difficult situations (such as dealing with criticism and expressing complaints) in an appropriate, professional manner.
"Makin' It Work" targets currently- or formerly-incarcerated individuals preparing for the community and the workplace. It helps them understand their own self-defeating "thinking traps" and gain insights into employer expectations in the workplace. It them teaches interpersonal skills needed to handle difficult workplace situations in a professional manner.
MODULE I: THINKING STRAIGHT
Lesson 1 Challenge of Change
Lesson 2 Thinking Traps
Lesson 3 Hidden Code of Work
MODULE III: SOLVING PROBLEMS LOGICALLY
Lesson 6 Defining the Problem & Goal
Lesson 7 Gaining Information & Insight
Lesson 8 Considering Choices & Consequences
MODULE IV: HANDLING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS
Lesson 9 Making Complaints
Lesson 10 Dealing With Criticism
TestimonialsMakin' It Work From various inmates in Yakima County Jail, WA who completed the program with Officer Terri Beernik:
"I've never had the tools to control my anger & temper and I can honestly say now that I have some now. I feel I can deal with most if not all situations with the tools I have learned from the book and from ms. B. I've learned how to deal with my patience, which is a tool I never had. The Stop & Think is the biggest for me and I will apply that to everything.I think my life will turn around completely thanks to this class & Ms. B. The class was excellent. I have learned how to deal with problems of live without blowing up and always going on the defense. I've learned how to deal with criticism, my attitude, other peoples attitude. I've learned how to accept my wrongs without blaming others for my mistakes and most of all for me I've learned how to deal with self control, cuz without that tool there I just might fall into a thinking trap and make a bad decision and be right back in this same situation. So I say Thank you for this class and Thank you for Ms. B she was great in helping me learn and understand myself."
"The class was very self educating. The interesting part was that it made me think. It was fun, I had never tried to participate in any previous or similar classes. I will find out how it has helped me in employment, but as for Home life, it was excellent, I realized how selfish I was actually being. This has given me more self insight than I've had in drug & alcohol treatment centers. I have gained self knowledge, and would recommend this class to other people. I am grateful for what I have learned. I am going to use these skills to hopefully get a job with my tribe."
"I got a lot more out of this class than I expected. I have already seen the steps work. It was apparent at first but now it is."
"I have learned allot about myself. How I have negative thinking traps that I didn't know I had. I learned new skills to deal with life in a more positive way. I hope this class was the start of me making better choices and communicate better with my bosses, friends, family and community. This class is a valuable class in the jail, thanks for all the information."
Workin' It Out Soft Skills Training Dr. Steve Parese SBParese@aol.com