Now that my afternoon horticulture classes are over with, I’ve been spending my extra time as wisely as possible. I’ve dedicated even more of my time to fitness and studying financial books in order to take control of a stable, financial future, for myself and for my family as well. I’ve spent the last few days working on the best possible resumes and cover letters to secure employment as quickly and efficiently as possible, after, or if the cards play right, even before my release from prison. But realistically there is no company that I can see wanting to hire an inmate from inside of a prison. Even if there is a company that’s willing to hire me right now, there’s no easy way to get in touch with me, like through a phone or an email account. I’ve also found it very difficult to find the words to explain my situation and how I’ve changed to an employer without having to go into some long-winded explanation about my life and recovery to a better future before even stepping foot into society. It’s just unrealistic. But what I have been doing is practicing for having to explain such a circumstance in an interview and doing it with confidence. I’ve been going over scenarios and “mock” interviews with my good friend, Kurt and taking his helpful advice with better preparing my resumes without having to go into detail about explaining the large gaps in my work history. We talked about how to turn what I used to think of as weaknesses into strengths. Like how the struggles in my life with addiction and serving time in prison has strengthened me in ways that many others will never have the opportunity of facing in life and growing from. What really blows my mind, is finding out how the library will not allow us inmates to type up or print out personal resumes in preparation for our release. They say that the computers and printers are meant specifically for legal work and nothing else. Of course there’s ways around that. I just have to pay a library worker to type them up and print them out for me. It just amazes me how these prisons think it’s okay to consider themselves a “correctional facility”, when they do nothing to help us prepare for a successful, law abiding release into society. As for me, I now have three separate resumes and cover letters completed for three separate positions I qualify to work: machining, cooking, horticulture (landscape, nursery, etc.). I’m as best prepared for an interview on the streets as I can be from inside these walls. The more that the penal system works to hinder me and keep me from achieving my goals, the better I feel about taking control of my own life and future. I worked hard to get where I am today and no one can take that away from me.


Steven Dybvad

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