Dr. Cali Estes - The Addictions Academy ®

What is a Prison Re-Entry Coach?

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What is a Prison Re-Entry Coach?

Often an under-discussed and downright dismissed aspect of society today are prisoners in the justice system before and after serving. Sure, they committed a crime and under the eyes of the law that demands punishment, but we never really consider how far that punishment goes. Someone who goes to prison for a misdemeanor serves a year, then has their whole life altered in a drastic way. A permanent label strapped to their name that could lead to fewer employment options, stigma, broken relationships, and a general loss of place and belonging. The world doesn’t stop moving when they’re locked away, and major changes can happen in a year, not even counting sentences that last longer than that.

This is where a Prison Re-Entry Coach may be able to save the day. Prison Re-Entry Coaches are tasked with fixing that big issue – the inability to adapt to a new world. The Addictions Academy elaborates further with its certification page for the position, saying:

“A Prison Re-Entry Coach’s function is to assist a client with returning to a new society and living a new, productive lifestyle.  A Certified Prison Re-Entry Coach sets the parameters of the conversation, listens and contributes observations and questions, provides a roadmap for success, and assists the client as a team to achieve their desired goals. An action-based Prison Re-Entry Coach accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choices, actions, and responsibility.”

The course itself is surprisingly thorough, utilizing the ICF 11 Core Competencies of Coaching and teaching things like motivational interviewing skills, life coaching, life skills, and much more.

How to Become a Prison Re-Entry Coach

Let’s expand on the certification course; How does one become a Prison Re-Entry Coach? Well, there are technically no prerequisites, either to the certification or to the job itself. Technically you could dive right in and hope for the best, but that’s like jumping on a plank of wood and calling yourself a pirate. You can do it, but there’s no real credibility or substance there. Odd comparison but bear with me!

Without certification, it’s hard for people to place their trust in you. You need to know what you’re talking about. The Addictions Academy offers a premier course that not only teaches you everything you need to know but gives you more on top of that!

The course itself lasts around 10 hours, addressing things like assessing proper post-release placement, mental and physical health community services, anger management containment, housing, sober living facilities, coaching properly, support systems, and a whole lot more. Afterward, there’s a 5-hour course study, a 6-hour self-study course, an ethics course, and finally some coach mentorship for a few weeks. In order to take this course there are technically no prerequisites, but it’s recommended that you take their certification course I and II for recovery coaching before taking this one.

The hosts for the course are Cali Estes and Claude Ouellette, both wonderfully talented and experienced individuals in this and similar fields. Cali is the founder of the company, the titular “Addictions Coach” and is widely considered to be a powerhouse in the world of addiction coaching. From offering online sober coaching to a live-in sober companion, she’s a leading provider of certification and services! Claude Ouellette is notable in his own right, being the author of a self-betterment book titled “Understanding is Everything” and having struggled through his own trials. I couldn’t do his story enough justice in my own words:

“A twelve-year-old school dropout and a criminal by the age of fourteen, he is a living testament to breaking the chains of the term, “product of your environment.” As a convicted felon, facing fifteen years in Florida State Prison, Claude began his journey to self-betterment. Behind cold, steel walls he decided to break the chains of a former generation.  “You only do what you know, until you learn something different.”  Claude spent the next fifteen years taking self-help classes, business courses, trade courses, substance abuse classes, and life reentry classes.

Finally, at 35, Claude was released from Florida Maximum Security Prison. He quickly set his long-awaited dreams into motion by using social media platforms to motivationally speak to those who may need a new perspective on life.  A lesson he wished he would have been told before it was too late.”

With both being especially prolific in their expertise added to Claude’s own experiences, this is a one-of-a-kind course that offers invaluable insight.

Why You Should Be a Prison Re-Entry Coach

With the “How” out of the way, that leaves the “why”. This is a loaded question, but bluntly, it’s a matter of helping people no matter their background or circumstance. Being sent to prison shouldn’t mean the end of someone’s life, and despite the crime, they deserve aid as much as anyone else. It’s a matter of preventing clients from being shunned and allowing them to truly rehabilitate! No one can show they’re a better person if they don’t have a shot.

Not only that but being dropped into the outside world so suddenly can be scary! There’s so much freedom and a lack of direction that it’ll inevitably lead to an almost immediate negative reaction.

How much does a Prison Re-Entry Coach make?

However, it’s understandable if emotional betterment and community strengthening isn’t the only motivator for some. So, it’s worth looking into income. Compared to other coaching professions, there is actually a plethora of information on the salary for prison re-entry coaches.

For example, according to the Innocent Project New Orleans, the salary is around $35,000 – $40,000 dependent on experience, with benefits, insurance, and paid vacation. However, according to ZipRecruiter, the average may be closer to $80,000. The numbers are largely dependent on experience and location, but the lowest is consistently around $35,000 and the highest can be around $180,000! It’s a lucrative career choice, to say the least.


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