Insights and Perspective


Insights and Perspective


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On the Front Line of Reentry: Raynisha Perry at CareerSource Palm Beach County

This is the final installment in a series profiling the professionals working with justice-involved individuals in honor of Second Chance Month. The important work they do is key to reintegration into the labor market and the fabric of society.  

Raynisha Perry is a Senior Reentry Career Consultant with extensive experience in the field of reentry. She holds an associate degree from Palm Beach State College and a bachelor’s degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University. For the last six years, Raynisha has worked with justice-involved adults and juveniles, and her current role with CareerSource PBC has her assisting all justice-involved individuals in their reentry employment endeavors. CareerSource PBC, which is chartered by the state of Florida, employs a dedicated team of career counselors, business coaches and training providers to help area businesses stay competitive through training grants and talent acquisition while also assisting job seekers to find new jobs through career assessments, training, and employment assistance.

Raynisha, tell us about the reentry work you do at CareerSource Palm Beach County.

As a Reentry Career Consultant, I assist newly released returning citizens, and those that are having a tough time obtaining a job due to prior criminal background, find gainful employment. I assist my clients with résumé preparation, job searches, and preparation for their initial interview. Additionally, I form amazing partnerships with local employers to employ my clients by introducing Transitional and On-the-Job Training programs — all funded by CareerSource.

Which practice has been most effective in preparing individuals for life after incarceration?

One of the most effective strategies we use at CareerSource PBC to prepare our clients for life after incarceration is to understand the concepts of preparation, timeliness, and constructive criticism.

This is not easy work; what motivates you?

My clients are my motivation. When returning citizens come in for their initial interview, they are scared, depressed, and lost, but [they] hope to find employment. After hearing their story and all of life’s challenges [they have endured], my heart is moved, and I spring into action to make things happen for my client — from collaborating with case managers within our reentry community to coordinating with community resource agencies, [I want] to ensure that my client’s basic needs are met. Then finally, I prepare my client for any future interviews. 

When my client lands the job, with happy tears, they express their gratitude for my belief in them. Many clients spent 15 years in prison and are now Reentry Case managers, medical assistants, truck drivers, and [employed in] other various fields. I have a client [with a new career as] a truck driver after working with me. He sent me an email to show me the house he bought; to thank me for not giving up on him; and to show that what I said was possible. This is my reward: when they succeed in life and make their dreams come true.

We thank Raynisha for her insights, and we commend the important work she is carrying out in Florida.

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