Through the resources of the SC Works centers, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is active in the effort to help individuals across the state within the correctional system live a more productive and rewarding life when they return to their community.

One of the critical components to the success of this program is the relationship with employers. DEW and the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) actively collaborate with employers to discuss employment opportunities for ex-offenders, skills-training to ensure these individuals are equipped to join the labor force and programs offered to provide businesses peace of mind as they give these eligible employees a chance to become part of their valuable workforce.

Second Chance

In November of 2014, DEW – in partnership with SCDC - developed a program within the Manning Pre-Release Correctional Facility where a DEW employee was placed within the facility to assist inmates who are 90 days from release.

The program consists of workshops that help them with interviewing skills, computer basics, soft skills, and the job search process. In addition, inmates in this program are introduced to the SC Works system.   Each participant is assisted with Federal Bonding, résumé preparation and letters that explain their history and record for employers.

Thirty days prior to release, the participants are scheduled for one-on-one sessions with the DEW staff.  During these sessions, the staff person talks with them about any concerns they may have about returning to the community, helps them work through these issues, makes suggestions and provides guidance.

At the time of release, each participant receives a folder with a Federal Bonding letter, several copies of their résumé, a letter that explains their personal situation, any other information that staff feel they need to connect them with available resources, and a list of SC Works centers across the state as well as a contact for their local SC Works center. Each month after release day, the names of these individuals are sent out to the DEW staff in the centers so staff may proactively reach out to the individuals in their area and offer continued support. 

In May 2017, the agency – in partnership with the SCDC – implemented the same program within the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution.

DEW and SCDC work closely to continue to look for other opportunities to provide support in various corrections facilities across the state on an as needed basis, knowing that preparation on the inside and confidence on the outside plays a direct role in reducing the rate of recidivism.


Monthly Release Preparation

DEW provides assistance every month by holding informational sessions in each correctional facility for those who are set to be released that month. These sessions are a way for the agency to reach out and offer support to these individuals that may not know how to start over. During these sessions, information on the services available as well as locations of the SC Works centers is made available. 

Services are also provided in various corrections facilities across the state on an as needed basis.  Corrections will contact the center closest to them and request specific workshops in an effort to prepare their inmates for release. The staff within each region also will reach out to the facilities within their areas and offer support and assistance.

SC Works representatives work closely with returning citizens through case management and referrals supportive services to help them work through employment barriers.

Most importantly, DEW and SC Works staff are always looking for employers who are willing to give these individuals a second chance.