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Reentrants Writes Heartfelt Note Thanking Parole Agent

Tags: Parole
November 02, 2020 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

PA Coat of Arms

The following is a letter submitted to the Pennsylvania Parole Board by a successful reentrant who simply wanted to commend and praise his parole agent:

Dear Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole,

I am writing to briefly share my positive experience with Agent Vince Karabin, who was assigned to me on my post-release quest to find employment. Being released days before a pandemic quarantine makes a tough situation tougher and I am thankful for having Agent Karabin as a re-entry employment resource. He faithfully called me on a weekly basis to check on my progress, inquire about my capacity to sustain myself financially, encourage me, and offer me sage suggestions.  He used the weekly check-ins not as another control mechanism, but rather as an opportunity to dialogue about my specific experiences with job seeking. His experience had already taught him that there will be setbacks, there will be job offers that get rescinded, and that one has to be willing to hear some "no's" if you want to hear a "yes." With that perspective, he acted as a true support--which is what parole pamphlets explicitly note is the role of an agent.

Most helpful to me was his wisdom regarding short-term goals and mid-range planning as well as his advice regarding seeking jobs that have growth potential; this keen tip illustrates he brings his broad experiences to each conversation. Finally, what perhaps I appreciated most was his patience. Sure, it would have been easy to just call me up weekly and threaten me, which is a tactic employed by people less motivated to work hard or care. Rather, Agent Karabin employed the first habit of Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which is: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. He always asked me how it was going (or probe into the weekly email updates I would send), and then built a dialogue around my experiences. Each call included a resource, some suggestions, and consistent encouragement.

I am happy to report that I am now employed and continuing to seek further employment. Perhaps the most telling anecdote is this: the job I secured was not suggested by him or even secured by a contact referral. Yet, here I am applauding him. Why? Because maybe without his encouragement, I would have given up after my 100th job rejection. Maybe I would have been less inclined to pivot strategies.  A lot of things could have happened, but what DID happen is that I stayed focused and motivated thanks to his encouragements and I evolved my game plan thanks to his wise suggestions.

Agent Karabin's model is an effective one in helping re-entrants find employment. I hope you find this information helpful as you continue to refine an ever-changing element of your purview. Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Joseph


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