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'Just trying to get a job' | Formerly incarcerated Tulsan struggles to find work

Ashley Love
Posted at 9:38 PM, May 23, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — It is hard for Formerly incarcerated people to find jobs.

Tulsan Ashley Love is one of those people. She has nine kids and a large amount of debt but no job.

During the “Second Chance Job Fair,” Love spoke with 2 News. She attended the vent “just trying to get my life in a better position.”

Unfortunately, for her, that’s easier said than done.

National studies show that the difficulty finding employment after convictions or imprisonment is an impact in the recividism rate. In Oklahoma, that rate is 21%.

Valorie Wilson, one of the event organizers, puts it, Love is ‘justice involved.’

“It means that you may have gotten into some trouble and did a little time,” Wilson said, “And may have some stuff on your record that you need a little help with.”

Love dealt with an assault and battery charge, that didn’t amount to much.

She said the charges are dismissed, but it shows up on her background checks. She said she spent four days in jail.

Nicole Gardener helped organize the job fair.

She said after the COVID-19 pandemic, people are less likely to return to work so hiring managers turned to formerly incarcerated individuals.

The results may have surprised them.

“These people are good workers and just as good as any other employee,” Gardener said.

Love said she’s “just looking for any type of employment that can better me and my family.”

She advises people in similar situations, to “never give up.”

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