Since serving out a nine-month prison sentence four years ago, Vicki, 45, has not been able to secure employment. The majority of ex-prisoners in Australia are unemployed and/or homeless within six months after their release and as an experienced health sector worker, Vicki believes she is being discriminated against because of her incarceration.
“Even with my certificates and diploma, because of that bit of paper saying that I was incarcerated, the person beside me that hasn’t got the qualifications and know how will actually get the job over me,” she says.
Vicki wants to address the cycle of re-offending using a counselling program for women that have come out of prison to prepare them for life on the outside and provide ongoing support.
Where is she now?
Making it through to boot camp and the final 12 on The Employables, Vicki is now smashing through any barriers that her time in prison may have created in the past.
Vicki says she has built her business, Central Coast Women Moving Forward, completed her studies and now has the confidence to network with the corporate sector. “I have gotten to know myself better," she says. "What I took away from boot camp gave me the confidence to rebrand and restructure my business”.
Vicki is currently working with the job active sector to eventually provide support to all people exiting the criminal justice system via her new business Vicki Jensen Consulting, where she consults with job providers to establish pathways for employment and education, and provide strengths-based programs.
Vicki is also a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee for a Women’s Rehab Centre in the Central Coast area.