Well for one, the 13th amendment to the constitution of the US which abolished slavery – did not abolish slavery for those convicted of a crime.
Writing about this is so painful. My wife and I walk in these shoes and thank God for His faithfulness toward us while enduring. Living this plight of life is like making bricks without the straw and still expected to produce the quota. How does one provide for themselves or their family if contingencies have been put into place to thwart any forward progress of positive living? My fellow “Felons” take my word for it God can deliver us in His time. Stay in position as Daniel and the three Hebrew Boys did. This is our journey not our destination. Get into the posture of faith and determination. Put God first and keep praying and submitting applications. Ask for leading and network positively. You will be successful!!!
Should convicted felons be given a second chance? Barack Obama thinks so, and he thinks the tax payers should have to foot the bill. He made his view on this issue more than evident during a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio on January 22nd. Here is a excerpt from this Ohio town hall meeting, where a 29 year old felon who has never had a job in his life asks Obama if he will help felons get a job:
Obama’s EEOC: We’ll Sue You If You Don’t Hire Criminals
The Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it should be a federal crime to refuse to hire ex-convicts — and threatens to sue businesses that don’t employ criminals.
In April the EEOC unveiled its “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records,” which declares that “criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin.”
The impetus for this “guidance” is that black men are nearly seven times more likely than white men to serve time in prison, and therefore refusals to hire convicts disproportionally impact blacks, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by James Bovard, a libertarian author and lecturer whose books include “Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen.”
Most businesses perform background checks on potential employees, but the EEOC frowns on these checks and “creates legal tripwires that could spark federal lawsuits,” Bovard observes.
An EEOC commissioner who opposed the new policy, Constance Baker, said in April that the new guidelines will scare businesses from conducting background checks.
Reason: If a check does disclose a criminal offense, the EEOC expects a firm to do an “individual assessment” that will have to prove that the company has a “business necessity” not to hire the ex-convict. If the firm does not do the intricate assessment, it could be found guilty of “race discrimination” if it hires a law-abiding applicant over one with convictions.
Bovard points out that the “biggest bombshell” in the new guidelines is that businesses complying with state or local laws requiring background checks can still be sued by the EEOC.
That came to light when the EEOC took action against G4S Secure Solutions, which provides guards for nuclear power plants and other sensitive sites, for refusing to hire a twice-convicted thief as a security guard — even though Pennsylvania state law forbids hiring people with felony convictions as security officers.
Bovard quotes Todd McCracken of the National Small Business Association: “State and federal courts will allow potentially devastating tort lawsuits against businesses that hire felons who commit crimes at the workplace or in customers’ homes. Yet the EEOC is threatening to launch lawsuits if they do not hire those same felons.”
Bovard concludes: “Americans can treat ex-offenders humanely without giving them legal advantages over similar individuals without criminal records.”
49 months ago
Hello everyone – please don’t feel like you are going through this alone. I am a felon. It’s been 21 yrs since my conviction and I have been home 14 yrs coming in May. I had worked for a Fortune 500 company up until last month – when I was laid off with another 100 people due to the economy. I was making more money then my PO, but now I’m not making anything. I have filled out approximately 60+ applications – which I know I more then qualified but I haven’t rec’d not one call back. We all know why they don’t call back. It’s like OMG – they have been in prison – they are bad bad people. I hate we are judged by the felons who come home and screw up again. Not all of us are like that. There are a handful of us – who are really trying to make the best life we can for ourselves and our family. If we could only create an organization that would actually help us felons – that would be awesome, but we are talking about society – and we aren’t going to get any breaks regardless. If anyone hears of someone willing to take a chance, please drop me a line. I am a single mother, with mortgage, car note etc, and of course don’t qualify for state assistance because my house and vehicle appraises out too much…. Go figure… Thanks for reading and GOOD LUCK to everyone…..
55 months ago
I made a mistake and paid for it but im poor if I go fill out an app. im praying they call me to work.I have expereince in all kinds of trades but Im still on a computer searching for a good job why is that.
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bob in San Antonio, Texas
54 months ago
Hey your not alone.I’ve been trying to get a job for awhile now and they won’t hire an ex-felon,my offense happened over 30 years ago,most state have you EVER! been convicted of a felony.I don’t think it’s right,but,what can you do?
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sam in San Antonio, Texas
54 months ago
i made a mistake as well, but i have made a complete turn around by going back to school and obtaining my bachelor’s degree this december(20080. All i need know is for someone to give me a chance to apply my skills and showcase the knowledge i have obtain. Any takers… respond at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Eric in San Antonio, Texas
53 months ago
I’M GOING THROUGH SAME THING AND I AM ON PROBATION I JUST FINISHED SCHOOLING FOR (HVAC) ALOT OF COMPANIES WON’T TAKE ME CAUSE I GUESS THE FACT OF THAT I WILL BE ENTERING HOMES AND IT WASNT EVEN FOR ROBBERY OR ANYTHING BUT I TELL YOU THIS MUCH PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD AND READ BIBLE AND PRAY ASK GOD TO TRANSFORM YOUR WAYS AND TO COME IN TO YOUR HEART THEN THE REST WILL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU AND ALL IS GOD’S TIMING NOT OURS! EVEREYTHING IN OUR LIFE IS MEANT TO BUILD US NOT TO BREAK US GOD IS AWESOME LET HIM HAPPEN TO YOU!YOU COULD PROBABLY TRY SELF CONTRACTORS MAYBE THEY WILL GIVE YOU A SHOT.DON’T GIVE UP THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!
WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
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jh in San Antonio, Texas
53 months ago
[QUOTE who=I made a mistake 13 years ago got a break working with family doing home health care. I recieved two years experience . looking for another job even with two yrs. exp. has got me nowhere.No one will hire me due to my past. It brings me down. I tell myself the wonder alot people like me turn back to crime. they feel there is no other choice. wrong dont give up.I havnt I have children and living behind bars will really get me nowhere.Im still without work . freedom and my family is worth waiting and stuggling for a job .is worth it all. our day will happen and it will be worth it all.
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redsfn7576 in Columbus, Ohio
53 months ago
Well none of you are alone. I am a convicted felon. Its been tweleve years and it sill haunts me. I have over 8 years in the trucking industry no acc. no tickets. I’ve been out of work for a month and a half. I cant find a job anywhere because of my past mistakes. Its not fair and seems like no one gives a squat.
The above statements are from Indeed job search engine. The frustration is overwhelming for those who wear these shoes of disenfranchisement from earning a living.
The stigma associated with being an ex-felon in America is unlike anything a person can comprehend unless they walk in the shoes of ex-felons. People get ill everyday but they somehow recover and are able to seek opportunity and they are made whole. Ex-felons on the other hand suffer for a lifetime for decisions that they made in the spur of the moment. Some people understand the dynamics associated with persons who struggle daily to regain their respect and dignity in their communities because they were previously convicted of a felony. Then there are those who believe that once a person has been convicted of a felony they should be treated as felons and denied opportunities for the rest of their lives. We have programs in every state that offers assistance to ex-felons being released from prison, yet, every time ex-felons complete applications for employment, they are constantly reminded that some things never change.
In America ex-felons carry the stigma of being convicted for life. A conviction is like the metaphorical scarlet letter. When people see you they see your conviction because many folks in America will never let you forget that you committed a crime.
Today we are beginning to witness a paradigm shift in how ex-felons are treated. Unfortunately it is not because of the reasons that we would think. Ex-felons are treated different now because of the economy. Many states, counties and cities are receiving fewer funds for housing prisoners and have released prisoners who in times past they deemed posed threats to society. Decisions such as these makes rational people think about whether these people actually ever posed a threat to society in the first place.
According to the research, there are approximately 2.8 million ex-felons currently locked up in jails and prisons in the U.S. African American make up approximately 47% of the inmate population in the U.S. yet they account for only 12.7 % of the population in the U. S. African Americans are disproportionately represented in every state in the U.S. This means that their percentage in the prison population is greater than their percentage in the state’s general population. Sixty (60%) of the one million people who are released from prison return to prison within 3 years many of them much quicker!
Today Ex-felons are visible in every facet of life. America and Americans are becoming more tolerant of ex-felons in sports, media, education, military and areas in which felons benefit organizations but corporate America and political entities continue to maintain a strict stance against ex-felons. However, there are states such as Louisiana who allow ex-felons to run for public office after being released from probation or parole for fifteen years.
Ex-felons have a much lower rate of recidivating when they are released to stable living environment and caring families. Without these two safety nets most ex-felons are DOA-Doomed on Arrival. Ex-felons who are released from prison and acquire gainful employment, have the support of their love ones, and are connected to a higher power are much more likely to stay out of prison longer and in many cases never return.
No ex-felon should be punished for life. Once ex-felons are released from prison they should be treated like any other citizen. Corporations who do not hire ex-felons based on their criminal records only, in my opinion should not be supported by the ex-felons or their families. In some recent research in which I surveyed 100 of the largest corporations in Texas, many of the HR Departments responded to the questions of Do your corporation hire ex-felons by saying that each decision is made on a case by case basis. That was a common response from employers. In my book “Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail”, I constantly remind readers that if corporations refuse to hire qualified ex-felons solely based on the fact that they committed a crime in their past not taking into account that they have paid their debt to society, then “if they don’t hire we don’t buy”. The best way to get people’s attention is to affect their wallets and pocketbooks! Ex-felons have much more power than they think, if they harness and organize their power!
One of the strongest predictors of ex-felon success on the streets lies with their religious beliefs while in the penitentiary. We know that many people believe that felons have nothing else to turn to when they are in jail so that try God. Many folks refer to this as jailhouse religion. In a survey of characteristics of successful ex-felons, 78% reported that they attended church and religious services on a weekly basis while in prison. Sixty-seven percent (67%) were serving a first or second sentence in a penal institution, (62%) were serving time for drug and property offenses. Many of these felons had previous charges but had come to the conclusion that they did not want to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Most ex-felons say that their greatest desire upon release is to be given a fair chance to succeed in America. When businesses close their doors to ex-felons and private and public entities refuse to allow ex-felons a chance to work, what other recourse do they have other than selling dope, robbing folks, carjacking, burglary etc.? If we are going to hold ex-felons accountable for pulling themselves up by their own boot straps, we have to provide them with some boots and some straps. Ex-felons love their families, lives, children etc. and many of them want to live the American Dream but America in many cases have written them off as nobodies and relegated them to the back waters of society. The American Dream for many ex-felons has become the American Nightmare!
There are approximately 25, million ex-felons in the U.S. and every year approximately 1,000,000 new people are convicted of a felony. Ex-felons have power that they do not realize that they have. Ex-felons can decide the outcome of many local, state and national elections. Just like gays, women and African Americans united and wielded their power at the voting booth; ex-felons in the not too distant future will resolve to use their power also. When any group unite and go to the voting booth, politicians immediately recognize them and the power that they wield.
Until America is ready to bring all people to the table and find out what is needed in all communities to reduce crime, America will continue to build prisons and jails and incarcerate people for crimes which could really be avoided. The three greatest predictors of crime are one’s environment, economics and genetics. Yes, I said genetics. Unlike Lombroso, I do not believe that people have criminal genes but I do believe that some people from particular families and cultures are predisposed to a greater extent to commit certain types of crimes. In my theory “Enviroecogenetics” I explain the rationale for these statements. Until we address the education issues surrounding poor people and the extreme poverty faced by poor people, we are not even tapping the surface in regards to reducing crime and recidivism. A lack of education produces poverty and poverty breeds crime and criminals go to jail and so the cycle goes. Many of my colleagues might disagree with this statement, but I believe that the one greatest predictor of crime is education. As Horace Mann stated many year ago, Education is the great equalizer.
Finally, there are many ex-felons whose only wish is to be given another chance. A chance to get a good education, a chance to work, and a chance to have their voting rights restored a chance to learn a skill, a chance to get another opportunity. My message to ex-felons is to never give up. Just because you lose a battle in your life it doesn’t mean that you have lost the war.
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