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Program Works to Find Ex-offenders Transitional Jobs

Nearly 700,000 people leave prison each year, many times to be returned to society with no marketable skills and limited chances for employment. The Chicago-based Safer Program works to find ex-offenders transitional jobs in an effort to reduce recidivism rates.

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  • ELIZABETH BRACKETT, NewsHour Correspondent:

    It's a tough job, sorting through trash at this Chicago recycling center, but it's a job M.C. Ellis is grateful to have. Ellis, 38, got out of prison last July, after serving 15 years on a murder conviction. When he got out, able only to read at a third-grade level, he didn't have the skills for most jobs, and he came home to a very different world.

  • M.C. ELLIS, ALLIED WASTE WORKER:

    It's changed.

  • ELIZABETH BRACKETT:

    What was the biggest change?

  • M.C. ELLIS:

    Computers and telephones and…

  • ELIZABETH BRACKETT:

    The computers and telephones?

  • M.C. ELLIS:

    Yes, so, Internet, so…

  • ELIZABETH BRACKETT:

    Did you have any idea how to work a computer?

  • M.C. ELLIS:

    No.

  • ELIZABETH BRACKETT:

    No training in prison?

  • M.C. ELLIS:

    No.

  • ELIZABETH BRACKETT:

    How about a phone?

  • M.C. ELLIS:

    No, I still don't know how to use them.