Curriculum

Prison to Employment Connection is offered to inmates at San Quentin State Prison who are close to their release dates or have a scheduled Parole Board Hearing. After successfully completing a rigorous 14-week employment readiness program, inmates are invited to an Employer Day. Potential employers (PEC Partners) come to the prison to interview inmates, review their resumes, and offer guidance and support for potential employment upon release.

  • Orientation:

    Understand the goals for the program and the participation, homework and attendance agreements required to enroll.

  • Class #1: Interest Inventory

    Build a framework for self-understanding and identify interests that will be used to develop resume writing and interview skills.

  • Class #2: Identifying strengths and transferable skills

    Identify marketable skills and write and speak about them with ease.

  • Class #3: Writing an Effective Resume

    Learn the basics of resume writing and complete a detailed master job application.

  • Class #4: Resume Writing Workshop – Part I

    Work with skilled volunteer resume writers to develop a resume first draft.

  • Class #5: Resume Writing Workshop – Part II

    Refine the resume draft with volunteers so it best reflects experience, abilities and skills.

  • Class #6: Discussing Criminal History in an Interview

    Practice speaking honestly but briefly and with full accountability about the crime that led to incarceration. Hear from a guest speaker about legal rights related to employment.

  • Class #7: Interview Skills - Part I

    Respond to common interview questions using small group work.

  • Class #8: Interview Skills – Part II

    Demonstrate the ability to answer interview questions clearly and concisely during mock interviews.

  • Class #9: Launching a Job Search

    Learn how to prepare and launch an effective job search and manage possible rejection and disappointment.

  • Class #10: Individual Meetings

    Meet with facilitators individually to prepare for Employer Day.

  • Class #11: Putting it all Together

    Integrate material from all previous classes, learn about the employers who will attend Employer Day and practice interviews.

  • Class #12: Employer Day

    Interview with potential employers and service providers from across the Bay Area.

  • Class #13: Graduation

    Celebrate successful completion of the program and hear from guest speakers who have been previously incarcerated to learn about their paths to employment success post-release.

Results

The data shows that 85% of our graduates interview BETTER than people the employers are interviewing on the outside.

Data collected from our employer assessments show that: 

  • 85% of our graduates interview BETTER than people on the outside
  • 14% of our graduates interview the SAME as people on the outside
  • Less than 1% interview below average

The statistics demonstrate that graduates of the program: communicate well, are clear about their work values, answer interview questions directly and concisely, ask relevant questions, articulate their strengths and weaknesses, present their skills both verbally and on a resume, and address their criminal history briefly and with accountability. 

  • Scores of 5 = Exceptional

    0%
  • Scores of 4 = Above Average

    0%
  • Scores of 3 = Average

    0%
  • Scores of 2 = Below Average

    0%
  • Scores of 1 = Unsatisfactory

    0%

Employer Testimonials

“The employees we have hired from Prison to Employment Connection are more prepared for the workforce than 90% of other applicants we meet. They understand the importance of punctuality, reliability, and following directions; skills imperative in any industry. In addition, their strong work ethics have lifted the performance of their team members. We look forward to continue hiring graduates from this program. They are, indeed, an asset to our company."

Mischa Kubancik

Every Dog Has Its Daycare, Oakland, CA

“It was an exciting surprise to find that the men at the job fair were able to convey their dreams of moving on in such an articulate way.  They were not only very well prepared for their job interviews, but truly seemed to be ready for the job they were hoping to be hired for.  They were all about making eye contact, greeting me in a proper and engaging way, smiling earnestly, seeming both composed and relaxed.  Also, they were all able to speak frankly and openly in a very eloquent manner about their past, and of why they thought the job they were applying for was a good fit for them. Extraordinary!”

Gabriella Camara

Cala Restaurant, SF, CA

“I have worked in Social Enterprise for 18 years and working with the Prison Employment Connection participants and volunteers is one of the highlights of my career.  The men come to the workshop prepared and are eager to hear feedback.  It is a huge commitment to complete the program and it is an honor to work with these men on their path to gainful employment.”

Kevin McCraken

Social Imprints, SF, CA

Prison to Employment Connection Graduate Testimonials

“I learned life itself is an interview and how you show up determines where you end up.”

Eddie H.

“The thing that I have learned is that there are people willing to take a chance on me in spite of my past, which empowers, inspires and informs my future. Yes! I have inherent value!”

Mike A.

“I now realize that if I am willing to put in the work, that I have the ability to accomplish anything.”

Arthur R.

“It’s been 24 years since I experienced an interview. The class encouraged me to be inspired & believe in myself.”

Osbun W.

“I have changed my whole outlook on life. The PEC class has helped me open up and use the tools that I have learned in my self-help classes. It really taught me to smile more and just be myself.”

Altin J.

“What did I get from this program? I received a sense of confidence. Why? After spending the last 35 years in prison I had been constantly bombarded with negative images of how I will be perceived by employers as an ex-felon. Today, {after meeting employers} my faith has been restored.”

Quinton W.

“Even though I make a mistake in my life there is always someone willing to give me a second chance.”

William A.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is that honesty, open mindedness and passion can provide a drive that fuels previous adversity.”

Kahlil D.

“This class gave me a chance and I am grateful forever.”

Harwinder S.

“I’ve learned that I have marketable skills no matter how long I have been incarcerated.”

Bobby W.

“This experience is the absolute best this prison has to offer. Prison to Employment Connection allows you the opportunity to get hands on experience in developing interpersonally.”

Christopher S.

“I’ve been away from my profession for over 20 years and this class showed me I still have valuable skills that are sought after.

Elliott C.

“When I started this program I had definite ideas about what I would and wouldn't do regarding employment. After the positive results of a job interview, my ideas completely changed. Never discount the power of openness and honesty.

Christopher C.

“As I entered the program I was unsure and felt lost. Yet as time went {on}, with the help and understanding from the group, my hope and future became a plus once more in my life. I now have a positive outlook for my freedom and for my job search without being looked down upon.”

Tony M.

“The program did a wonderful job of preparing me for when I go free and step into the world of working.”

Lee G.

“I’ve learned to start something and finish it and I’ve learned to be honest and be myself.”

Jason G.

“I got two jobs and an apprenticeship program guaranteed. So my life as a struggling ex-con with the potential to snap is over. I have peace, confidence, dignity and a new life with a future I can be proud of. I’ve been saved by this class from a life of possible crime as a permanent option.”

Clenny T.

“After being locked up for the past 29 years, this class truly helped me get ready for release back into society. It also gave me confidence in society that I am not an outcast. The employers I met were all amazing and down to earth and they left me feeling human.

John G.

“This program gave me hope when I thought there was no hope for me. This class made me speak up when I would have said nothing and made me step out of my comfort zone.”

David T.

“This program has given me hope. Hope that my career isn’t over. It has motivated me and inspired me to pursue my goal.”

Zachariah M.

“I want to say that this program was the best! I have never been through anything like this or experienced anything like this. I want to thank all the employers who were there {at the job fair}.”

Larry C.

“I feel empowered and confident from participating in Prison to Employment Connection. I also get the sense that I can be a valued part of any community I parole to, and that my skills are marketable. I felt seen, acknowledged and I’m really hopeful about my future. I’m inspired and ready to contribute. ”

Gino S.

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