By Steve Tawa

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Inmates need jobs, too. At least when they get out of prison.

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Today, a job fair was held at the Camden County Correctional Facility for former prison inmates or those nearing the end of their prison term.

Once they are on parole or probation, offenders may see their criminal records get in the way of finding decent employment after their debt to society has been paid.

Sean Hinnegan, a job developer for  Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, made the rounds of potential employers and today brought a few into the correctional facility, bearing gainful employment opportunities.

“Employers are very much open to giving somebody a second chance,” he says.

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Hinnegan (in center of photo) says the job applicants at the fair today have nonviolent offenses on their records — perhaps a probation violation or a DUI conviction — but many employers don’t entertain anybody with such a background.

Hinnegan says there are two parts to the logic of the job fair:

“You want to see somebody that made a mistake have a second chance. You also want to bring them back to be a productive member of society, contributing to the tax base. This is important stuff,” he said.

Jobs were being offered in cleaning, restaurants, and retail.

The job fair also included various agencies that provide remedial training, such as a “job prep” class, teaching applicants how to fill out job applications and how to present themselves during interviews.

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