Competency Category:

13.7 – Work with Clients Post-incarceration

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) reflect on their own values and beliefs and seek to understand those of their clients. CDPs challenge their own assumptions and avoid stereotypes that might negatively impact the well-being of the client and the outcomes of career development interventions.In preparation to working with clients with a criminal record and/or post-incarceration, CDPs must be knowledgeable about the unique challenges and barriers faced following a conviction, and how these may impact expectations about, and access to, work, education and training.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Identify challenges and barriers clients with a criminal record may be facing, for example:
    • Homelessness or inadequate housing
    • Discrimination
    • Lack of adequate discharge planning
    • Difficulty reintegrating into society
    • Lack of a support network
    • Lack of training
    • Gap in employment history
    • Inadequate reintegration supports
    • Restrictive parole or probation requirements
    • Lack of knowledge of current labour market
    • Disqualification from specific roles due to criminal record
    • Poverty
  • P2. Select potential tools and resources designed to facilitate reintegration, for example:
    • Reintegration services
    • Lodging and financial assistance
    • Addiction and harm reduction services
  • P3. Reflect on how the career development approach might be tailored to meet client’s needs, for example:
    • Explain legal protections relevant to the client as applicable in client’s province/territory
    • Assist client in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing, accessing food, clothing, hygiene items
    • Build social support, e.g. family, community
    • Continuity of care with health professionals, e.g. substance abuse treatment program, after care programming
    • Ensure coordinated support services, e.g. agencies in the criminal justice and social service systems
    • Engage communities in planning and delivery of reintegration
    • Explore training options
    • Explore reintegration services
    • Connect individual with needed supports and services
    • Help build financial literacy

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Programs designed to cater to the needs and issues related to justice-involved individuals, e.g. pre-release
    preparation, education, and training programs
  • K2. Judiciary status of client, e.g. parole, statutory release, probation
  • K3. Legislation impacting people post-incarceration, e.g. British Columbia’s Human Rights Code, Quebec’s Charter of
    Human Rights and Freedoms, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Human Rights Act

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:

Criminal records may have a larger impact for clients seeking to work in specific fields, e.g. working with vulnerable populations.

Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.


Information Sources and Resources for Consideration

Griffiths, Curt T., Dandurant, Yvon, Murdoch, Danielle. National Crime Prevention (NCPC). Research Report: 20017-2. The Social Reintegration of Offenders and Crime Prevention, April 2007. ISBN: 978-0-662-46888-2. Catalogue number: PS4-49/2007E

O’Grady, Dr. William, Lafleur, Ryan, John Howard Society of Ontario. Reintegration in Ontario: Practices, priorities, and effective models. University of Guelph, 2016.

Shepard, Blythe C. & Mani, Priya A. Eds. Career Development Practice in Canada. Toronto: CERIC Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9811652-3-3.

Zunker, Vernon G. Career Counselling: A Holistic Approach 9th edition. Boston: Loose-leaf Edition, 2016. ISBN-10: 978-1-305-40106-8

Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?

Moderate risk: CRITICAL


Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Routinely, regular course of procedure

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

A competent career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience with at least 40 different clients, representing a broad range of individuals, including clients experiencing poverty.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is unlikely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

Help us cultivate a community we all enjoy by reviewing and following the Code of Conduct.  

Our Purpose  

Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

Community Rules 

Be welcoming 

We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We aim to create and facilitate a community that promotes excellence and innovation in career and workforce development. Please extend respect to all members; we all come from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge and there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

Be respectful 

We won’t all agree all the time, but when we disagree don’t let those disagreements turn into personal attacks. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened will not be a productive one. Instead, when having discussions in the online community, create productive conversations around the content being presented, not the person behind the content. Any post that is determined to be “hate speech” towards any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation.  

Hate Speech could include and is not limited to:  

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person 
  • Discriminatory jokes, language, or materials 
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A good rule of thumb is to never post anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing or that you wouldn’t want anyone knowing came from you. We ask that you keep in mind the focus of this community, which is building excellence and innovation in career and workforce development for all individuals.  

Be considerate of the purpose of the community 

This community will be focused on building excellence and discussing innovation in the career and workforce development field. The goal of this community is to communicate goals, challenges, constructive feedback, and questions in relation to career and workforce development. The community should be a place for continued learning and development as well as a place to discuss the future of our field (solicitation without written consent by the Project or Advisory team, is strictly prohibited). Any post that is determined to be soliciting any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation. 

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Make reasonable efforts to ensure that posts and materials are allocated to the appropriate group or topic. This will prevent cluttering the community and make it easier for everyone to find the information that they are seeking. Individuals who do this repeatedly will be contacted by one of the group admins and asked to follow these guidelines.  

Privacy and Release of Information  

CDPC-CEDC will not release your information to any third-party agencies.  

Group Admins 

There are four group admins who are available to you. Below are their names and their spoken language. 

Heather Powell | Anglophone 

Gabrielle St-Cyr | Francophone/Anglophone 

Florence Desrochers | Francophone/Anglophone

Muriel Andoblé-Yao | Francophone

Thank you and welcome to the CDPC Community!