The American nonprofit organization, Goodwill, is bringing VR tech to the Knox County Jail to help inmates practice job-search skills and help break the cycle of inmates being re-arrested.
The initiative, called ‘Project Overcome,’ is a part of the organization’s international objective to support people to find employment. Their goal is to assist incarcerated people by enhancing their communication skills to aid in the job-hunting process while enabling them to explore modern technologies in a low-risk environment.
The experience has particularly been created for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system looking to get back into the workforce.
Trish Richards, a recently released beneficiary of the program, tried out the tech at the ‘One Stop Re-Entry Shop’ last week. She went through a series of job interview questions and practiced her responses. She also received feedback on her answers and suggestions to improve.
Ayoka Huff-Johnson, a program coordinator with Goodwill, believes that one of the best parts of the program is that it’s judgment-free.
“It is a non-threatening way to answer some of those tough questions about their background, experience, etc. Then, it gives immediate feedback so people can see did they select the best answer? And why or why not it was the best answer,” Johnson said.
Individuals can participate in the VR program once or multiple times. It incorporates numerous characters, storylines, and interview questions to help them practice comprehensively.
“It offers up as much help or as little help as people need as they’re going through this difficult process,” Johnson added.
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