In February 2021, Marie-Josée Jobin, a former inmate at Joliette Institution, contacted her case management team several months after her sentence expired in order to share her reintegration journey. Her story is that of a determined, bold, and inspiring woman who took full advantage of the Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) vocational training to succeed in her job search.
Before being incarcerated, Ms. Jobin had been self-employed and had little professional experience. Upon arriving at the institution, she only had the equivalent of a second year of secondary school.
During her incarceration, she made it her mission to seize all the opportunities offered by CSC. In particular, she passed the Secondary School Equivalency Test, which she considers to be a great personal success. She also took several professional training courses related to construction, her main area of interest. She gained a wealth of knowledge about safety while using electrical and measuring tools, machinery lockout procedures and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). She also completed occupational health and safety certifications on construction sites. Last, but not least, she received the certification that would open the door to a rewarding profession: road signaller.
Ms. Jobin also participated in the National Employability Skills Program (NESP) to better understand and develop social skills at work. Upon her release, her new qualifications allowed her to quickly get a job as a road signaller.
Ms. Jobin says she has always made it a point to be transparent about her criminal record. Today, thanks to her managers’ trust and recognition, she works as a signalling and lettering supervisor. She leads a team of 62 employees and earns an annual salary she never would have dreamed of before! The mother and grandmother notes that she can count on her family’s support. Above all, she now feels that she deserves the pride of her loved ones. Ms. Jobin is grateful to CSC for this.
“Everything I sought out in prison has helped make me who I am today,” she says.
Marie-Josée Jobin’s success is an excellent reminder to the CORCAN team, caseworkers at Joliette Institution and the Metropolitan Montréal District that they can make a positive difference in the lives of offenders and help set them up for success upon their release.
Article submitted by Caroline Lévesque, Project Officer – Employment and Employability Program, CORCAN