For Carmen Garcia, the end of a prison sentence was the beginning of a new set of problems.

“The biggest obstacle for me was continuing to stay in school, because the halfway house wanted me to get a job right away, a full-time job,” she said. “And I remember a case manager said to me, ‘You need to take this job, whatever job they offer you, because now you have a criminal record and you’re not going to be able to get another job. Don’t worry about education, because that’s not going to help you.’”

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Bailey's barbershop

“My last trip in the penitentiary, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do with my life,” said Reggie Bailey, sitting in the swiveling barber chair in his small shop in the heart of downtown Oakland. “I just decided to go to barber college.”

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Hey you! Welcome to The Job Blog. My name is Brittney and I am a 23-year-old television student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. As I inch toward graduation, I find myself trying to avoid all of the negative news about the economic crisis, as it will decide whether I live in my own…

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