How to conduct a job search with a criminal record

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Seventy-three percent of human resources professionals said their company, or an agency hired by their company, conducted criminal background checks for all job candidates, according to a 2010 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. That you may undergo a background check upon applying for a job isn’t noteworthy, but for job seekers with a criminal record it can feel like an inevitable uphill battle.

“While persons with a criminal record cannot be discriminated against, they may be prohibited from working in some industries such as health care and financial services,” says Bruce Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. “Except in rare cases, employers will want to do a background check on the candidate.”

Yet not all hope is lost. Because you know a background check is likely coming, you can take steps to prove to hiring managers that you are an upstanding member of society. Ultimately, employers want to know you have the skills necessary to succeed in the civilian workforce. Here are some ways to do so:

Look into getting your criminal record expunged
Depending on the type of crime committed, it may be possible to get your criminal record expunged, or sealed. While this doesn’t mean your record is erased, it does limit who can access it. Consult a legal professional about your options or visit your state government’s website for more information. The website eHow.com provides additional information on how this can be done.

Know everything about your conviction
Donna Ballman, a Florida-based employment attorney and author of “Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired,” says it’s important to know exactly what you’ve been convicted of and whether the record was expunged. “Lots of people have no idea [about] the actual charges that they were convicted of,” Ballman says. “It makes a difference. If you don’t care enough about your criminal record to explain the details, employers may assume you think committing crimes is OK.”

Explore volunteer opportunities
“If people want to shake the stigma of a questionable past, they need to find at least two civic organizations to volunteer at so they have solid references behind their applications,” says David Perry, co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0.” “Six to 18 months of volunteer work — and I do mean sincere volunteer work — will go a long way in getting a usable reference.”

Consider the type of company to which you’re applying
Depending on the type, size or management style of a company, it may or may not conduct a criminal background check or be more lenient in accepting applicants with a criminal past. “Most applications ask whether you have been arrested or convicted of a crime,” says Mary Greenwood, attorney, human resources director and author of “How to Interview Like a Pro.” “Some will say felony so that conviction of a misdemeanor might be allowed.”

John Millikin, clinical professor of management at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, adds, “For a convicted felon, it may be better to look for something in small business, where you may have an opportunity to explain what happened directly to the owner.”

Participate in a re-entry program
Programs are available to help job seekers with a criminal record re-enter society and secure employment. One such initiative is the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, a Houston-based nonprofit whose mission is to “stimulate positive life transformation for executives and inmates, uniting them through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring.” According to Jeremy Gregg, the organization’s chief development officer, their “entrepreneurship boot camp” connects convicted felons with top executives, MBA students and politicians, and provides education, training and support. This is just one example; search the Web for local organizations that offer similar services.

Be honest
Perhaps the best piece of advice? Be honest. It’s true for all job seekers, whether you’re talking about work history, references or past salaries. It’s especially true for job seekers with a record. “If you fail to disclose a criminal record when asked, and you aren’t allowed to say it didn’t happen — as with an expunction — then the employer can fire you for failing to disclose it, even if you’ve worked there for years with no problems,” Ballman says.

Adds Millikin: “A job seeker with a felony record who has ‘paid his or her debt’ should be transparent about it without having to wear it on his or her sleeve. You should mention it after real interest has been expressed in you but before you get an offer. You should always answer questions about it truthfully, and never act as if you are hiding something, as it is worse to have it exposed in a background check.”

249 Comments
  1. in finding a job, employers should always be fair to their applicant. Even peoples who has a criminal record. They are also people who seek respect. Give them a try it doesn’t mean that once a criminal always a criminal. Give them a chance.

  2. None of the above help ex-felons.  Society believes that you should pay for your crime the rest of your life. This is only one of the reasons that the U.S.A is going downhill and will continue to do so until God detroys it completely.  Ex-felons ARE discriminated against int he workforce and it doesn’t matter even if it was a one time thing like forgery at the age of 47.  Do the crime, pay the time.  society wants you to reintergrate and be a model citizen but not in their neighborhood, not in their business.  3 years out and 56 years old and working 16-20 hour days 7 days a week for $0.00 while being homeless and still the door is closed.  They are the ones missing out of the best office manager/accounting/analyist person.  God bless.

  3. I had my nurses license suspended in 2003 because of addictions. I went to the AZ board of nursing and hoped they would help me, instead my life became a living hell. I was forced to pay for random urine screenings at $30 each, and to go to AA meetings 3x/week, attend a nurse recovery group each Saturday (which interfered with finding minimum wage work), find a sponsor and and other demands. I was place on an OIG /OPM and other government sansctioned lists which meant I couldn’t take care of any medicare pts. Anyhow, I lost everything, my house, my dog, and 2/3 of my possessions. (there’s more to this story but it is too long). at the end of my probationary period I had some priveleges returned to me and I began work in a great hospital in Phoenix. Eventually my nurses license was returned intact and in good standing and I was off all sanction lists. I left that hospital so I coB I also had to declare bankruptcy ( another red flag). Employers see my resume on the internet and are all sucky nice when they call me, and then when they get the background check the won’t even talk to me. They add insult to injury because the receptionist tells me they’re out of the office or at a meeting. I worked long and hard to get that license back and I’m sick of everyone’s judgement and thinking; and know I may lose my second house because I ran out of money.

  4. I have been unemployed for almost 3.5. yrs. in CT. After almost 3000 job applications and 75 interviews I believe the felony conviction from 2004 is the main reason. In only a few instances was I actually told they couldn’t hire me because of the conviction as it was a co. policy to not hire convicted felons the other times I just never heard back after the interview. In some cases I was lead to believe I was a top candidate so very odd to be dropped with no reason. Pepsi has a blurb on their employment site that they don’t usually hire people with adult convictions. I have been looking for secretarial /office admin or related work. I know I cannot aply to schools, banks and medical offices, these are the main employers of secretaries. And of course forget about employment agencies.
    The employment situation is really far more grim than people w/o records can imagine. Plus police blotters remain online forever now as well, looks real good when employer googles your name and finds that. Also most “advice columnists” seem to feel that the real world/employers are more forgiving then they are. Actually NO, why should they hire someone with a criminal conviction over someone who background check is clean, all things being equal? It’s much worse for single people who don’t have a spouse to support them so no wonder people tend to reoffend, even if the original conviction was not related to financial need, if you can’t get a job and have run outta $ what are you going to do?

  5. In the rel world that we live in.  Many employers won’t even give you a second thought if your application has that little yes box checked next to the criminal history question.  So you can’t show and will never know that you’ve been discriminated against.

  6. You say Employers can’t discriminate against someone who has been convicted of a felony? I say BULL***T, because they have done it to me for several years!! I have been convicted of having 3 DUI’s in a 10 year period, all which happened in the 90s; yet they still hold this against me and will continue to screw me out of getting hired into a decent company. They treat me as if I were a rapist or murderer…

  7. I know how everyone feels and I’m just not saying it. I have no criminal background, no felony and yet I can’t get a job as a nurse because of an “illness” (addiction). I’m afraid to apply in another field. I’m actually sick over this.

  8. The writer, Debra Auerbach, apparently has never had a felony or she would know that all she wrote on this article is bull.  NOONE (except a couple of minimum wage jobs at fast food restaurants) hire ex-felons.  There should be a law against discriminating in the field of employment.  Let some of these “normal” people get a felony and become homeless and try to find a position.  They would not.  Ms. Auerbach certainly would never write again for anyone.  Let her know what it’s like to go without deoderant because you don’t even have $2.00.  Let her have the gray showing because you can’t afford even the cheap $3.00 hair color.  Try to go job searching when you look like a bum and society has made you fell like a bum.  Thousands of job applications.  Oh….a couple of offers but I would have to drive for sales.  Wow.  How is that supposed to happen when you have no vehicle, let alone gas to put in it or insurance and tags.  Even better still, my license expired while I was incarcerated and still 3 years later have no contacts for my eyes to pass the eye exam nor the $26.00 to pay for it.  Duh.
     

  9. I can understand the frustrations of people with criminal backgrounds. It is true that criminal backgrounds can hold you back in  life, however it is important that one has faith and believe that there is a such thing as a second chance. Obviously, it is more difficult to find a job when you have a criminal background; however  the laws change each year; and who knows you may be able to clear your background someday. For the time being, it is important that we have faith and believe that second chances are out there for everyone.
     
    I understand that unemployment can take a toll on one’s life. Like in the case of the Nurse losing her licenseas a result of an addiction. As a result of losing her license she lost her job, house, etc. However, you  must remember as long as you awaken; there is a chance. 
     
    Some people don’t know this, but it is easier to work for the Federal Government or a government agency with a criminal background than any other company. The Federal Government hires people with backgrounds; and they will not hold it against you as long as you list it on your application.
     
    Resources: Support Groups, Spiritual outreach centers, Church, Small Organizations, Check the laws quarterly to find out if new laws have been enacted in your favor for possible expungement or case cealings.
     
    I hope this helps. I wish everyone well and I hope you all keep the faith and rise above the storm.
     
    Regards,
     
    Sarah

  10. This was a good article and I appreciate sarah2012′s comment also. Thank you. I believe in the power of prayer also. I like to think when I am not hired it’s because the good Lord has something better in store anyway. Having a criminal background is extremely limiting; however, you have to be positive. It’s all a state of mind. A good attitude is so important.

  11. This was a good article and I appreciate sarah2012′s comment also. Thank you. I believe in the power of prayer also. I like to think when I am not hired it’s because the good Lord has something better in store anyway. Having a criminal background is extremely limiting; however, you have to be positive. It’s all a state of mind. A good attitude is so important.

  12. well hello 1 person listening? I gotta hundred comments,

    let me start by saying i pray for alot of things every day!
    I have been out of work since aug. 2011…..yyyyoooooowwwwwwza!
    yep,funny thang is i have skill’s galore…
    hands on skill’s!
    been there done that skill’s!
    not certified,,,,,doh! but know as much as alot of people who are skill’s…and,,,,,
    how bout’ i used to just network with a few friends,or pick up the newspaper
    to find a job “but now ya’gotta get on the com-pooter throw some money at a resume,and even more $ cush$ at havin’it seen on 75 more sight’s,AND,,,ya’gotta let these peep’s show you job’s that are not in your cat-a-gorry…SONIC! And my skill’s are in new home building superintendent/foreman 10yr’s exp. facilitie’s maint.3yr’s exp Apartment maint.makeready/painter 15yr’s exp.aaaaaannnnnddddd,About 7yr’s of being a pretty darn good handyman…oh and.since i have been part of the online jobhunting (gamespeopleplay2getpaidbiz-ness),,,,,not one interview! yep! since aug.9th.of 2011 I have sold my fillet-o-soul …..But i cant believe the amount of control,that has taken place of what used to be old school networking,,,,(tried $ true) friend’s and word of mouth,,,,and that thang that used to cost 25cent’s.that monster.com took over and skrew’d up! thanx local new’s $money hungry idiot’s$! the local paper had all ya needed to get a job with 1/4 of the exp.i have…now let’s throw in,,,,EEEWWWWWW, A FELONY,,,OR A BANKRUPTCY,,,,OR sorry,,i was cappin’out for a second there. but plain ol’bad credit….good lord! the internet has gone faceless,nameless,and judge’s you and has never even shook your hand…if i did a bad thing in my life. is’nt my ticket to freedom of being overlooked,,,lets say a DUI…? this happened to a friend of mine,but if he ever looses his job…look out. THAT IS 10 grand in lawyer fee’s court costs M.A.D.D. CRIMESTOPPER’S 2 years probation.AND 15BUX A month for that.defensive driving,A/A classes.80 hr’s of community service.and that stays on your record 4EVER!!!!!! OR VIOLATION OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER!!! WOA! guyz & galz top this with a bankruptcy,a nasty still not divorced! my 401 k and savings gone, tax lien by the I.R.S. for over 10grand! CHILD SUPPORT and Insurance benifets(court ordere’d for me to cover as well) for my 2 kids..now behind 9 months on all….and dig this,,,,my current girlfriend is paying for my butt.eat and breath under her roof(not part of the deal) bless her heart. and here is the end of my RANT! I had many court dates. classes to take,,,,battering intervention & prevention,first step ,anger management,parenting classes A/A, C.P.S. INVOLVED for 18 month’s. and my wife and i are fine now,we get along my kids are getting real good grades.(that is most important). but i gotta tell ya, I WENT HOME TO LIVE WITH MY WIFE AND WORK IT OUT,,,And we just could’nt get er’dunn! lol! but the fall out is,,,,the background,I took my classes like a champ. payed my fee’s.did my 18 month’s of probation.80 hr’s of community service…on and on,,,etc. Not 1 phone call. perfect resume,lot’s of hands on exp. and top it off, I am still hopeful,prayer is in my life.networking with friends,I got 2 handy man jobs,,,about 6 and 7 month’s ago from a friend at church and the reverend across the street,,,lol not kidding he is a great guy, but im behind on everything im 49 years young, lot’s of skill’s…payed my due’s….and then some,paying off the I.R.S.DEBT monthly.my wife has a good enough job to be o.k,but need;s the ins.cov.for my kids.and the support that is not that much but it adds up and you can look bad and go to jail for that there for not gettin’er dunn! but like i say im ready,great attitude,good health,and not 1 phone call! not 1…..TOP THAT STORY! THROW ME A BONE! Cuz my girlfriend should’nt have to support me! my kids dont deserve it! and i payed my due’s, and i do have alot of skill’s that put alot of money in my pocket,and honers on my office wall’s for job well done! zippety-do-da-day! boy-howdy! I live in carrolton texas,it’s north of dallas, and here it is! i dont hide, you got some work,,,,we all have a story,,,but i have 2 kids,i would like to be a great father to. my email is chrisjarvis1962@yahoo.com my legg’s from sittin at this computer are swellin up. good god….lol! & doh. ya’ll have a great day,and dont forget mother’s day is coming up.I lost my mom 2 year’s ago to cancer. but there is a spirit around my life that say’s its ok to still celebrate it,and other mom’s,close friend’s whatever. that’s my story. god bless. thank you for listening. Chris.

    • Go to washingtonwatch.com and look up HR 2449. This is for federal. but will help with state expungment laws also

    •  @chrisjarvis62
       AMEN BECAUSE I PRAY FOR EVERYONE ON A DAILY BASIS. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU COMMITTED A MISDEMEANOR CRIME OR A FELONY CRIME HERE IN THE USA THEY WILL STILL TREAT YOU LIKE A CONVICTED MURDERER WHICH IS SO SAD BUT TRUE. I DO NOT GIVE UP AND I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR EVERYONE.

  13. Good News! Psalms 37, (esp. Psalms 37:16) With all of your skills, ever thought of starting your own business? There’s lots of advantages to having ones own business.

  14. ChrisJarvis62…You may have the skills of a laborer, but I wouldn’t hire you for anything more than that.  You have no writing skills.  When I can’t do something around my house and have to hire it out, I want a contract with everything spelled out, fully.  Start and completion dates, penalties for lack of meeting completion dates, materials specified, prep to be done, specific labor and clean up.  You don’t have the skills it take to make out a complete, binding contract.  As a matter of fact, it is probably why you don’t have a license to do work, you can’t pass the test.

  15. I have a criminal record. What I see going on in the workforce is horrible. Although I do have employment, I don’t get paid very much. And discrimination does exist everywhere. My current employer would brag he gives people with records a chance as he employs several that have criminal pasts. But, the reality is he doesn’t want to pay anything so he looks good and takes advantage of hard working people at the same time.  I have 22 years experience in construction  related jobs. I have 2 electrical courses I took years ago. Currenty, I’ve spent 12 years repairing anything from circular saws to cranes. Yet, I make $10 dollars an hour and haven’t had a raise in 6 years.

  16. I have a criminal record.  It was a victimless, non violent,  non drug offense….and I did NO TIME for it.  I got probation….one of the stips of my probation is to find a job. Ok…how???  I have sent out OVER 375 job applications, resumes and cover letters….and had the door shut in my face each and every time.  Breaks my heart that things have come to this.  I am educated, have great references, and also a good resume…and I cannot find work anywhere.  I had an interview…and when she had overlooked the little box that said are you a felon….she got all red in the face and stumbled over her words…and politely let me know the job was not available to me.  I almost cried.  What will happen if I do not find a job?  Will I go to prison because of society’s hang up on felons?  That does not seem fair at all to me……though I did a dumb, dumb thing..I am paying for it now.  I know this…but I need to go to work. What can I do here?  Ms. Auerbach does not seem to understand that felons are not looked upon through rose colored glasses.  When I was a manager, it was policy NOT to hire anyone with a criminal background, and I found that unfair then.  Even moreso now.  I do not feel sorry for myself.  But I worry if I do not find work soon, I will be somewhere where I should not be, prison, and away from my disabled husband and child.   That does not seem fair to me at all.  Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.  Blessings….

  17. What I found out is a SHAME; Mexicans & Africans have committed mass murder in their native country but have a 100% clean record when they come to the United States. A Russian told me he was part of a major Criminal Organization while he lived in Moscow. But came to the United States and had a 100% clean record. He can become a police officer here. While on the other hand a natural Born U.S. Citizen that has a petty crime “EVEN EXPUNGED” on their record is barred from many employment positions in the United States. The United States does not check foreign criminal records to see about a person past in the Native Land. While Canada goes back and check a person record in their native land. In the United States you can have a Police Offices that was formally in the Mexican Cartel, or the Russian Mafia, or even an ex-genocidal maniac from Africa.

    • Go to washingtonwatch.com and look up HR 2449. This is for federal. but will help with state expungment laws also.

    • I have been looking around for information about re-entry for the father of my children who is an addict in prison on a smaller-type drug charge and this comment is very discouraging. I seriously feel like I might cry a little. I am not even with him anymore (for years before he even committed this crime) I just try to be his friend and want the best I an get for my children. I have been trying to say positive things to him and find him some resources and encourage him to parole to a completely different area than he lived before the conviction so he can really have a chance. This is just so bleak and sad. He has an IQ of 147. He had so much potential in his younger years and now he doesn’t hardly have a prayer for a hard-but-normal life. Ugh.

  18. I have a 22 year old conviction, and have led and upstanding life since that time, no other convictions to speak about.  My crimes were to retrieve my 2 year old daughter from her father’s family who were sending them both out of state and into hiding from me.  Due to the nature of the crimes, I am ineligible for having my record expunged.  Even with a great work record, I am still unable to find a job and have been turned down for many jobs from which I’m over qualified.  In the past, employers didn’t have the ability to check, and I held some very good positions; management of staffing agencies, insurance companies, health care agencies.  Now, I can’t find a job that fits my qualifications.  The system in this country is unfair and unjust.  It truly doesn’t allow and individual to change and to prove that they have changed.  

  19. I just recently got hired as an accounting clerk and during my interview I explained my conviction to them and was told that it’s “no problem and just a part of life”. After I did my drug screening and waited on the results of my background check I get a call from the corprate office telling me that they saw a conviction on my record and want to know about it. Well I told her all about it and shortly after that she says that they can no longer offer me the position. I was actually pretty shocked considering the conviction is only a misdemeanor and the fact that I had already warned them about it. I have an great resume and have have applied to almost thirty places and yet I still can’t catch a break. I can not imagine what it must be like to be a convicted felon and to be looking for a job, it’s almost like they want you to get put into a situation where you end up in jail or prison. It sure does seem like if you have been convicted of a crime your almost certainly forced to commit other crimes just to survive. All I can say is don’t ever get into a fight no matter how drunk the other guy is because it will ruin you life!

    •  @MichaelFordyce 
      Go to washingtonwatch.com and look up HR 2449. This is for federal. but will help with state expungment laws also.

    •  @MichaelFordyce Well, with me, I am a convicted felon on a Federal level…even though I have NEVER done any jail time and got probation….its so hard I cannot even begin to tell you.  Part of my conditions of probation is to FIND A JOB…HOW??????  I got an interview last week, and she had not seen the felon checked box…when she did…she was stumbling over her words and red in the face….I was horrified because she had offered me the job and then recinded….so so sad.

  20. All felonies are not the same.  Someone who stole say less than $1000 is treated the same as an ax murderer.  There is something terribly wrong with our legal system.  I Know a lady who was chaarged with theft by deception for 1000 and that was 29 years ago and she paid her dues and paid it back.  She hasn’t had so much as a traffic ticket and always puts down she has a felony and that’s as far as it goes.  After so long it should automatically drop off your record if you’ve kept your nose clean.  It’s discrimination.

    •  @Janet149 Forget the felony, At 13 years of age I cut school & was arrested & charged with criminal trespass on a public sidewalk, since the Judge & my mother were very good friends from H.S I was told that those charges would automatically drop off when I turned 18, However when I was about  25 yrs old I found out the truth, those charges was used to paint me in a negative light for life, after 35yrs of age it seems that finally it never comes up, Cops would ask during traffic stops if I had ever been arrested & some use that arrest, However when I explained the dates & charges came when I was a child one told me the system has always did this to give an insight into the so called criminal minds, It’s Sad

    •  @Janet149 You steal $1000, you’re a criminal, and go to prison. You steal BILLIONS, you’re a Wall Street CEO or a government contractor, and get a 7 or 8 figure bonus for the year.
       
      Welcome to Y2K  America…

  21. Is it really that difficult for people to stay out of trouble? There is a reason why employers do not hire criminals. If all of you would have been mature about the situations that you acted upon in the wrong way you would not be in this situation! Grow up people. Truth is you shouldn’t have been so ignorant in the first place.

    •  @alydasilva
       Alydasilva, you scold others not to be so ignorant, but maybe you should take some of your own advice.  I dont’ know whether you’ve traveled around the world much, or if you have friends from other countries.  if you do, hopefully you’ll agree with me on one thing, “people are people”;  i.e., people in The States, are no different than people in Europe, than people in Asia, etc.  We have different customs, traditions, etc.  but at the human level, we really are the same.  We have the same hopes, dreams, problems, worries, etc, etc.  Yet somehow, the US has managed to criminalize/incarcerate almost 25% of the worlds prisoners even though we have only 5% of the world’s population (on a per adult basis, Russia is in second place and their rate is roughly 40% lower than the US).  All I’m sayinng is that perhaps (just perhaps) we need to look at our laws/our system and ask whether there is something wrong there as well – because it just doesn’t make sense that the US is “so special” when it comes to this topic that we should see the criminalization rates that we’re seeing.  I think the question is at least worth asking. 
       
      As a society, we’ve been trained that obeying the law is how you stay out of trouble – but have you actually ever truly seen our system at work?  from the police, to the detectives, to the attorneys (prosecution), the judges, THE JAILS themselves…I mean if you really haven’t done your research or have a true understand of the real life workings, I think you owe it yourself to better understand where so much of our money goes each year, then I can respect how you stand on your soapbox.  As a society, we never question the law, we never question why we pass laws on top of laws – we just hear the word “criminal”, and we JUDGE – we’re all experts at that.  Maybe from now on, everyone who gets so much as a speeding ticket can be called a speeder (or wreckless driver) instead of simply a motorist/driver – afterall, accidents kill more people each year than all murderers put together (approx 2-1).  But somehow, I doubt our society would agree with this logic.

    • must be nice to be perfect from a family of perfect people, but some of us actually make mistake and bad choices; if a person is young and foolish and commits a crime but straightens up thier life should they continue to pay for that crime the rest of thier lives? for a few crimes yes sure, but for a minor drug offense or theft?

    •  @alydasilva
       First of all not everyone is a criminal. Next know what you are talking about before you say negative things against others. I got convicted for trying to help someone out but it is all good now because Karma does come back around. Do not judge others less ye be judged. I bet you are no angel.

    •  @alydasilva
       alydasilva: I agree with your comment of “is it really that difficult to stay out of trouble?”  Generally I know it is.  However there are exceptions to every rule, as in my case.  I am currently going through a divorce.  My estranged wife was granted a Domestic Violence Injunction against me, by the same Judge that denied my request for protection from domestic violence by her.  There was NO proof of domestic violence by me towards her, because there NEVER was any, only her allegations. In the Modification the judge allowed contact between her and I as long as it concerns our children.  Contact is defined as in person, by phone, text,mail,-e-mail, all of which we had been doing with exception of in person.  When I went to my son”s Dr appointment, a particularly immportant one that I made for him and had taken him to 3 times previously, she called the police to say I was violating the injunction.  She gave the police the ORIGINAL injunction only, which stated no contact.  The police officer would NOT accept my presentation of the Modified Injunction which allowed me to be there, and I was arrested and charged with Contempt.  I spent two days and most of two nights in jail.  The DA declined to prosecute me and acknowledged that I had a right to be there, after my lawyer provided all of the paperwork.  Now I must report that I have been arrested for Contemp of a Domestic Violence order.  As a side note; she tried to do the same thing three weeks later at another Dr visit. Thankfully the Deputy that responded let me present my copy of the Modification to him.       . 

    • @alydasilva your probably one of those people who just never got caught such as people who go out and have 3 or 4 drinks and drive home and then scold other people for getting caught.

  22. Hey, I’m a bad guy for just crossing the road on an A.T.V. (something that’s not against the law here if you’re a kid and never had a license) and you think you have it bad. I had a bad lawyer that didn’t fight; a crooked D.A who only cared only about winning and not his job (The D.A. is suppose to find someone innocent as much as he/she is to find someone guilty), and a bunch of ignorant uneducated jurors’ who didn’t know the laws, but were persuaded in what the law stated and not the truth.

    •  @Jessy James Go to washingtonwatch.com and look up HR 2449. This for federal and state expungment laws.

  23. There are a lot of people that just make one mistake in their life and will forever have the stigma attached to it. It’s not fair nor is it productive to lable someone for life because of that one indiscretion. Help can be achieved by letting your congressman know that changes to the system should be enacted. Go to washingtonwatch.com and search for HR 2449 and vote yes on this bill and let your congressman know that it’s not fair to punish someone for life.

  24. Go to washingtonwatch.com and look up HR 2449. This is for federal. but will help with state expungment laws also.

  25. Saying that employers don’t discriminate against people with criminal records is like saying employers don’t discriminate against women and minorities…
     
    BULL****!!!

  26. @ Jessy James:
    There’s a reason public defenders are called “public pretenders”…they’re either fresh out of law school, or, if they DO know what they’re doing, they’re not making their usual 10K retainer, so you get SCREWED!!!

  27. It is supply and demand. Right now employers can be jerks, because there are more people looking for work than there are jobs. I have been out of work for more than 3 years and I believe it is age!!!!

  28. folks I feel your pain, I was convicted of a number of crimes in my mid 20′s due to a major drug addiction, spent about 12yrs in prison and got out 15yrs ago, I got lucky and found a job at a small company and have worked there the last 14yrs, however I just got laid off and I do NOT look forward to job hunting in todays market with my criminal history. I have applied for job off and on in the last 15yrs and it was always the same, everything was great until the criminal history came up, then is was well we are interviewing a number of people will get back to you, yeah right!
    One small good thing did come from my interview at a local high volume warehouse, before I was almost hired, the policy was not to hire drug offenders ever, no matter how long ago the offence was; I have a fairly impressive resume in warehousing and they really did want to hire me. The company changed the policy and now if the offense is older than 5yrs they will consider you, heck they even called be back and asked if I was still interested, I was not then, but I will be contacting them again, now that I am back on the market.
    So guys keep your heads up, stay clean/sober and stay strong, it is a hard issue to over come but it can be done.
     

  29. There must be something else going on here other than just criminal convictions holding these people back. First of all, I’m not proud of being Bi-Polar, alcoholic (RECOVERING – with 7 dui’s ) and I’m not proud of having 2 felony convictions ( non- violent ).  However, I have     
     always managed to have pretty steady employment which also included overseas work in foreign countries even while getting some of these offenses. I am probably the only person in history that has been handed international plane tickets to Yemen in my jail cell, so that I could return to my 30 day rotation of work, knowing that on my 30 days off I would return to jail to finish my 60 day sentence, which I did.
     
    First of all, I have the work ethic of the post Depression-era / WWII generation, and by that, I mean I WORK MY ASS OFF. I don’t bitch, question, or complain to or about my bosses. I do the work. If I’m asked or told to scrub a toilet, I do it. It’s yes sir / maam, no sir / maam. I don’t bitch if I don’t get a raise every 3 months, and I’m not afraid to ask for one once a year. When I have a job, I’m GRATEFUL for it and always do my best.
     
    These comments are by no means directed at anyone here, but I have seen the american work force get lazier, greedier, and disrespectful to their employers. The newer generations seem to think life owes them a living. It doesn’t.
     
    In my last stay in a work release program, I saw a poster thru the local workforce center that said no one is unemployable. At first, I thought it was bullshit, but when honestly looking back at my great jobs in spite of my criminal background, I had to admit to myself it is true. If someone with no legs and missing an arm can find work, anyone can. If you’re too disabled to work, thats a damn shame, but there are programs out there to help them too.
     
    It’s up to the person to keep trying, and not to set their expectations too high. You have to start at the bottom and work your way up. If you’re worth it and work hard, good things will happen.
     
     

  30. Once you’ve paid your debt to society your rights should be reinstated.  Also, the only question that should be allowed on an application is if you are currently serving any sentence for a conviction (i.e. probation, community corrections, etc.).  By allowing companies to ask if you’ve ever been convicted you’re allowing them to discriminate at will, and persecuting a person for the rest of their lives. 
     
    I drive a commercial vehicle and many companies require publicly that felonies be 7-10 years old to be eligible.  Yet when you go through the phone interview they are unable to hire you because of the felony.  
     
    For those people that believe that it’s “OK” because you committed a crime remember that until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes you really have no idea what they’re going through or the circumstances that put them there.  Compassion and empathy are endangered species in the good old U.S. of A. 

    •  @doc7208  In the court of public opinion how many people are presumed guilty, In the case of Trayvon Martin murder, How many Zimmerman supporters was calling this youngman a Thug? We have a real heart issue & that comes from expecting the worst of a person we do not even know because they fit a certain profile, Its Sad..

    •  @doc7208 People in this country NEVER gave a s*** about anyone else, unless they could make millions off of it…

  31. To yellowxfire and everyone else:  Yellowxfire is right on target as are several more of you.  Here are some suggestions:
     
    1.  Obtain your criminal case history or abstract from EACH court that you were ever involved with.  It should contain your disposition (conviction, CWOF – continued without a finding, probation, etc.).  Now you know what you are up against.
     
    2.  Do a search on one of the major search engines using keywords to determine the laws in your state about criminal history and how they are handled.  For example, in Massachusetts, you might use “criminal history, offender, record, expunge, seal” and so on.  You would find the Criminal History Systems Board which tracks CORI (criminal offender record information). 
     
    Why is this important?  You would learn how and when you can seal, expunge or obtain a pardon.  For example, as of May 4, 2012, Massachusetts now allows a shorter time span to seal or a felony or misdemeanor record.  In “Yellowxfires” case, his convictions are old enough that they may be able to be hidden from view of most employers (exception being jobs working with children or “at risk” populations like health care or the elderly).
     
    Also, all CWOF cases are likewise sealed once probation is over.  This is huge for many people.
     
    I worked for 6 years as a State Correction Officer and no, I was not one of those piece of &(%$ “screws” some of you ran into.  Always believed that if you served your time, you deserved a second chance.  I also practiced law for two decades so I think that I know one or two things about this stuff.
     
    I wish all of you the best in your job searches and please, please, make sure you take the time to investigate what I have talked about.  Don’t be held back by not knowing your rights!

    •  @bostonlegal Good luck with this in NYS. They don’t get rid of anything. Even with a misdemeanor I am done for life: I am upfront and honest, do volunteer work, etc. I was working for the state for 10 years and got booted when they found I had a misd. a couple of years into my employment and now I cannot find work anywhere. No second chances for me.

    •  @bostonlegal Good luck with this in NYS. They don’t get rid of anything. Even with a misdemeanor I am done for life: I am upfront and honest, do volunteer work, etc. I was working for the state for 10 years and got booted when they found I had a misd. a couple of years into my employment and now I cannot find work anywhere. No second chances for me. I lost my home, cars, everything: A second time!

  32. So what about those like me?  I was convicted of a sex related offense.  I have maintained my innocence throughout the entire process, yet I still have a record that forces me to be on a sex offender registry.  No matter how much legal documentation I provide and how much I plead my case.  I get screwed.  No one wants a sex offender working for them.
    It has taken me nearly ten years, but I have finally gotten a small piece of justice for now.  My case is going before the State Supreme court for reversal of conviction. However that has hampered me from getting a job that I can utilize to provide a better life for my children.
    So until I am finally given reprieve, what am I to do?

  33. On an application there is a spot that asks if you were convicted of a felony. If you answer truthfully then you’ll never see the inside of their office. For some employers that’s the second thing they check, usually the first thing they check is the name to make sure it doesn’t sound too ethnic. So once you’ve been convicted of a crime and done your time you’ll never finish paying your debt to society, because you’ll always be judged by what you did in your past (no matter how long ago it was).

  34. Ever since the paranoia of 9/11 and the enactment of the Patriot act and homeland security, background checks have skyrocketed. Lawsuits and greedy insurance companies have made the idea of having “risk-managment” divisions of  human resources departments VERY popular and common. These departments expect perfect backgrounds and anything that even hints at potential lawsuits being brought against the company automatically disqualifies an applicant.
     
    Although I am a moderate anti-socialist conservative, I did agree with one comment I saw by an Occupy protester on FOX news. He was asked why the Occupiers were against people getting rich. He said…” we’re not against people making money. Make money. Make lot’s of money. But it’s when money, or the ideas of money are used to hurt people is what we’re against “. This is what we are seeing today. Money is more important than human beings, and that is terribly wrong.
     
    I believe it’s up to the person to keep trying and don’t give up. But I also think corporations need to stopbeing quite so anal in their hiring expectations as well. 
     

    • @foamhand
      This is what we are seeing today. Money is more important than human beings, and that is terribly wrong. Foam it seems profit over patriotism is the New Attitude in America, Its very sad since the Sons of the wealthy rarely die on a Battlefield fighting for America!!!
       

      •  @Marlon45  @foamhand It’s PATRIOTIC to make BILLIONS off the blood of the poor!!! It’s what America has been doing the last 200+ years!! EVERY war we were involved in made money for the 1%!!! That’s WHY we have poor people in this country, and THIS is one of the ways of keeping us down!!

  35. This is all very nice but it is BS as well. In today’s society people are terrified of the words ex-con. It does not matter what the crime was, people feel that if it was bad enough for an individual to go to prison then they do not need to be employed. I myself was incarcerated and now have a bachelors degree in management. Do you think I am going to be hired based on my education? I do not think so. Being an ex-felon has put me and anyone like me under a dark cloud where I will not be able to get hired for more than a labor job. Do people realize that when this country was established, everyone was a criminal. Yes the Queen of England had it out for all of those who opposed her and thereby labelled the pilgrims as criminal against the crown.
    Now don’t that beat all. Our ancestors/founding fathers were traitors, the most hated creiminal of that time.
    And now-a-days people who have been locked up for any reason will not be given a second “HONEST” chance to try to make things right for themselves and their families, yes, ex-cons do have families and society dumps on them as well just by association.
    What is our world coming to? I hope it comes to an end quick just so we can get some relief.

  36. As someone who just got out of federal prison less then 2 months ago for a marijuana crime I can say all of the above wont do a thing to help you. I’ve put out at least 50 online applications for various jobs, searched craigslist for hours a day. Had plenty of interviews but as soon as they hear the word felon they wont touch you with a ten foot pole. They wonder why the recidivism rate is so high? Flipping burgers at 7.25 an hour or flipping kilos for thousands. I’ll take the latter of the two if somthing doesnt come up soon. I cant live in a a cardboard box, making car payments, mortage payments, and to put food in the plates of my children making 7.25 an hour. The FED is absolutely out of control.

    •  @SVTcontour Please reconsider what you said. How much money can you give your family from prison? If you have to flip burgers then do it. Your children will look up to you more if you work hard and try to do the right thing. Life isn’t fair but prison has to be worse than flipping burgers. Keep trying and believe in yourself and show your children how strong you are. Do the right thing.

    •  @SVTcontour Just be at the level where you’re “flipping” ounces instead of kilos, that way, if you’re caught, it’s a misdemeanor (in most states)
       
      Otherwise, I agree, I was considering that for a while…

  37. My last comment… One thing that helped me immensely is starting out with a temporary employment agency. True, there are some that won’t consider a felon  (SOS Staffing rejected me)
    but many others are willing to give you a shot. I got my current job thru a temp agency and although it’s starting out at a low wage, I just received word this week that I have been selected to be trained on their most complex piece of machinery. This is a big step towards going from full-time seasonal to full time permanent with my employer.
     
    Temporary Agencies seem to be a great gateway to a fresh start for me. 

  38. Unless you are Michael Vick (dog killer) your options are slim. Starting your own business works, if you give the effort. What really needs to be done is after you have served your time (paid yofor your crime) your records should only be visible to law enforcement. Because no matter how much time you serve, the reality is you have a life sentence. You are just not incarcerated.

  39. This is terrible. I had never gotten in trouble in my entire life. I always made sure that interred away from trouble. I received my Associates degree and worked in a Prestigious hospital. I had my own home at 24 years old wit ha brand new car and a great life. A terrible and controlling, abusive relationship, the death of my lifelong caregivers or my grandparents, a miscarriage at 5 months due to my body and not the perfect little boy that he was, and before you knew it I was very depressed and trying to escape the pain thatI was feeling. I took medicine that the doctor prescribed me so that I could feel better. I had pain in my heart, not so much in my body. And percocets were it for me. I thought well I am not a drug seeker, I didn’t ever turn to street drugs or become atrocious. After my relationship became evident for what it was, just so he could rob me from my inheritance and he talked me into selling all my properties and took all the money from me, I became even more depressed an just wanted to feel better and take prescription medication to escape all this torture that I was feeling. After I tried to stop I couldn’t, and I tried to do what I could. Nobody offered help. He was the only person who cared and he only cared to steal from me. We had a child, he threatened me that if I left him he would make me pay for it the rest of my life. Ileft him because he stole all my grandparents hard earned money and was spending it on himself and frivolous items. He gained custody of my daughter, took her away from me by finding my real father and paying him to come to our court date. I was completely off of percocets. My father walks in and thinks he is doing something right for me because my daughters father told him that I was out of control and dangerous tour daughter and that he needs his help to save her life until I can get help. The judge didn’t care that i had a negative test for prescription medications and instead listened to my father. Although that was the first time I saw him in 15+ years. I started to take prescription pills-percocets to feel better and had gotten arrested because i was not your typical street drug addict and doctor shopped since I had some money left. Next thing you know I am out of money in jail and now I am fighting years to get my child back and a good job. I was turned down by several real good jobs even though I told them up front. I guess they couldn’t believe that with my education, that could be true. Since then I have gotten my Bachelors degree to teach College students, my MBa and I am due to enter medical school 2012. I probably will never get  custody of my child and the pain is there everyday, I probably won’t get a job although I have no desire to do pills and its been about 7 years. I just am devastated over this. Why didn’t anybody see this for what it was and why is my ex controlling the courts with the fact that 7n years ago I did something. I am very upset over this. Can somebody tell me whats going on and if you think I should be persecuted to the extent that I was, do you think. Can you email me at this address if you really care to get involved with me for this fight to overcome this. kayvangal@live.com   My upcoming hearing is the last custody hearing and I may have to give up my rights because my ex has said so apparently-in the best interest of my child. God, can’t the judge see thru this and I have proved myself for years! And I am still proving myself and doing whats right. Meanwhile, a 40 year old still lives with and off of his parents in a tiny little home. I can give my child so much more, but I viewed as a piece of trash with my felony. I can never see my baby again? My word people!!!   I am a mother, I can’t just give up my child, I am devastated inside yet I have to go on and prove myself everyday so I can’t let myself lose control or her. If you can pass this on please do so. I want to have as many people know about what is being done to my child and I. He has found somebody new and has made my child call her mommy. Like now I should erased from the picture because I had one time I got in trouble and didn’t make the right choices, if he didn’t beat and abuse me maybe I wouldn’t have needed those pills to cope.     

    •  @kayvan I am in the same boat as most of you replying. I’m serving a life-long sentence because I married a very bad person who was law savvy and got in trouble for videoing her cheating on me in my own home. Now I am a “perv” who can’t get a job with 15 years of work experience and a B.A degree. I was in line to work for fortune 500 type companies for 100k plus; now I am in line to work at Mickey D’s. I hope someone can grow a pair and petition people who do don’t work around children an opportunity for a good job. I was working in my job for 10 years and lost it when they ran a second pair of background checks to see I had a charge from 7 years before.

  40. Your comments reference to felons trying to get jobs or search for jobs is not helpful since all employers mandate criminal background checks and all insurance companies will not allow companies to hire felons because of the risk factors associated with the way insurance companies insure the companies. And that Florida department you speak aobut is a sham. I have been working with then for years and they have no jobs or training available to hlep felons. Its all a ploy to get more money from the tax payiers – how about doing an actual study on how many felons actually benefited from that so called program and the actual cost spent to fun that program. YOu’ll see its all a lie

  41. 18 years I got into trouble, I got a felony out of it.  I have been in ZERO trouble since then. I have been through back ground checks with no problems.  Last year I applied, interviewed and got a job.  When I went to fill out the background check papers I was honest and said I had a felony. Guess who was let go before they even started? Me!  They have a no hiring of persons with a felony policy and the person I was going to replace had a felony from 10 years ago, lied about it, worked there for 5 years and they fired him!
     
    I now lie about it since it’s been so long.  I have passed deep background checks and I’ve searched myself, so I know it’s all good, but I will not have the felony red flag showing and screwing me before I get in the door again.
     
    Not all felons are “hardened criminals”! Many were young and stupid and learned their lessons, others PAID THEIR DEBT TO SOCIETY, and now can’t get a real job, and I refuse to believe that all these managers etc never got into trouble of any kind, they they were/are perfect their whole lives, they just never got caught, and to them they can choke on it!

  42. We need to start a movement to lobby our politicians to enact laws to help protect our chances for employment the same way MADD lobbies for their policies.. Just complaining about it solves nothing. Maybe we could have a catchy name too… like FART, Felons Against Repressive Tactics…LOL…Just trying to inject some humor into a sucky subject.

  43. I have a felony over 18 years ago. I stopped trying to get a job and started my own business. I went to rent an office as busiess was going good and needed to hire people, and I could not lease an office as I was honest about my history. The same happened to me when trying to rent an apartment. So LIE LIE LIE as telling the truth will not help you in any way.

    •  @felon Yep: in jail for life outside of jail unless you have the means of starting your own business: even then you run into obstacles.

  44. I am in the same boat as most of you replying. I’m serving a life-long sentence because I married a very bad person who was law savvy and got in trouble for videoing her cheating on me in my own home. Now I am a “perv” who can’t get a job with 15 years of work experience and a B.A degree. I was in line to work for fortune 500 type companies for 100k plus; now I am in line to work at Mickey D’s. I hope someone can grow a pair and petition people who do don’t work around children an opportunity for a good job. I was working in my job for 10 years and lost it when they ran a second pair of background checks to see I had a charge from 7 years before. So I lost everything, a second time! I lost my home, cars, and now fighting to keep my family that I have now after rebuilding since the divorce and offense. In NYS there are no second chances…I am willing to join a fight if anyone has the will to start a petition!

    •  @David Centro There is a bill in congress allowing first time non-violent offenders a chance to get their record expunged. This is for federal or state. Go to washingtonwatch.com and look for HR 2449 and vote.

  45. Background Check Companies are becoming big business and are getting more companies on board every day. They need some sort of regulations placed on them and people need to sue the hell out of them if an opportunity arises. Criminal records are a matter of public record and limits need to be placed on this as well.

    •  @foamhand
       These comapnaies pretend they are helping companies weed out trouble makers but in  realitythey are in it for the money.

  46. What’s ironic for me is that I am not a felon. And I worked two hospital jobs successfully before I decided to leave because of an injury. I am 61 years old and floor nursing is too physical. So I was hoping to get an easier job and work until I was 65. Thank God for social security because I start receiving it in Sept otherwise there would be no money coming in. I am turned down for every every application I put in especially in the healthcare field, And believe it or not, there are nurses who have killed people who are still working because there were not taking drugs. I have never harmed anyone or stolen anything from work. And all this because I did the stupid thing of giving my power away to a man. He was no good, but I was blind to that. I’m glad there are good men out there but I”m even wondering if I’ll be accepted because of this of this “felon” past which does not exist. I am proactive. I called my bank and my mortgage payments will be reduced so I can have somewhat of a life receiving just social security. tomorrow I have a phone interview at 10 AM and I bet that person will not even call, so I’m not setting myself up. All this began in 2003…
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  47. My sister was was railroaded by the DEA for distribution of more than 1000 grams of cocaine simply because she knew some dealers. The undercover invited her to lunch after a drug transaction occured between the agent and the dealers. She accepted the lunch offer and showed up only to be arrested as an accomplice.  Having a court appointed loser lawyer, she accepted a plea agreement rather than facing 15+ years of prison time. She couldnt risk it especially if she was going to be defended by the lawyer she had no confidence in.
     
    After serving five years in prison, she went out job hunting. No one would hire her when she disclosed her record. Then she lied about her record, got an interview, and then disclosed at a big nationwide bank of all places. The employer told her they appreciated her honesty and hired her. She went on to work for the bank for over ten years without any problems but in her tenth year they fired her for lying on her application. Her next job was another giant IT firm. They had no problems with her record. These businesses are managed by people and its your job to outshine your record by humanizing yourself.   I know its hard finding a job and my intent is not to discredit your efforts. I simply want to encourage you. Do not give up hope.  

    •  @Anon9UGEtYWe Go to washingtonwatch.com and look for bill HR2449 which allows expungment for first time non-violent offenders. Please get the word out.

    •  @Anon9UGEtYWe As a younger African American male, I understood the dangers of certain associates, it seems the system seems to except the age old opinion that says show me your friends & I’ll tell you who you are, or we’re guilty by association, which means be careful of the company you keep, because birds of a feather flock together!

  48. If you have been arrested and the case as been dismissed, you still have a problem because your arrest record is public.  In this economy, that is enough to get a rejection.  I think the answer I always get is “we are looking for the right fit”.  Define “right fit.  Someone that doesn’t have an arrest record, someone younger, etc.  Laws against job discrimination don’t are not effective in this economy.

  49. If you have been arrested and the case as been dismissed, you still have a problem because your arrest record is public.  In this economy, that is enough to get a rejection.  I think the answer I always get is “we are looking for the right fit”.  Define “right fit.  Someone that doesn’t have an arrest record, someone younger, etc.  Laws against job discrimination are not effective in this economy.

  50. There is help out there if your willing to voice your opinion. Go to washingtonwatch.com and look for HR 2449. This is a bill that was introduced in congress giving help to someone that has a federal or state conviction a chance to get their record expunged. Let people know that punishing someone for life because of one mistake is an injustice to all involved.

  51. Good because we’re here mission to shut down phoney business that makes good legit business look bad…..    It is a bad situtation that using someone information that have noting to do with felony have to be forcible grinding….  tell you what ? You see all who make bad statement against me asking for my information  lock them up they are the criminals that seek relieve…
     
     
    at is all I could say let them confess. why do you believe many call me on the phone pretending . the catch is secondary bad  influence ….. Look I cannot save a felony ,a drugs and a criminal distributors .
     
     

  52. I was convicted of two felonies back in 2008.  Got a job that didn’t do a background check in 2010.  Lost that job due to a lack of licensing.  Have been unemployed for the last year.  Even the most menial jobs that I have applied for have run a criminal background check.  I tried to explain it to the employer’s and they simply say that there is nothing that they can do.  I am pretty sure that I am going to end up homeless. 

    •  @ssmobick I feel your pain. I would be homeless right now for the same reason as you if it weren’t for the wonderful man who married me even with the ENORMOUS problems that conviction caused in my life. I caused a terrible car accident, no drugs or alcohol involved. I can’t even get a job at mcdonalds and I have applied every 6 months for the last 2 years! Keep your head up and try to be positive, it’s hard I know, but one day your luck will change :)

  53. if you have a felony rrecord you are screwed because buisinesses rather hire illegal immigrants before they hire a legal citizen that made some bad choices in the past

  54. After reading a few of these post, it seems very truth that even after serving a jail sentence the punishment last a lifetime, However I’ve had problems when companies use credit reporting agencies also to determine the characters they desire, When I was 17 yrs old in High school someone used my name & social security number to attend a technical school, now even though I was a minor & State Law prohibited a minor from entering a financial contract my life was ruined before I began to live my life, in 1985 or 86 I was contacted by a collection agency regarding a defaulted student Loan, Now I was advised by my attorney to request a copy of the promissory note, It took until 1988/89 before I was given a copy, However after reviewing those documents, I noticed the signature & the date, After reporting that the signature was not mine nor authorized by me, I was ignored, in 1989 they began garnishing my Federal Tax Returns to apply to that defaulted student loan, so in 1990 I stopped filing my taxes because I felt that this error had to to force those working for the Dept of Education & Treasury to engage in dialog regarding this problem, However I spoke with numerous collection agency employees & some seem to understand that I was not liable after reviewing my evidence, However the DOE would simply reassign that loan & the collection process began again, however in 2008 I used Pre-Paid legal to stop another collection agency from garnishing my wages on my Job & after resubmitting the same evidence after 28yrs I was finally discharged from liability for that student loan by the Dept of Education & the funds returned, Now in all these years I was constantly denied employment & business opportunities because of this error, I was unable to obtain low apr financing for auto & home loans also, however in the years that I did not file I’m currently working on an Compromise & settlement with the IRS because this problem has crippled me financially for nearly 31 of my 48 years as an adult

  55. There are currently 2 million people in Jai in the United States, mostly males. Probably 10 times as much are people with misdemeanors such as DUI/DWI who are not in jail. 1 out 3 Black men has some type criminal record. Thats about 10 million people right there !. 1 out of 14 White males and 1 out 5 hispanics. At this rate most of the jobs are going to go to Women…

  56. Even if you spend the time money and time getting your record expunged, anyone can get your full private record by paying a small fee.  Even charges that were dismissed show up.  Until the state agencies stop providing private records, people will continue to re-live the pain of their mistakes and misfortune.  Although my attorney and various members of the bureau of investigation from my state (who provide the information) think it’s an unfair practice, I am simply told that it is a BIG money maker.

  57. With the large corporations prying into our private lives, it’s about time these agencies stop enabling them. 
     

  58. In essence, it doesn’t really pay to get your record expunged because anyone can see your full arrest record for a couple of bucks.  So if you get some green, idiot or prejudice cop who wants to charge you with whatever he can think of, with NO accountability (gotta get that overtime pay and meet quotas).  Even if they are dismissed, you still suffer for it.

  59. I dont even have a felony. I lost a professional license and I cant eve nget a job selling life insurance anyone with any suggestions. Im college educated with an advanced degree. Made some dumb mistakes while practicing medicine. No one got hurt but board suspendedmy license for narcotic prescriptions.

    •  @mdwdoc
       I am an accountant.  No felonies, never stole anyting, but I got a DUI (knocked down to implied consent) for a severe reaction to Phentermine.  Along with the DUI charges, they charged me with whatever else fit.  Although the most of the charges were dropped, they still show up and I have been labeled (blacklisted for being a potential risk).  If i can’t find anything, I will probably have to find a new profession.

      •  @mdwdoc
        I have been told by colleagues that this is so, and have been on both sides of hiring.  No discrimination, MY ASS!!!  I was also told that even if i do land a position, it would be at about half my previous salary.

      •  @UnfairPractice
         After being caught up in three layoffs, I decided to return to school for my Masters in Accounting.  I did get a DUI (which was bogus, but I’ve accepted it), and it was my third with number 1 and 2 nineteen and fifteen years prior, respectively.  I was already in the school program and then when I had to apply to take the CPA exams, I had to explain the situation.  I was granted permission to take the CPA exams and passed them, and I ended up graduating Magna cum Laude of the school (which is a well-respected school). I went well over a year before getting a job only because a CPA I knew wanted to start his own firm.  On July 1st, I will complete the ‘work under a CPA for a certain time requirement’ which will be my final requirement for becoming a licensed CPA.  My employer loves me because I am a valuable hard worker, and I kept all of the rejection letters during that year for jobs I was perfect for or over-qualified for.  Maybe someday I will write them all back to ask how the person they hired instead of me worked out – if they are still with the company.  The legaized discrimination that is allowed and encouraged by the government and big business is too well embedded to ever go away I’m afraid.  And I know I’ve been very blessed, because many others are worse off and I know where the restricted number of options available may lead them.  The cycle perpetuates itself for many, but I do encourage those trapped in it to fight the good fight. 

    •  @mdwdoc How long ago did this happen? If it’s been years then it is less important to employers that something that happened, say, last year.  I think the suggestion in the article about doing volunteer work with at least two civic organizations is an excellent idea.  You need some good solid positive references.  I have been volunteering myself and from that job alone will have three good refereces.
       
      I also suggest  you become willing to find a new position and start completely from the bottom.  Like mail room bottom. You build trust that way. Plus with an advanced degree you will likely be able to work your way up to an executive position.  Do not limit yourself to the field you were previously in.  Be willing to try something completly new and work your way up.  
       
       

  60. A close relative of mine spent some time in prison for a felony conviction.  15 years ago, he applied for an entry level telephone customer service position at an insurance company.  HE WAS COMPLETELY HONEST ABOUT HIS CONVICTION.  They took a chance and gave him a job. Over time he has worked his way up in that company slowly taking on more and more responsibility. Over the years he took some classes and eventually earned his college degree.  Last week he was promoted again and received a SIGNIFICANT pay raise.  The company he works for is a large company.  You have heard of them. A conviction or mistake you have made in your past does not have to define you for the rest of your life.  People do come back after mistakes and jail time.
     
    Tim Allen and Robert Downy Jr. are examples of two people who turned their lives completely around.
     
    Be willing to start at the very bottom and work your way up and be HONEST about your past.  This is key. If you aren’t and they find out later you will lose your job.  All of this requires you to be very humble which can be hard for some people, especially if in their previous career they were very high up or they are highly educated.  It simply takes time to build trust in the community again.  However, eventually, no will know or care about your past.
     
    My relative dealt with this as well.  Someone found out about his conviction and started spreading rumors about him around the office.    When this happened, his boss called him into his office and told him not to worry.  He is a good employee, they appreciate his hard work, and nothing is going to change.  And the person who exposed his private information to other employee’s in the company?  THEY were disciplined!  No one likes a rat.
     
    It might take some time but you will be alright as long as you humble yourself and make a commitment to stay out of trouble. Put a few years between you and the incident and no one will care. Guaranteed.

    •  @sharmaine73
       Thank you, I guess that is what I was trying to convey in my post, but having been there, I also needed to convey that the process is not easy and being humble is not easy either, but it does pay at the end.

  61. I have  felon convictions from 25 yrs ago and have since then been on the job working and staying out of trouble.In the past two years I have I quit my job and moved home to help with aging and sick parents.Ive treid to get a job but have been turned down left and right due to my crimminal record.I have spent all my savings trying to get a business going while still paying my bills and staying out of trouble .Now the money has ran out im on unemployment since aug 2011.
      Ive contacted Austin for some help and was told to take it up with the counties I was convicted in.I went to the counties and was told I had to have a lawyer to get my record expunged,but now im broke living with my mom at 53 yrs old.
       In my eyes rehibilitation is a joke.It doesnt matter who you prove yourself to your still a felon and thats that.
      I was told by one of the jobs I applied to that the insurance companies are the one that wont let them hire me .Is this a lie or just a cop out .
                                                                                          Thanks for letting this Felon vent 

  62. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry reading about this subject.  For one;  I’ve been there, like most of you, I’ve had to live with the “Sealed of the Beast”  (being an ex-offender) for almost my entire life since I was convicted of a felon when I was 17 years old.  It was not because i had been a bad kid prior to that, on the contrary I had been a church boy, so let’s just say it was because of one of the many things that can go wrong in many people’s lifes.  I spent some 7 years in prison, it seemed like a lifetime, it felt like living in hell, it was a bad, a very bad experience.  When I was incarcerated I was quite an innocent kid, did not know anything about “crime life”, but by the time I got out I had a Phd in Crime and all the neccessary connections to go with it.  I said to myself, if society gives me a chance I will rebuilt my life, get a university degree and somehow make-up for the mystakes I’ve made in life.  If, on the other hand, the doors are shut for me, I’m afraid myself of how much damage i can cause.  But really, the choice was mine. 
    While in prison I had been involved in creating and participating in drug and educational programs, I had read quite a huge amount of books, some novels, but mainly educational in nature (history, politics, social issues, etc.).  Because of my involvement with drug related programs I had made friends that were involved with such programs and other community based programs who were willing to lend me a hand in getting my life back on track and in getting a job.
    My first job was as a maintenance employee at a Department Store, the Store Manager was aware of my record and indeed kept a close eye on my every movement and so did my parole officer.  I could hardly meet my living expenses, but anything outside was better than being in prison, I mean in the outside things can change from one day to the other, in prison nothing changes ever.
    My father had always told me that no matter what you do in life (career wise) you should always try to be the best at what you do.  I did I became the very best maintanance guy at that store, I mean, my toilets were always shining.
    I became interested in getting a college education and I did, they too knew about my past, it sometimes worked on my behalf, but most of the time against it, to have been convinted of a felon.  Some people saw me as someone who did something to overcome my past and become an example to others, and some saw me as someone who did not deserved the good grades I was getting, even when I had to do 3 times better than they did in class just to be considered equal. 
    After graduation, my life took a new turn, I became highly competent in a few areas of expertise in my career, that in itself was usually enough to land me a good job  (and I’ve had many) regardless of my past.  In fact, some employers knew me by reference and didn’t even bring up the issue.  Others were overly inquisitives and wanted to know every detail of things I really wanted to buried and forget.  In my state I had to wait 15 years after finishing my sentence to get my record clean, not after I got out on parole, but after completing my sentence, to be able to apply for my record to be exponged, that was like 20 something years ahead and at one point I did not wanted to have it expunged anyway, I wanted it to remain there as a reminder of all the sh..t i had to go through while saving many lives and having done so much good for society as I have been able to do through out my life. 
    Being highly competent, sometimes the only one able to do a job, helped me a lot, but being attractive and leading the other party to believe that maybe one day we can go out on a date also worked many times.
    So, are there any chances of landing a good job even when you have a criminal record, yes there are chances.  It is a little complicated,but there are chances if you are:
    1.) competent,  2.) Honest about being an ex-felon who decided to put the past behind you, 3.) willing to always have to prove yourself, for there will always be eyes over you waiting for you to make a mistake so someone can say “I told you so” “they are after no good”.
    Your best bet, get an education and become the best at whatever it is you do.  Work places where you can bring your argument to decision makers rather than places where you fill out an application and go home and wait to be called.  Places where you’ll leave your resume (you don’t need to mention your past on a resume) and then be called for an actual interview.
    I’ve held a few positions both in the private sector and in government, managing big budgets and now I’m retired, thank god. 
    But know, that the “seal” of having been convicted will be there for life, even if there was no record, chances are some who knows you from the past will show up and tell about it.

    •  @cartegenase You gave some great advice and offer a unique perspective.  I like your positive attitude. So important…especially for yourself.  It’s tough. Most people aren’t going to pat you on the back (for ANYTHING, felon or not!) so you have to have the personal power/inner strength to keep going and keep moving forward even though there will be many set backs. You get tired and frustrated, sure, but you have no choice but to keep moving forward.  Eventually things change.  Change is about the only thing in life you can count on.  That in and of itself should be enough to help you get out of bed in the morning and keep fighting the good fight.

  63. I’ve got my felony for DUI 3rd offense. Didn’t even do prison time, just 1 year county jail and 3 years parole. That was 15 years ago. No arrests since. Do you think I could get a decent job with 2 degrees that I’m STILL almost $100K in debt for?? NO!! I can’t even start my own business, because I can’t get a small business loan, because I have a felony!!
     
    Maybe I should run for Congress, I’m a SAINT compared to most of the “Fools on the Hill”…

      •  @jerrylee2012 Part of our campaign strategy could be “We admitted to OUR criminal past, who KNOWS what <the incumbent> did while in office…”
         
        Hmmm.maybe ALL of us should run for Congress…once in, we could pass some laws…

  64. As we can see, ex-felons (no such thing-we will always be current felons)are always being discriminated against.  In my state, you cannot try for expungement until at least 20 years after everything is completed.  What is someone to do in the meantime?  Get any job?  Huh.  I can’t stand on my feet for long which is why I chose the carerr I did in the first place.  I have 34+ years of accounting/office managment.  Start your own business?  With no money?  Right!  I have a great attitude when interviewing.  I have faith.  But….reality is….society says ex-felons are nothing and never will be.  If someone can find a senator that will write a bill asking that all records are sealed even after parole/probation is completed, I will talk to or write that person.  Something need to be done.  Just no one willing to.

    •  @Lfbusinesswoman Expungement seemingly isn’t even a possibility in NYS. Any lawyer I ask is like “ummm…good luck with that”. I was charged with a felony but convicted of a misdeam. however employers see the charge on the background and I am immediately dismissed from EVERY job, despite qualifications, years since the offense, honesty, volunteer work, family, references, etc. With these lovely background checks I lost a job that had for nearly 10 years because they did more random background checks since already being employed. They didn’t care that I had perfect everything at my job. Just saw the charge and I was a slab of meat and then they passed out my information to everyone else at my work place and I was looked at with disgust until I was forced out only to lose my home and family a second time! Its the charge that keeps on living/lifelong; it affects me everyday! I am in jail outside of jail!

  65. I agree with Lfbusinesswoman.  Once you do your time, and especially after you get your record expunged, the general public should not be able to get your PRIVATE records.
     
    Problem is, is it’s a big money maker for the states.  First they charge you to expunge or seal your records, and then they charge the individual businesses to get the PRIVATE record.  Each state has its own bureau of investigations.  In many cases they botch the reporting, and for a small fee the expose your PRIVATE record.  They need to STOP the further punishment of people to help meet their budget.

  66. Maybe Debra Auerbach can do a piece about that…  Seems selling out to corporate America is good business these days.

  67. If someone can tell me how you get a lawyer to help expunge your record if you dont have a job and cant afford to pay them,I would be very greatful.

    •  @jerrylee2012 You can probably do it yourself, without a lawyer.  It’s important to be as resourceful as possible.  No one will give you anything.  Can’t sit around feeling bad about your situation.  Do the research yourself.  Do a google search or contact your local self-help legal access center.  
       
      Here’s some information on getting your record expunged in California.  Many times the only thing hold you back – is you.
       
      http://www.saclaw.lib.ca.us/pages/expunging-criminal-records.aspx
       
      Good luck.

      •  @sharmaine73 most of the time you can visit the local court house library and ask for expungement forms from the area monitor. and try to fill them out yourself, but theyre pretty complicated unless you have legal writing knowledge. But, another possibility is calling local Law Schools and ask for them for students who are doing “Pro Bono” work at the time. Let me tell you its a long drawn out process. And a ton a stipulations.

    •  @jerrylee2012
       Call your state bar association or do an internet search for lawyers who do “pro bono” or reduced fee work.  In  Mass., we have an organization called the Volunteer Lawyers Project.  While they may not do THIS kind of work, most states have a list of various orgs that may take something like this on.  And if you don’t mind doing the grunt work yourself, find out where your local law library is located and ask the librarians to help you do research.  In my experience, they are extremely helpful and sometimes have law degrees too.  Good luck.

    •  @jerrylee2012 If you DO get a pro-bono lawyer, make SURE they know what they’re doing!!! I remember reading something like 3/4 of the people now sitting in jail/prison right now had a pro-bono lawyer (AKA Public Defender, referred to in jail/prison as Public Pretender, because they just got out of law school!!)

    •  @jerrylee2012  Let me know what state you are in as they all have different expungement  criteria. Since you are poor you can waive the filing fees as long as your paperwork is in order. One little mistake-don’t cross a T or dot an i -they throw it out. Seriously I will help you.

  68. maybe we can all get on facebook and start a debate over the fact that once a felon always a felon ,(yes or no)

    •  @jerrylee2012 We need someone with the guts to step up and turn words into action. Someone has to have connections or care enough to help!? I don’t know where to turn to to start?

    •  @jerrylee2012 I believe you’ll ALWAYS be a felon once you become one, because sooner or later you’ll have to commit a crime to support yourself, because you can’t get a job with a living wage, because YOU’RE A FELON!!!
       
      I wonder if Canada is any better??

  69. sharmaine- occurred about 4 months ago -still trying to  settle with the board. Insurance companies are the worse at trying to start a new career with any glitch on your record (there was a movie with Will Smith “Pursuit of Happiness”- well I guess if I looked like WIll Smith I could get past any conviction- wait a second hasnt Lindsey Lohan done that?

    •  @mdwdoc Hi – Sorry I am just now seeing this. 4 months ago is very recent.  I think it’s going to take some time to get you back on your feet. This article might help.
      http://www.ehow.com/about_5594752_types-don_t-do-background-checks_.html
      You’re just going to have to become a little more creative when it comes to finding work.  Also, keep in mind that in this economy, everyone is having a hard time finding work.  I was unemployed for three years until very recently and I do not have a criminal record.  The fact that our economy is struggling, will make it harder for you to find a job, even if you had a clean record.  I hope you find something soon.  Stick to small companies. The smaller the company the less likely they are to do a background check…and DO look for some volunteer work in the mean time!  It really will help both with potential job references as well as your SANITY! ;)

  70. That sounds cheery but it simply isn’t true. As a person with a felony drug possession in 2005 I have been looking for a job that pays a living wage for 3 years. As soon as you tell an employer you have a felony you are done. I have lied  to get hired and then they find out and I get fired. Who cares? you don’t have to list them as a reference anyways. At least I came out with a pay check which is more than you had when you walk in the door. I have a good education, interview well and have had a job since I was 15. Now I can’t get a job waiting tables. This is mainly due to insurance companies and the liability that goes with hiring a felon. Try to rent an apartment-good luck. Prison re-entry programs are a joke-you may as well read a career book to get the same information. My probation and “debt” to society was completed on 2008. Any type of financial aid for school is not allowed by federal law if it drug related. Prior to the INTERNET a background check was a rare occurrence. Now you have to get a background check to wash dishes. This is why recidivism is so high. People are forced back to the conduct that got them arrested in the first place. This is a national crisis and needs to be dealt with. Good luck to the millions(literally) that are going through the same problem.

    •  @jesmith As I wrote already on this site,  I have a felony and can’t get a job.  I will be homeless if I can’t find some kinda paying job in the next year.  I just wonder how people can go 3 or 4 years without a job?  I wonder what percentage of the homeless have felonies?  I hear so much about the “homeless problem” and what can be done about it?  Well nothing can be done.  As long as one is labeled as a felon, then no amount of outside assistance, short of a job offer or money in their pocket will prevent homelessness.   I’ll bet more than half of the homeless are convicted felons.  At this point, I am willing to commit a crime in order to stay off the street.  In fact, I think that I would rather be in jail than to be homeless.  They have nothing to do, but to move from spot to spot.  I don’t even know how to begin to be homeless.  Where the hell do they sleep?  I know some of them sleep in the doorways of business’s downtown.  I have a degree from a top notch college, tons of experience and yet it simply does NOT matter.  You have a felony?, Well then, you are unemployable!

      •  @ssmobick   forced into homelessness. piece of shit parole officer insisted  I live in the county where the violation occurred. homeless off and on. If he would have allowed me to stay with my family and work a job I wouldn’t be in the situation.pigs are not your friends- Being forced into a homeless environment on parole is a total disaster. Not all homeless people are “bad” crack,violence and petty theft is part of the trip. A lot of people do choose the streets to shelters because ucan find a place to crash with some privacy and you don’t have a million people waiting for U to fall asleep so they can steal your shoes. I’m not kidding.  don’t have a shower but you can bird bath at Mcd’s. Try finding a job when your clothes are dirty,you smell bad and you are hungry. Doesn’t work. hoping to set up a network of “felons” so we can help each other.  people I know that are ok work in the family business. This idea of finding a small business to work at is good in theory  There are not many”small businesses” left due to wal-mart and other box stores and restaurants. A lot of people feel like you-I would rather do my jail time than be on the streets where sooner or later I will commit a “crime”.

        •  @jesmith  @ssmobick Homelessness ITSELF is a “crime” in most of the U.$….at least the way you’re treated by everyone…
           
          I’d like to make a t-shirt that reads “Jesus was homeless”…see how I’m treated THEN…
           
          Another t-shirt: “homelessness is NOT a crime, the conditions that perpetuate it SHOULD BE”

    •  @jesmith Bravo brother.  I too have recently been saddled with a felony drug possession charge – F-ing grass man!  Now I can’t get a job outside anything where English or “papers” are required.  The U.S has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  Either we’re the most evil people on earth, or something is wrong.  I want to believe the latter, but everything I’ve gone through recently, reinforces the former.  A real shame.
       

      •  @nanda_nanan  @jesmith This country IS evil…I’ve been homeless because of my conviction (3 DUI’s and you’re the worst person to come down the street since Adolf Hitler) And all these people on here saying “start your own business”  WITH WHAT?? I can’t even get a small business loan because I have a felony!! I can’t get a student loan to get ANOTHER college degree because I have a felony!!
         
        I think the system is rigged so that once you’re convicted of SOMETHING, ANYTHING, you’ll be back in jail/prison sooner or later…got to keep the 99% down SOMEHOW…the way things are starting to look for me, I’ll be the guy you’ll see on You Tube robbing one of the “too big to fail” banks wearing a “where’s MY billion dollar bailout” t-shirt…

    • @jesmith I really wish someone with some power was reading this blog! Once a felon always a felon with no second chances… I don’t care if ur honest, volunteer etc…a felon is not given a second chance…it’s unfair people can change! Felons can have feelings, bleed, etc too. Given it not be a blatant violant crime or involve children a second chance is warranted…

  71. good news since my las t breakdown,I have finally landed a job after 1 year on unemployment.Im going back to work for someone that knew one of my ex jobs.Good luck to all the ex felons out there its a bitch and yes something needs to be done about rehibilitation.The definition needs to be changed to we lie to you to get you to act right in jail cause after your released your fucked.
    To all my bros out there still trying I hope you get something so your familiys dont starve or you have to revert to stealing again to sevive.(GOOD LUCK)
     

  72. sharmaine- thanks for the tips -plan to volunteer- actually Obama has a serv.gov campaighn.May go back to school. hope it wonttake 4 years to start working or else im movingback in with mommy and daddy at the age of 53.

  73. I volunteer 3-4 times a week with the church and the city. We have tons of festivals in Grapevine. I know the shot callers and they have offered me numerous jobs-yet again I can’t get through the background check-not their fault. Policy seems to overcome common sense. They want me to work for the city cuz I do it for free anyway. My advice is file for SSI-see a shrink-certified disabled-and go through that process. I’m not a crybaby and I don’t expect a free ‘lunch”. I want to work. I’m capable of working-I have the life experience,education,personality and looks. Bottom line-government won’t let me work and then they play it off like I’m lazy. Bullshit. School is always a great option-you can never be to educated.Try to pick a field that won’t discriminate.Federal law- all law is a joke.It serves only those who make them. We need a battle plan-please contact me any time. I am coming up with a plan. I am a paralegal and would love to take the bar-again-big brother won’t allow it. Things have to be changed by the legislature in order for anything positive to follow.

    •  @jesmith I wonder if people could apply for SSI and claim their felony conviction as their disability…..hmmmm….

      •  @PhilipBrzezinski No.  You cannot claim your felony as the basis of your disability.  In fact, if your disability began as a result of your  felony, you lose. 

    •  @jesmith Do you know if someone with a few misdemeanors can take the bar exam? Im going through the paralegal school now and need some outside truth. Schools tell you, what you wanna hear right? So Im looking for other input. thanks

      •  @sanantonian  @jesmith
         Many states that require professional certification such as lawyers, nurses, and CPAs have programs which allow the person attempting to qualify for the license to get state board approval for the particular profession if they have a felony background.  So yes, you likely can take the bar exam or take the CPA exams in most states.  The boards typically put you on a ‘probation’ period and will review your situation when you meet all of the qualifications for your certification.  Look up the state board that governs your particular profession.  Don’t give up, the only way to make a difference is to sometimes build your credibility with those that are on the opposite side of the fence.  This may mean joining them for awhile but once you are part of our club and see that this amounts to government sanctioned discrimination, it is a social duty to use the power you acquire to affect change.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a struggle, and I’ve been kicked in the teeth several times but I also got lucky and am building a solid reputation.  Once I have enough influence to start a ripple, I just have to hope that those that are facing these same challenges are willing to help make the ripple into a tsunami.  I understand there are penalties for breaking the law, but making it so a person cannot turn their life around because of the legalized discrimination that is supported by the government is a recipe that traps those individuals into making some hard decisions regarding actually supporting their family.  My issues did not involve murder, violence, robbery, or financial unethical activities; however, when the ‘felon’ tag is mentioned, those are exactly the images that get associated in the minds of those that are in charge of hiring decisions.  That is assuming the organization does not have a policy in place that allows them to discriminate because you are forced to check a box on an application.  It is difficult to convey this message to people because as another astute writer indicated, the people that are not affected by this feel this is the life many of us deserve – until they or a family member or friend find themselves in this situation.  So keep fighting the good fight and support change in your own ways.

      •  @sanantonian The answer to your question about the bar exam is yes-you can take the bar. First you want to practice on the “PLSAT”. In order to take the actual test and get licensed  by the ABA you have to have a law degree. Felons have to approach the bar and explain what, when, where and why the offense occurred. As long as you haven’t committed a violent crime  or anything involving theft or embezzlement you can get approved. My advice is to get a job with a law firm doing intake screenings. I have done a ton of  work  as a paralegal. Attorneys are the only ones that can appear in court as an “attorney”. That’s why they play golf and eat lunch at the country club. Knowledge is power and the only way to get it is a combination of book smarts and real life”street smarts”. Not a ton of fun but if your heart is in it I believe that it is time well spent.

      • You can probably sit for the Bar.  They will take your money just fine.  The REAL problem is if you pass the Bar, you will have to go through the Committee on Character and Fitness.  That’s a group of attorneys to whom you will plead your case.  Depending on what they think, at that time, on that given day, you may or may not be admitted to the Bar.  It really all depends on the misdemeanors. 
        Good luck.   But, here’s the other issue.  You don’t want to go to law school.  I highly advise against it.

    •  @jesmith
       I LOVE your comments. I work at a 12-month residential rehab, and some of the guys who come through here are pretty bright, but can’t get jobs in their chosen fields because of their criminal background. (Myself included – I’m a 20+ year computerized accounting systems software engineer, was offered a contract job by a large SSA contractor that didn’t pan out because I wrote, AND PAID OFF, a handful of bad checks 30 years ago).
       
      I’m in, Brother. I’m in Baltimore – let me know what I can do…

      •  @mdsecoski
         For an expungement in Oregon of a misdemeanor, cost was $400 atty. fee, $240 filing fee, $80 State Police fee, $33 fingerprint fee.  This year, 2012.  Actually, it’s a record sealing, that permits an individual to answer “no” to a job app question, have you been convicted etc.  The crime?  Assault in the 4th degree.  Sounds waaaay worse than the actual incident that led to the conviction.  I believe it is worth the money.  And yes, if you know what you are doing, you can buy the legal forms at a stationer, and complete and file yourself.  You will then avoid the $400 atty. fee.  Hope this helps.  

    • My son is a convicted felon and did 2 years in prison. Its a long story as I guess most are but he did his time and has no outstanding fines but he is also disabled (paralysis to left side). Other than not being able to use his left hand and walking with a limp he is strong and can do alot of things depsite his disability. He will walk up to strangers and ask for work because he truly wants to work but he cant’ get past the felony check mark. Walmart gave him 2 interviews and he explained his situation to one of the interviewers but the guy told him that a third party looks into the backround checks and they ended up not hiring him. It is really frustrating for him and can really lead to depression which would make the situation worse. The organizations that should help him have programs but there is so much red tape that it takes forever.He does get SS but it is nowhere enough for him to live without being in poverty. Luckily he has a will to survive so he just keeps on keeping on. I told him to look into volunteering but because he has long hair they assume hes a drug dealer.. It’s really a shame how people who are trying to start over are discriminated against.

  74. The problem is real and relevant. Not only to adults but to our kids as well.I am not singled out-this is a national issue. Lets get a game plan and stick it right back up their#@@#!. Sounds lame-maybe we can get some help. Attorneys in general won’t take a government liability issue due to the amount of time it takes to get into court and the “billable” hours they lose. I am qualified to do the paperwork but I can’t go into court as an “attorney”.Paralegals do most of the work anyway. There must be a solution-lets find it.

  75. The biggest problem are the people in power. They’re too afraid they won’t get re-elected and too busy telling everyone what great Christians they are. The chief of police in my area was accused of having a relationship with an under age girl but because he became a “born again” the community forgave him. Most people would be in a database for the world to see and find it impossible to find work. I keep thinking I would like to establish a yearly scholarship for a reformed felon in my area but I know that’s not the answer because they have to be able to find work when they get out of college. If no one will hire them then the education was wasted. I wish there was a simple answer but I do know there are a lot of smart people out there who have been in jail/prison and with social media someone should be able to change the thinking of our society.

  76. “Felon” is a brand name-just like any other. I don’t put up with violent or sexual crimes against women,children or people in general. Ideally the laws will change-and they will as soon as the ignorant old fucks die. There isn’t “one” person that has power in this situation. It takes many-which there are to address this in a proper manner. Don’t get me wrong I am a big fan of street “justice”. I would send that piece of shit Zimmerman right back into the streets. Done deal.No trial-nothing.bullet given is a bullet earned. I am getting a plan and will start on the execution soon.My life is over cuz I had a baggie with .08 g in it? Absurd. Not the intent of the law. Stay with me bud. I don’t give up.Maybe start a blog or twitter would b better $ us?

  77. to jesmith,Bro,dont stert thinking that way thats what the system wants you to do .Use that energy that you want to mess up with and contact the media .Im planning on doing this myself just gotta figure out the way to go about it.Dont be mad at the system cause we made it ,help me get everyone together to do something about it (LEAGULY)I dont know what im gonna do but some thing is going to come out of this its an election year althought we cant vote but we do have family and freinds that do so we can still be a determining factor

  78. I agree with rabbit52. People don’t care about felons or prisons. They figure if yo are there you deserve it. Out of sight out of mind. Things change when it happens to them or one of their family members. All of the sudden it becomes real. Back in the day you had to do something pretty serious to end up in prison. Adams County, Denver Co the sheriff just got busted for smoking meth and raping a 74 yr old man. Will he do a day in prison? Not a chance. There are so many examples of of preferential treatment to those that can afford a decent attorney and have social status. Look at Catholic priests. You know that story. Do you know how to get a nun pregnant? Dress her up like a choir boy. Ha! Ha! On the serious side we need to band together and use our collective intelligence, strengths and resources to try and change the situation for future generations. I know it sounds like hippie dippie bullshit but I don’t see any alternative besides armed insurrection. My favorite quote by any politician is”revolution is not only your right -its your responsibility” Thomas Jefferson

    •  @jesmith I’m afraid the armed insurrection is going to happen this summer…and it’s not going to be the felons…

  79. I’ve been reading posts like these for the past 5 plus years, and what I’ve found is most people speak of “Them or They or We” all of which means nothing to the people in charge. “HOPE” is a very powerful word and keeps all human beings looking to the next day. In reality, do you see a large group of felons peacefully gathering and protesting in a square somewhere and not being hauled off to jail again? Its a recipe for disaster in my opinion. The Author of this article refers people to expungement, HA. The day someone with anything higher than a class “C” misdemeanor is granted expungement pigs will fly out of my ass. Once convicted your toast, even the notorious “No Contest” or probation will screw you. Either of those are simply saying your guilty just were fortunate enough to stay out of jail. States receive government grants for keeping people locked up and other institutions are even privately owned which means someone is sitting pretty collecting tax payer money and government handouts. So they all have to keep those beds full or risk losing money, its all a crock. Especially when a state threatens to secede from the rest of the U.S. thats never going to happen. Its almost hilarious to hear because most states cant survive without help from the Feds. 
    All I’m saying is, I’ve written to Senators, governors and tried just about everything under the sun to try and redeem myself in the publics eye but have been unsuccessful, clearly. University education, trade school skills, volunteer work, self improvement seminars, even bottom of the barrel jobs and nothing seems to change nor does there seem to be any indication of it ever changing. 
    Except for one thing that may help the future generations of unfortunates, and that’s “Restorative Justice” if you don’t know what it is, Google it. 
    The Patriot Act you can say screwed most Americans in one way or another. When the privacy of our own country’s men and women was us for grabs, companies took it and ran with it. Security companies found ways to market and sell information to anyone and everyone in-turn screwing people who had been employed for years and those looking to become employed.
    I feel its really the companies that sell information that should be focused on people need a company to counter whats online them. The information posted online isn’t to be used to hiring purposes because companies basically state in their disclaimers “information isn’t pre-screened for accuracy and some information may be incorrect. So what do we all do, 1 in 4 people have been to jail in the U.S. and even more have been arrested and released( put on probation) 
    Thats my soap box, “Keep Hope Alive” thats all we have.

  80. Despite what the experts say (yes, I mean president and CEO Bruce Hurwitz mentioned in the article), companies have free reign and government support to discriminate against felons.  If the penalty for my crime has been paid in full, then it is my personal business.  I understand the ‘public records’ arguement but there really needs to be some common-sense respect from a company.  Is it legal? Yes.  It is ethical?  No!  Anything that happened between me and the government, should really be between me and the government if it resolved issue.  I can throw stats around regarding the high percentage of doctors, lawyers, public servants, etc. that are alcoholics and embezzelers and thiefs and addicts, but take a person who is none of these and has a past record and obviously this person is a menace to society and a monster to mankind. 

  81. I have recommend this to several needy persons:  Erasing Your Criminal Background Legally: The Ultimate Guide To Second Chances by Daniel Hall Esq. and Sarah Greenberg (Paperback – Jul 18, 2010); with a fresh start you don’t have a criminal background to deal with when looking for job, etc.

    • @servant124 Now if they had a way of doing that when you’re broke and homeless,BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GET A JOB, BECAUSE YOU’RE A “CRIMINAL”!!!
       
      IMHO, the lawyers are among the biggest crooks in the country (along with doctors and preachers) But, THEY never get busted, BECAUSE THEY’RE LAWYERS!!!!

  82. It’s not as easy as they write about. Getting the conviction expunged? Hardly. My conviction sounds a lot worse thn what actually happened. Hiring managers look at most qualified, then cull out those with convictions. at&t is a good example. I was a manager there for 9 years (till they found out I had a record). They didnt even let us interview those with a record.

    • @sunvisor I did my punishment, volunteered, counseling, etc and notified my nys employer of my background and was hired after I had lost my family and home…I worked there 7 years and then nys did a 2nd background check and let me go… Took me 7 years to get back on my feet and now Im losing my home and my family is on the verge of leaving me… I’m a network admin with 15 years of experience and now nobody despite references and volunteer work will give me a shot

  83. response to CLUB- you are absolutely right-cycles do perpetuate-THATS WHY THEY’RE CYCLES. C’mon I expect a little more.

  84. Some great commentary on here and I have left a few comments.  As I have said, I am a convicted felon.  Can’t believe that that is my “label”.  What’s interesting is that one of my best friends is a CEO for a very large company that is in my field of expertise.  He couldn’t give me a job if he wanted too.  His biggest client is Fannie Mae and if they found out I was on the payroll, they would terminate their contract with him.  He sends me $1,500/month so I am very lucky.  But the thing is, most CEO’s don’t have the option of giving you a second chance.  It puts them in jeopardy.  So THAT is what I think is wrong.  If the CEO wants to give you a break, then he should be able too.  I couldn’t even use any of the data that I would work with for any nefarious activity, yet I am prevented from having a job in that field.  My ultimate concern is that I end up homeless, because he won’t support me forever.  At any rate, good luck to all the people in my same boat and try to keep your head’s up……. You just never know when that “break” is right around the corner…….

  85. I’ve got 2 Misdemeanor convictions.. (1 traffic and 1 DV in the presence of a minor)  Sounds horrible doesnt it? …. It was’nt.. I was yelling at a roommate …yet even those I do disclose my record to employers, even before I get an offer, they still discriminate against me and dont hire me simply for my convictions…not even felonies mind you…  in 2 states employers wont hire, due to that… now I’m stuck doing Independent IT contracting for a while longer.. :/
     

    • @SteveWren  yes i have dui’s and i have luck with job agencies but other places just send me letters of rejection.but they say they have other candidates which could be true.the economy sucks right now.i am going to school for aoda counselor which dui’s dont affect according to my teacher and i do pass the caregiver background checks.but as far as regualr jobs i cant find one.

  86. It is a shame. The intent of our”justice” system and the intent of the laws themselves is to set clear penalties for “illegal” behavior. Once you have completed whatever stupid shit they want you to do your obligations have been met. Nowhere does it say that a minor infraction ruins your life. That is absurd. I have continued to contact various civil rights and justice reform organizations to no avail. I will keep doing it untill I find some one that has the time, clout and money to help. If we can get all of the people affected to file a class action discrimination lawsuit we may make some progress.

    • @jesmith There’s NO “justice” in this country…but there’s “just-us” (as in “just us” multi-millionaires) Those are the “powers that be”, i.e. the politicians, governors, judges, ect in our “fair” and “elected” political system…
       
      START THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION NOW!!!!! NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!!!!!!

  87. There are only (5) states, Arizona, California, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York that offer “CERTIFICATES OF REHABILITATION”—- that lift or limit the restrictions imposed on people with criminal records in obtaining employment or occupational licenses. The PAROLE BOARD may grant “CERTIFICATES OF GOOD CONDUCT and CERTIFICATES OF RELIEF FROM DISABILITIES” to automatically lift occupational bars. However, in all other states this never happens and the parole boards never even mention it!!!  So, just these facts alone, show that the government discriminates against people with a criminal past to promote re-incarceration of peoples!

  88. Read some of the comments and have been moved to respond.  I do not have a felony, but have several relatives and friends with the same issue;  crimes range from child support to murder.  It is hard for everyone, but they have come up with ways to stay legally employed. 
    The friend with a violent felony works as a mechanic at a garage.  A relative works for a large organization, which is aware of his situation.  Another bought a truck at auction and delivers furniture.  Jobs can be found, but you have to be quite creative. 
    Here are some suggestions.  See if your participating Goodwill industries has a job training program for offenders. Next, if your city has Workone, see if they have a program for offenders, who usually receive federal dollars to help get felons hired.  Next, a lot of churches are recognizing the need and are starting programs in the neighborhoods.  Another solution is borrowing money from a friend and get a lawmower and basic lawn tools from the pawn shop to start a lawn care business.  There are still people, who don’t want the hassel of doing it themselves.  These are just suggestions.  I hope that they are helpful to someone. 
     

    • @Alemat At THIS rate, I’m about ready to go into dope dealing…or maybe male prostitution…I’ve TRIED everything else…
       
      And the people in  the Land Of The Greed and The Home Of The Enslaved wonder why the recidivism rate is so high…

      • @PhilipBrzezinski  @Alemat  i thought about doing that also.i am a female though.i dont know if its my record but companies here in wisconsin are closing and laying off.its sad.

  89. If you are from Indiana, here are some resources:  Pace-oar.org; Indiana Federal Bonding Program, which help with obtaining a bond so you nor the employer will incur the cost of securing a bond, in order for you to work at http://www.bonds4jobs phone is 1-877-US2-jobs for Jobseeker/ 1-877-233-2258 ext 246 for employers.   try Indiana Helpers at Helpers@HHoot.com (Homeless and ReEntry Helpers, Inc.  Also, http://www.Xamire.com/felony-friendly/indiana, which has resources for all states.  I also found CECintl.com, which stands for the Community Education Centers-breaking the cycle of Recidivism. 
    I hope that if anyone finds success, to please post it in order for others to be encouraged. 

  90. My son went through an open school window with a teachers son and shaving creamed the classroom when he was 12,…no that he is 20 he was working at an old folks home where the staff loved him and he really enjoyed the work,..he’s very compassionate,..anyway a few months after working there the company prefomed a secondary check ,..and his “crime” came up as a felony so he was let go inspite of a tearfull goodbye from the staff,..exsponging is $600.00 for each count which there are two and he must wait 4 months between each one,..so he is working at wally world and plodding back up hill.
     Where is the logic he already paid financially and societally now he is living back with us and feeling low.,….
     

  91. what state is only 600 per conviction to exsponge? florida youve got to hire a crook,i mean attorney to do it

  92. So back in 2009 I got into trouble for pushing my 16 year old “pot head” step son during an argument at my house. He pushed, I pushed. Bottom line: I was convicted of Simple Assault, a Class “A” Misdemeanor. I paid the $650.00 fine, and faced ten days in jail (suspended for one year of good behavior) but I ended up not having to do any time since I behaved for the one year.
    He was not charged with anything since he was a “minor” at the time….and the conviction for him would not have “counted” for much. Employment? I lost my federal job. I had over 17 years federal service time done and could have retired ordinarilly in three years. What to do? I retired anyway! I went out on disabity. My employer did not want to keep me around after this incident. I tried getting another job, and each application states that I am not able to work with them because of the Misdemeanor conviction.  I now have to wait for three years after the one year probation before I can even file for an annulment….and how in the heck anyone is suppose to pay their bills until they wait for an annulment is beyond logic. I truely think the government WANTS TO MAKE IT HARD on people that have ANY CONVICTIONS to gain employment so that the people have to resort to CRIME and this is one way to keep the CORRECTIONAL PEOPLE AND COPS EMPLOYED. (For what it is worth, I use to wear a gun and badge to work….)

  93. I hope some young people read these posts and are inspired to walk the straight and narrow. All too often they get discouraged and decide to take what they think is the easy way out. Or they start using drugs, which leads to other crimes. In fact, I would say that most crimes are somehow drug or alcohol related. Kids need some good role models and diligent parents to help them avoid these traps.

  94. I was incarcerated for 4yrs 8mos in Michigan. My charge was uttering and publishing (check fraud).. I was put on probation, and violated one time, for not reporting, because I was “dirty” (I smoked pot).. Anyway, I turned myself in, I was told from a court appointed Atty., that I would get “county time”, I ended up getting 66mos, to 14yrs. Oh ya, did I mention the check was for  $350.00. After getting released I am finding that for a female offender it is almost impossible to find decent employment. I was working at a Cracker Barrell for almost 3mos and was let go because (as they put it), they were “cleaning house”.. That was the last time I answered the “felony question” honestly.. That 6 digit # becomes your social security #,. thats how bad it is, and how it will follow you for the rest of your life…….

  95. So i saw a post on here about someone naming the prices of expungements and record sealing… So the Next article that theworkbuzz.com should write  should be “How to permanantly seal your Criminal records so a convicted person can get a job in their field..”   or something along those lines…  

    •  @SteveWren While that would probably get a lot of traction, we aren’t legal counsel and can’t offer up that sort of advice as it’s not really our specialty. But perhaps we could get an outside author to help with something along those lines.

  96. A lot of great comments on this post but I did want to point out that it may not be the best idea to comment (with granular detail) about your own personal record. Remember folks, once you put it on the internet – it’s permanent and it’s public. 

    • @theworkbuzz Lying is always the best policy?  Isn’t as if they used their real names.  Yes, I’ve been stalked by people wanting to assault me for the past couple of years, so know we just as well not even post to the internet.  They track my home address and publish it to open forum and say I’m a criminal though never having any criminal convictions.  The good ol’ USA.  Pack heat is all I can say so that we can kill them when they come for us.  It is a crazy world we live in and not at all the one I grew up in a few decades ago.

  97. FYI: Illinois House Representative LaShawn Ford has introduced a Criminal Records Sealing Bill (HB5723) that would, if passed, expand the eligibility of criminal record sealing in Illinois to a variety of non-violent felonies. This is a huge step toward increasing access to jobs for good citizens with a criminal past. Just “Google” IL HB5723 for more info. Call the IL State Reps. in your districts and urge them to support HB5723.

  98. @ EVERYONE
    SUE the credit reporting agency’s. Have the “system” help you, not hinder you! Here is something I read on another message board similar to this one, that could be really helpful. Please pass this information along to anyone you may know who might need it. ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL
     
    BroncoBilly wrote–
     
    Yes it’s 7 years AFTER the last day of whenever you were on parole, probation, or convicted.
    So, if you got a ten year prison sentence, followed by five years of probation, 7 years from the day you were released from probation/parole is when the Texas Business &Commerce Code Section 20.05 would begin to apply.
     
    For those past the 7 year mark:
    The best way to fight it is in small claims court. File in your own county of residence. Just Google “Small Claims Court (your county)”. The clerk will hand you a form. Address the Respondent line to “General Counsel” of whatever the name of the Credit Reporting Agency was. I.E. “General Counsel, Choice Point, INC.,Peoria, Illinois. It usually costs around $50 to file the claim and that cost includes the cost of the county process server driving to or sending a USPS certified letter to their place of business (even if it’s in another state) regarding the lawsuit paperwork.
     
    On the Damages line, you will calculate the damages you’ve suffered because of their illegal report. If employed, subtract what you make now from the the salary the job you were applying for was offering. For example, if you make $15 an hour now, and the job you applied for offered $20 an hour, that would be $5 an hour. Multiply that times 40 hours per week ($200).
     
    Now multiply that times 4 weeks. $800 per month. Now multiply that times 6 months (because that is the usual probation period). $4800 is your actual and real damage.
     
    Sue them.
     
    There’s a 90% chance they will not send anyone to the court as Respondent. You go before the judge who is a Justice of the Peace, you cite Texas Business and Commerce Code 20.05. Hand a copy of the code to the bailiff. The bailiff will hand it to the judge. The judge will ask “Is there a Respondent for Choicepoint present in the courtroom?”
    No-one will answer.
    You will be granted a summary judgement of $4800. 
This whole process will take about ten minutes.
    You will never see any of the money.
    But there will be a discussion around the big table at the Credit Reporting Agency’s meeting and their General Counsel will tell them to quit reporting past 7 years in Texas.
     
    http://www.indeed.com/forum/loc/San-Antonio-Texas/why-is-hard-felon-get-job-but-if-your-lawyer-judge/t91120/p5#c1941520
     

  99. A job seeker with a record who has ‘paid his or her debt’ should be transparent about it without having to wear it on his or her sleeve. You should mention it after real interest has been expressed in you but before you get an offer. You should always answer questions about it truthfully, and never act as if you are hiding something, as it is worse to have it exposed in a background check.”>>>>> well I screwed this job all up because I wasent honest about my misdemeanor charges when asked background check confirmed employee dident admit to criminal charges and flagged me automatic GRADE FAIL :( lesson learned :((( be HONEST JOB SEEKERS

  100. I am a job seeker ex-convicted.I am very positive person,a lot construction and maintenance skills and valid CDL ,able to pass drug screen .But let face the fact. Is very hard to got hired from a lot of companies.More than 90% of the job applications ask for background .Once long time ago while I took orientation  for ex-co job seeker ,the instructor ,say us. ” don t mention about your record,most of the companies does nt check the background ,even when they ask on the applications.If finally you got hired,then be honest with your employer.” .
    In matter of fact  when I have been hired ,is because some friend  have took me directly to the employer,but not for employers itself. I have non been lucky about that. I have lost a lot good job opportunities ,just for my criminal past ( I did one mistake,only one, more than 14 years ago ,drug traffic and still is like very heavy chain ) 
    A friend told me about  a selection in AMTRAK , from 32 peoples only 6 were sent to second interview ,according to my friend ,that means the chance was 98 % got hired.Does nt happen to me ,unfortunately I was in the 2 % ,WHY ?.  My record. 
    I apply for a position in the company who make deliveries for Lowe`s. I had all the requirement  ,I went  to the interview ,everything look ok,when the interviewer told ,just we need to run you background,I knew I wasted my time going there and was right ,they did nt call me.
    Another experience,was while looking for job, I found LA CONCHITA a private bus service hiring driver,but I have to pass a examination in Metro Dade building for licenses on Miami Downtown  ,I went there ,filled the papers ( marked YES in the question of conviction ,PAID  $80.00 and take the appointment for the test. I pass the test with 87 %  and they denied me the license ,because I was a ex-con,because the law say so. Well ,but I didnt lie in the application and I claim my $ 80.00 back and neither  I got it. I lost that time those 80,plus twice parking charge ,gas and my time .( is this a crime or not ?,who did it ?)
    I used to have HAZMAT endorsement in my CDL license,I pass the test long ago. During a driver license renovation process I was sent to some place to take fingerprint  for HAZMAT renovation process.They took this endorsement from my license ,because I do not qualify anymore to have it. WHY ?. My record
    I cant have TWIC card .WHY ? .My record
    All this limitations narrow considerably  the opportunities to have a more decent paid job.I could mention much more examples.
    There is not room for mistakes for poor and regular peoples.That the reason why a high percent of ex-con ,goes back to the crime.The laws,the society  push back them.
    More simple.I was denied once to got food stamp benefit ,because my crime were related to narcotic. The sexual predators and child molester can have this benefit,but not me.
    There is not a frame of time you can show to the society ,you did a mistake but you want to be clean. NOT ,you have to carry the rest of you life with that .Except if got lucky with the lottery and become rich.Then. this record become invisible.
    I have applied recently for many position ,as local truck driver or building maintenance(carpentry,paint,plumbing,etc) And a company name Magic Service ,called me back and ask about the skills,I explain what I know and the guy sound happy,they provide job to contractor  and handyman. The fatal question ,doesnt make wait, and I was honest,yes I have a conviction on 1996 for drugs. The response were  negative.
    I am still looking for job.If some one have some position for me ,please contact me at rafgon5@msn.com
    Thank you for your attention and I sorry to boring you.Best regard,Rafael Gonzalez

    • @rafgon My son was also told the same by the county workers.  Do not mention your convictions.  That is their job counseling.

    • @rafgon
      The thing I hated most when working with Food Assistance was the fact we could give benefits to someone who wasn’t trying to work or the rapist or child molester or murderer … fill their bellies for them to rape or assault our children or murder our loved ones.
      Where’s the justice in that?

      • @Sound Advice  @rafgon 
        Really?  Now you are trying to discriminate WITHIN a discriminated against class?  I have a conviction for indecent acts with a child.  10 years ago.  The civilians dropped my case when I passed my polygraph and psych eval, but the military charged me.  I have done EVERYTHING to move on, but no one will hire me.  Rather than make sex offenders into the problem, start with your attitude.  Remember, ye who judges will be judged.

        • @JBY  @Sound Advice  @rafgon I’ve found over the years that the bigger the Bible (Koran, Talmud, whatever) thumper, the bigger the hypocrite…one of the reasons why I don’t get into religion….

  101. This is inaccurate dribble.  Companies are not going to hire you, if you are a convicted felon.  A felony is more important that citizenship.  As a matter of fact once you are convicted of a felony you are no longer an American citizen. Just a felon.  Felons are the only group in the country which it is legal to discriminate against.  Articles like this waste our time and encourage false hope… It does not matter whether you check the box or not, they will not hire you…  Our broken criminal justice system has been quietly feeding on young black men for years without anyone caring our paying attention, now it has grown to be come a threat to all.  100 million American with criminal records being discriminated against growing by 15 million a year…..Broken lives, broken dreams, broken country…

    • @Sol Free You mean this sarcastically as is apparent.  What is in our favor (and sorry I don’t feel it personally YET but through my children) is that they tipped the balances too far.  40% of young people have criminal records because breathing almost is a crime these days.  I have those stats from Diversity.inc.  What in my youth was nothing is now a felony and forever deems you not able to participate as a citizen.  The sheer numbers are going to cause it to come to a head.

    • @Sol Free I appreciate your comment, but though they treat you that way you are definitely American or you would not be commenting and protesting in your own unique way.  My sons are Native American.  I’m not, but they are.  I defy any white (like me) perfect person to tell them they do not have a right to be on this soil, raise their families, work, or whatever their hearts desire.  My European ancestors STOLE from them their land and their rights and are not much more than felons not prosecuted.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the spoils go to the winner as is evident by these laws.  Keep piling up the stats of those handed injustice, and the pendulum will swing.  That is my word to the political parties.

  102. In Florida you cannot have a conviction of any type sealed or expunged, the only records that can be are where adjudication is witheld, i looked it up because im in the convicted felon boat, it says since i pled nolo contendre, or no contest, i am not eligible. Only records of people who had adj. witheld, were found not guilty or had charges dropped can be sealed or expunged. Ive been turned down 7 times for jobs i actually got to interview for since my release from FLDOC in Jan 2010, im on both monster and CareerBuilder, and rarely get a call back after im honest with them. I did build the boat im currently in, but a second chance would be nice. BTW my sentence was 17 months for Grand Theft.(pawned something for a friend who claimed he had no ID. Wont do that again) I entered guilty plea in order to have Dealing in Stolen Property(2nd degree felony) dropped.While in I recieved a State Of Florida Dept of Education Certificate for Help Desk Analyst, too bad i cant use it now. Good Luck everyone trying to climb this mountain

  103. People often wonder why crime rates are so high in Oregon.  Well, some people like myself, have made a mistake in the past by taking something that was not theirs, and being convicted of a Felony Theft crime.  I spent time in jail, I completed community service, I paid restitution (well, my husband had to pay it for me as I can’t find a frickin job), and I was on probation for 5 years.  I also had to write a letter of apology to my victim as required by the courts.  I made a mistake, but I paid dearly for it. Not only did I complete all requirements, but I lost the respect of my family and friends.  Now, more than 5 years later, I still cannot find a job. Getting tired of people telling me “you need to change your resume”, I now have about 20 different resumes’ on my computer, and none of them can change an employers mind when they hear “theft”.  Employers that hire Felons, will hire you if you murdered or severely injured another individual and paid your time, but if you stole something, you are not now and will never be trustworthy or reliable and nobody can depend on you.  I was working during my conviction period, and even during my jail sentence. My employer was so impressed with the quality of my work, my confidentiality and my overall knowledge that he was able to see past my error in judgement.  Unfortunately, with the changing times, I was laid off three years ago.  Since then I have not been able to even get a single call for a job interview.  I have logged more then 4,000 applications.  I have been rejected from most all employment agencies as they too “do not work with Felonies of THEFT”. I have been registered with day labor agencies who say they work with felons where the felony is more than 1 year old “no questions asked” is what they say.  Have to report to them every morning at 6 a.m. to stand in line waiting for them to call your name for work.  No work from them either.  Recently, I was told by the Goodwill Job Connection (I have been registered with them for over a year with no luck) that I need to start volunteering to keep my job skills up.  Well, today I went to the hospital near hear to volunteer in whatever department they needed help in.  I even said I would dump garbage. My past is all Office Management and accounting.  The volunteer coordinator was excited as I told her I was available 40 hours a week.  I had to complete an application that was 6 pages long.  I gave it to her and she asked about my felony.  I explained it to her and she said it did not bother her, but it is ultimately up to the HR department.  She scheduled a formal interview for me for two days from now and told me to watch my e-mail for a confirmation.  Well, guess what.  That’s right.  I got an e-mail stating that she talked to HR regarding what I told her, and they told her she could go ahead an have the interview, but it was more likely than not that they would not allow me to volunteer at their Health Center once the background check came through.  AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY SO MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE ARRESTED FOR THEFT END UP STEALING AGAIN.  IT’S BECAUSE THEY CAN’T FIND A JOB TO BE ABLE TO KEEP A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS, OR TO PUT FOOD IN THEIR MOUTHS.   If only I had the money, I would start a company of some sort that would only hire individuals with a past of Felony Theft – someone has to give them a second chance.  I can see if you are a repeat offender, but a first time offender and being more than 5 years. Come on…… Somethings got to give.

    • @Feelingworthless
       Wow this story is very common and yes I feel your pain because I also have a receiving stolen property felony in Fort Wayne IN in 2008 and have been banned from acquiring honest employment.  My crime was for pawning stolen jewlery that I did not know was stolen. I plead guilty to a class D felony and was  sentenced to two years of which I served aproximately a year, partly in jail and in prison after refusing probation. Now I am an employment outcast working on a bachelors degree in Human Services.  Maybe I will be working with exfelons someday or people who have been banned from earning a honest living.  I have been through all the job search havoc you have so don’t give up we got to keep moving.

    • @Feelingworthless Wow it is heartening to see so many people with the same idea saying the same thing.  After hearing and knowing and experiencing this sort of discrimination, if we are ever in a position to give others a chance then we will.  For years, I’ve called America the punishment society.  The debt to society is never paid no matter what you did.  As these examples show, theft will get you a lifetime these days.  I’ve said the middle eastern way of simply cutting off a limb would be easier.  Just chop off my hand, I stole something once upon a time, then let me go on about my life in peace.

      • @SunnySmiles  @Feelingworthless America-the Land of the Greed, and the Home of the Enslaved…
         
        Came up with that during the Bush administration…

    • @Feelingworthless Being a “drunk driver” is about the same as being Adolph Hitler, in the eyes of “the powers that be”…

    • @Feelingworthless damn, I forgot Oregon was a state lol never would have “wondered why crime rates are so high in Oregon.”

    • Funny thing is, there was a writeup concerning this in our paper just a few days ago, but can’t recall all the content.  And it doesn’t even take a criminal record to be kept down these days.  All it takes is to in any way be considered “not the right fit.”

  104. If/when I get into the position to do so, I’ll hire NOTHING but felons, as long as they’re qualified for the job, and their conviction has nothing to do with the job they’re applying for (Bank robber applying for a job in a bank, for example)

    • @PhilipBrzezinski Philip, I just told my oldest yesterday that if we were ever fortunate enough to win a large sum of money, that we would do home mortgages and provide them only to convicted felons.  Surely that can’t be discrimination because it isn’t when it is the other way around:)  I’ve worked 25 years for a major corporation, and had no idea these things go on until now!
       
      I hope you get into that position because we need some savvy people employing awesome workers who happen to have made a mistake or two in their lives!:)

    • @PhilipBrzezinski  An entterpreneur in Chicago did just that.  He started a fasta-food place titled Felony Franks where he hired ex-cons.  But the public was so outraged about the title that he was forced to shut down.

  105. I JUST WANT TO GIVE  A SHOUT OUT TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN CONVICTED AND BANNED FROM EARNING A HONEST LIVING.  NEVER TO BE FORGIVEN BUT FORCED TO BE REHABILITATED TO REENTER A SOCIETY THAT DOES NOT PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH.  I SAY LET THOSE THAT BE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.  MY ADVICE TO YOU ALL IS TO KEEP STRIVING FOR THE BLESSINGS THAT ARE TRULLY YOURS AND NEVER!, NEVER! EVER! GIVE! UP!

  106. I have 7 dui’s and 2 felonies in my past. I have always managed to find something to get started over with after my screwups. I’ve worked oilfields, construction, social services and now I’m a machine operator at $16. an / hour with benefits and a future, at a company that is growing and has been since 1960 !  Yes I suffer from alcoholism but I am doing well in recovery now.
     
    Again, I must stress the value of starting out thru temp agencies ( I did ) and don’t expect to start out any job at $20.00 an hour ! Too Many people today expect too much or are ignorant of the fact that unless you have some super college degree, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, and that may mean minimum wage in the beginning. If you prove yourself, the raises and benefits will come.
     
    It’s all about ATTITUDE !  When I had problems with our equipment the other day, the owner of the company told me…” Problems are opportunities to learn, so learn from this situation”
     
    Something tells me he didn’t become a multi – millionaire by wallowing in self-pity and negativity.

    • @foamhand
       Okay I agree with you “You have to learn to crawl before you can walk”.  I am 46 years old working on my Bachelors degree in Human Services.  I have a receiving stolen property from 2008, and a dealing in cocaine from 1998.  I will be transfering to IUPUI in Indy because I have been informed that employment opportunities for exfelons were better there.  Just recently I read where the Pope forgave his butler for stealing documents from his office, he served around 18 months for the crime however, it was stated that the vatican would help him find gainful employment.  Now hows that for a second chance?  I do not live a life of crime.  I am a responsible student who was raised to earn a honest living.  I support any organization that recognizes the worth of an individual to change a be a honest productive citizen.

      • @survivalking  @foamhand It’s just you’d think after 10+ years of minimal wage jobs (less than $11/hour-what the Federal minimum wage would be if it kept pace with inflation over the last 75 odd years) and with TWO college degrees (this guy at the employment office was trying to talk me into a third…I told him NOT while I’m STILL trying to pay off the first two) I’d be able to get SOMETHING…

  107. It surely does SEEM like discrimination.  My 23 year old son has some misdemeanors on his record from several years ago for marijuana and an argument at school his senior year that was deemed “terroristic threatening”.  He had a job lined up at Kroger and the woman was anxious to get him on the job.  He has past experience and is so ready to work.  She said he would start as soon as his background check was completed.  Unfortunately, while being open about past marijuana use, he completely forgot about the tt misdemeanor.  It was basically an argument with another student.  He was threatened, he threatened the other one, and he happened to be just over a month past the age of 18 so was charged with terroristic threatening as an adult.  After 2 weeks of waiting, he was denied the job due to the background check having misdemeanor terroristic threatening from 5-1/2 years ago.  They said it was because he failed to state it when he applied.  He has a 4 month old baby, his wife has a disability and doesn’t work (nor get benefits), so I’m helping them until he can find employment.  He got a recommendation from a manager at Domino’s for a delivery position, so hopefully that will go through.  Not the best of jobs and no benefits, but what can a person do when the companies deny him employment?
     
    My oldest son was convicted of felony thefts, 2 of them, in 2008.  He is denied even the opportunity to apply at most places.  Not just financial institutions and healthcare, but everywhere except food service and one book company that has federal contracts.  On top of that, he investigated applying for food assistance today since he has no income and can’t get a job, and they told him that felons cannot apply for assistance in Ohio.  In googling, I can only find drug felons being denied food stamps, but the person he talked with after waiting an hour said no felons can receive assistance.  This was in Hamilton County, OH, City of Cincinnati.
     
    I appreciate your article, but believe the problem to be much more difficult than is stated.

    • @SunnySmiles Be careful; you could be considered a “terrorist” by posting the “wrong” thing online, thanks to NDAA…I’m scared that the “powers that be” want to use drones to “assist” law enforcement in this country!!

    • @SunnySmiles
      I worked in Food Assistance for five years so I can tell you that according to Federal Regulations, the ONLY persons who are ineligible to apply for benefits are illegal aliens, DRUG felons convicted AFTER August 1996 and others permanently disbarred due to previous FA fraud.
      Tell hin to apply, they have 30 days LEGALLY to approve or deny his case from the date of application. Take photo ID, proof of residence, income for last month and half up to date of interview, S.S. #’s and DOB for all household members, proof of rent and utility expenses.
      If living with someone else but NOT including them in application, signed statement from them verifying you buy and cook your own meals.
      Good luck !

  108. I read only a little way into the string, and from my personal experience through my sons can say yes, there is a problem.  I’m trained by one of the finest companies in the world just through happenstance not from any particular skill on my part.  Thanks to my dark son, a Native American, I had intimate contact with the American justice system which I always thought to be the greatest on earth.  Below is what I saw one fine morning in felony circuit court.  Felony court is very crucial because it is the place that you will be forever stripped of your rights if convicted.  You will not vote.  2nd amendment rights are nixed forever.  And obviously you are convicted so never worthy of a job again.  Given that, it should be fair and balanced.  Being trained by one of the finest companies on God’s green earth, following are my observations:
     
    There were 2 rows of prisoners in custody.  In the back were a mixed group of men.  None were white.  There was a Mexican male, a Native male, 2 what appeared to be half white young black men, and one very elderly very black man.  In the front of them were a solid row of white females.  I was watching the elderly black male from the courtroom seats because he looked hopefully toward the door every time it opened and looked so dejected that I could have hugged him and told him there would be a better day.  I watched as the courtroom proceedings begun.  They started with those out on bond, so the lucky ones who actually get to keep their freedom prior to being convicted or determined not guilty.  One was a white woman limping along on a walker convicted of theft and led away crying to the back room.  One was a white male whose charges I didn’t even hear because I was watching the incarcerated prisoners.  The judge said to his departing back as he grabbed his jacket on the way out of the courtroom “stay out of trouble”.  I counted those milling around prior to court in the front of the courtroom and noted their races both defense and prosecution, judges, clerks, and bailiffs.  All were white males except 2 who were white women.
     
    To others it means nothing.  To me it says everything.  I saw as a white woman in her 40s and trained by one of the finest companies on God’s green earth that our system is sick.  I could go on, but I won’t.  I know what I saw and I know it was wrong.
     
    Thank God for dragging me into our court system.  I cannot pray for what I don’t know is an issue.

  109. It really disheartens me to to read these storys of seemingly endless despair.  It makes me angry as to how this country treats petty offenders especially when they totally ignore the fact that to disrciminate in the forms of depriving an individual of life, liberty, and the right to earn an honest living is a crime within itself!  When those who are rich committ such petty offenses they get a slap on the wrist.  We as a people must stand together continue to make our voices heard. Contact our congressmen, ploitical representatives or anyone who will listen.  We must not continue to take this injustice laying down.  The system that oppresses us must be dismantled if America is to downplay it’s hypocritical brand as a So Called Great Nation! … WE MUST NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!!

    • @survivalkingHow about a national strike, like you see in (most) other countries??? I’m talking about a “WE’RE GONNA SHUT DOWN THE WHOLE !@#$%^&*’ing COUNTRY DOWN!!” type of strike!!
       
      Just name the date, I’ll participate…

      • @PhilipBrzezinski  @survivalking
         This does sound a bit extreme, but since this August will mark the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington, how about organizing a repeat at that time.  This time for economic equality rather than purely racial equality.  The scenario for it is already there.  And it doesn’t take anything even close to a criminal record of any kind.  After many years of economic and social malaise, uneasiness continues, especially for young mothers(and many fathers as well) who also have an important career or business to run.  For them and many others it has been getting harder to juggle home and work commitments.  Both significant others and children then complain about not having enough of their time and attention–one of the big reasons so many children get into trouble and turn to drugs and other unsvory activities.  The Occupy movement probably was too lax in their effort to put everything on the table for an open, honest discussion.  Perhaps there already are plans for a 50th anniversary march in the works.  Does anybody know?

        • @BrianBeecher  @survivalking How about a 30 MILLION  man/person march on Washington????
           
          That’s about 10 %….

  110. I have a misdormeaner battery from 2006, I’m coming up on 7 yrs. I’m still not able to land a job. I get dirty looks when I’m question about it an then turned away an interview is done. My recorded can not be expunged or sealed. A year ago I asked the governor for a pardon, this process I have been told will most likey take up to 3-4 more years. If anybody else knows away to find a job please let me know.

    • @LesliePeterman Like for all the other “criminals” here….there are job openings in drug dealing, prostitution, bank robbing, gun running, hit man, smuggling, etc…i.e ALL the things that will get you BACK into jail/prison!!!  And they wonder why the recidivism rate is so high….
       
      <sarcasm>Maybe I should make a TV commercial… “Start an EXCITING career in DOPE DEALING!!! Call THIS 800 number NOW!!!!!</sarcasm>
       
      As I said earlier…THIS is AMERICA!!! Once they have you down, they’ll KEEP you down, no matter WHAT it takes!!! So it’s ” damned if you do, damned if you don’t”…

      • @PhilipBrzezinski  @LesliePeterman  that would be an interesting commercial!!even for petco and fazloi’s they want an extensive background check with credit and criminal.its like wtf?for 7.50-8.00??like i said i have 3 dui’s and in wisconsin your fifth is a felony and a disorderly conduct ffrom 7 years ago.dont know if its that or just the economy.companies are not doing good here.

  111. “The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast. The slow one now , will later be last. And the present now , will later be past …the order is rapidly changing….FOR THE FIRST ONE NOW WILL LATER BE LAST!!
     
    For the times they are a changing….”
     
    Bob Dylan….50+years ago…

  112. ” ALL I AM SAYING…. IS GIVE ME A JOB”
     
    (A parody of the famous John Lennon song….)
     
    Now if the unemployed in this country sat down and sang that EVERY WHERE…( With the hand claps and everything…)
     
    Remember, I’m the one that mentioned the ACTUAL nationwide strike…

  113. I read an article from diversityinc magazine that said 40% of working age adults now have a “criminal” record.  The likely reason for how bad it has gotten is that the unemployment rate is high and companies can pick and choose.  That combined with so many things being a “crime” these days plus the criminal system really becoming a system of pleas where 95% of “crimes” offer a plea of guilty to a lesser charge to settle out of court.  The pleas seem to occur regularly, and from what I’m seen is encouraged by overcharging of offenses such that the risk and penalties are too great to risk trial. 
     
    As an example, my son was assaulted with a tire iron as he was leaving from his first day on the job.  He evaded around a car because he was at the time on parole as a “convicted felon”, and didn’t want to lose his job OR go back to prison for violation of parole.  His brother had gone to give him a ride home, saw it all, and leaped from the car to grab the guy with the tire iron who then tried to hit the intervening son with the tire iron.  The “convicted felon” was then charged with 2 class C felony assaults with a deadly weapon.  He has been to hearings repeatedly since last October with trial dates set then another hearing then another trial date set then another hearing…  He must have finally taken a plea because I’ve been notified of the sentencing hearing in March and he never went to trial.  I’m guessing he didn’t want to take a plea because probably the best they offered was to drop one if he pled to the other.  They couldn’t drop it to a lesser offense because the Class D only applies to assaults on officials and going all the way down to misdemeanor doesn’t happen when assault with a weapon occurs.  Just guessing because I don’t know.  This guy had worked on his job for years as a “convicted felon” then blew it all on an assault upon someone he didn’t even know.  It is a nutty world we live in.
     
    I see some comments saying people should tell the truth on the application, but agree with others that you usually won’t even get an interview then.  This is why even the work counseling services advise to LIE on the application with regards to background.  My two decided to tell the truth, but it really doesn’t help to tell the truth either.  The solution is to make it illegal to ask after a certain length of time.  That should be a change to federal law not state law.  It is a federal matter.

    • @SunnySmiles your gonna have to tell the truth.i have been offered a job for $10 an hour and when i filled out the application i wrote down my owi’s but not all of them and didnt write the other 2 things down as i figureed they were 7 years old and not a big deal.all of mine are midemeanors.when they pulled my background they ended up taking the offer back because what i wrote on my app didnt match what they had so i didnt get the job.when they called me back they were very short and crabby with me.so they find out either way.it sucks.

      • @mufasa69  @SunnySmiles I dont think this will encourage  you; however, I was convicted of a crime 14 yrs ago. Never had issues prior or after 2/99.  I went for a job interview. They asked if I have had any criminal conviction in the last 7 yrs. I put NO – After I was hired they confronted me about my conviction that occurred 14 yrs ago. I told them I did not put that on the application because you only asked for the past 7 yrs. They fired me for not being honest on my application. So now you know what a right to work state does to those with convictions. Even though tis against federal law, its against state law. They say FEderal law trumps state law – only when its a convience – so just beware – be open AFTER your interview and BEFORE you leave the interview. Saves you time, money and doesnt waste their time.

  114. Trust me it does not get any easier with time. I have a felony fraud for a bad check from 1989. Nothing else in the last 24 years and it still keeps getting brought up in my quest for employment.

    • @JarrelM Once you’re convicted of just about ANYTHING, you’re the worst criminal that’s come along since Adolph Hitler, at least in America…

  115. After reading the comments, I know of no other solution but to pray.  Lord help and bless the people commenting here.
     
    There was a day long ago when I was oblivious not having children and guessing correctly or getting lucky to never get crossed up with the law.  The oblivious days are gone.  I have a clean record at this point, but others in my family don’t.  I believe the constitution should be modified again to give another group the right to vote.  Convicted felons.  I see no reason why after having paid their “debt to society” that their debt should not be marked “paid in full” and therefore their rightful full citizenship rights restored.  Otherwise, the debt was not paid, correct?  I also believe employers should have NO RIGHT to pull records older than 7 yrs old (same as for bankruptcy) and allowing for longer than crashes and payouts for auto insurance.   Until recently, theft of $300 was a felony in Kentucky and probably other states.  How is that worse than driving reckless and causing a loss of $10,000 or more plus injuries?  Why don’t at fault car wrecks block employment?  Just asking for a little reasonableness and an equal hand of justice here and am not seeing it.
     
    Keep on keeping on.  Bitterness destroys the soul of the one who bears it.  I’ll just keep working while I’ve a good job until I’m 70 if I must so I can provide for my family who can’t get a decent job.  And pray for the day that we see some fairness in hiring…  Do the RIGHT thing.

    • @SunnySmiles As crooked as the political system in this country is, voting would make little (if any) difference…

  116. Yeah and now in New York: The Raptor system is everywhere. 10 years ago I took a lawyers advise and video taped my wife cheating on me…ended up being another girl (embarrassing). I was only 22 at the time and left the video up one day on the laptop and they turned it into the state police (wife and her girlfriend). I was convicted with Unlawful Survellience and at 22 ruined my life. Not only was I not given a second chance, lost my job with the government 8 years later, even though it was disclosed pre-employment, I was let go after a 2nd finger-printing when they increased the penalty for crimes of a similar nature and classified them as a “sexual-offense” when mine was not meant to be sexual at all! Now with Raptor I risk missing all of my kid’s events and might not even be allowed into his school do to the re-classification of my crime. I am in jail outside of jail!

  117. i am sad today.i was trying for a job at an assisted living place as a cook.they really liked me and checked all my references out and even told them they liked me.i get the rejection letter today saying they found another candidate.i have dui’s and 1 disorderly conduct  and their all misdeameanors.im going to school to be an aoda counselor and have been through caregiver background checks for volunteer places and have passed them.my teacher said dui’s doesnt affect a substance abuse counselor.if i can’t get a job as a cook at an assisted living place how am i gonna get a job as a counselor in a nice place??feeling very depressed and hoping i wont relapse as i have been sober 14 months.

  118. why must i suffer for my background forever??i am paying my fines and have went through treatment last year and staying sober.i did get a part time job at a newspaper place as a packager and go to school.what else can i do?

    • @mufasa69 been there, going through that….but THIS is AMERICA!!! If you’re convicted of spitting on the sidewalk, you’re the worst criminal since Adolph Hitler!!!!

  119. wow just reading all these comments and now I know that I’m not the only one.  i have a deadly conduct 15 years old and worked for the state of Texas when the crime was committed.  But now I can’t get a job as a nurse aid.  WHY? someone with assaults and have been to prison but I can’t. Somebody tell the Texas girl something!!

  120. mufasa69 : Don’t know what to say I am trapped forever “in jail” over something that happened going on 10 years ago now. In New York State nothing ever goes away. I went to school, volunteered everyone, did community service, explained my crime: Still un-hireable being a master in my field. Instead they’d rather take less qualified people for more money because of one thing that I have paid for: again and again and again.

  121. LesliePeterman How did you go about this process? Its better to try now than not try at all. In New York records cannot be expunged or sealed but I want to try what I can. My crime was a setup during a divorce in I unfortunately only realized I should have never pled guilty to until after the conviction. Now I am serving a life sentence (outside of jail) thanks to background checks for the rest of my life. I am the most honest, hardworking person you’d ever meet but that doesn’t matter to anyone. How do we fight this?

  122. thrdchance mufasa69 SunnySmiles Yes, what it comes down to is the most discriminated against group in every way is someone with a “criminal” record no matter how old or how minor the crime.  It takes a stroke of luck and some prayer.  The excuses are without end.  1.  If a person says up front they have a felony or even a misdemeanor, the answer more than 90% of the time is that they don’t hire felons.  No matter whether after the fact they say it was for lying, most often there is not even consideration.  2.  If a person answers truthfully in that they have no felonies in the last 7 years as the question was asked, still they can be fired when the background check is run.  3.  If a person lies hoping they will not check as was said by the job couselors in KY ought to be done, then chances are they may check and fire you.  By that time you may have a week of pay in the pocket though:)  After the fact of course they will make it the liars fault, but truth is any company like that didn’t intend to hire you anyway.
    The last thing I would worry about is wasting THEIR time.  Companies need to have plenty of their time wasted because their policies are hugely discriminatory in ways that don’t even make sense most of the time.

  123. SunnySmiles thrdchance mufasa69 Martha Stewart must have been one of the extremely rare exceptions.  Her career blossomed following her stay in jail.

    • I have a B.A. in English and have considered getting a M.A. in linguistics to help relieve the stigma of a criminal record. I have had little mercy from people and especially employers.Those who have money have power and those in management have both over you. Yes, it would seem that when presenting yourself, and have a criminal record, policy prevents hire. Expunging a Criminal record is not available in Arizona and some other conservative states. There are real concerns for reform in this country specifically. The U.S. has become very hostile to those who are minorities and unfortunate. And if your poor it would seem to be equally true. I have been told other countries in Europe and specifically South America do not ascribe criminal records with bad morals; only human error which we humans are entitled to make mistakes. THIS COUNTRY certainly has had a few felonies which It’s committed. For Example, war for oil, Vietnam, slavery, nuclear holocaust in Japan. I judge the system to be an injustice and hypocritical. Everyone leave to a more understanding place say Costa Rica where there is no military; or New Zealand where they have laws that employers cannot do background checks after a period of time. (It’s called the Turn a New Leaf Act). Also, The Clean Slate Act in Great Britain. This country (USA) has no mandate for effective rehabilitation. Best advise, find a way to make your own company; it’s far easier than begging hypocrites for a job.
      Good Luck and don’t give in to defeatism!

  124. I personaly am not a felon. I just have a possesion of marijuana under 35 g, and I have been unemployed for 5 months now. I have applied for everywhere including mcdonalds and other fast food chains. I have sent in over 100 applications for different stores and companys. I have had a total of 8 interviews and only one called to tell me that they had filled there spots. I then notice the same postions are still openon snagajob and so on, days later. I am about to be homeless because I have no money, and bearly eatting. I only had the charge because I can’t afford the insurance to be put on the meds I need for all my heath issues. Yet still the fact that I have it, anyone that sees it thinks I’m this monster, when really just a really hard and friendly worker who has health problems.

  125. Usually it only takes a couple minutes to fill out the application form.
    If you don’t want to pay, skip this type of website and just browse on the free ones.
    I would stay up in front of my television and just watch Weeds, Seinfeld and Family
    Guy all night and day.

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