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Ask Brian – The Ex-Felon Job Search Catch 22

July 10th, 2008 · 237 Comments

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If you have career or job search question you would like answered on this blog, click here to Ask Brian.

Reader A Bummed Out Wife asks:

My husband made a terrible mistake in his past that continues to affect him now. He pled guilty to growing marijuana with the intent to distribute it for sale. He completed his sentence (4 years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine).

He has two degrees, actively volunteers with a community agency, and has not gotten so much as a speeding ticket since his conviction. However no one will hire him once his background check comes back.

He has been completely honest about his mistake and has never sought to deceive any potential employer by hiding his felony record. But it is truly disappointing to go on several job interviews and interview well enough to be considered for a job offer, only to be told ‘no’ due to his criminal history.

We are at our wit’s since we grossly underestimated how negatively this would continue to affect his job options. What advice would you give besides to “try, try again”?

Brian answers after the jump.

All job searchers with complicated career histories would benefit from working with a professional resume service.

Brian Sayz:

Yep. This is a big problem. And I wish I could tell you there is a quick and easy solution, but there isn’t. There’s no silver bullet. In the end, your husband, more than most job seekers, is going to have to depend on the kindness in someone’s heart.

Let me give you my various thoughts on how you should proceed and hopefully one of these ideas will lead you down the right path.

Firstly, some resume writers I know say not to put any arrests or time incarcerated on a resume. But I don’t see what the point of that is. You have to fess up to a felony conviction on a job application. That’s the law.

And if you don’t fess up… only to have it come out down the road… they have a legal right to fire you for your deception.

So, I’m all about being up front about it. I’m not saying you take out a billboard or anything… you can put a little note at the very end of the resume. And make sure to make a note that you’re open to discussing all the details.

Being forthcoming and showing an eagerness to own up to the past is the best strategy you can take in this situation. It seems that your husband is already doing this.

Ex-Felon Employment Services

The best advice I can give you is to seek out ex-felon employment services or charities. These are organizations who do exactly what we’re talking about: help ex-offenders find work. Trust me, they’re out there. In a nation with millions of citizens behind bars, you are not alone in this predicament.

There’s no big national organization or government agency. But various states and even cities and communities have just such services. I think the state of California has one, but my googling proved inconclusive. I’ve heard people work with Prisoner’s Relief Society, but they too seem to absent from the web. The National H.I.R.E Network has resources you might find useful.

Bottom line, search the yellow pages in your local community. Or call the local courts or government. Or… I don’t know if this is applicable in your case… did your husband have a parole officer? Might that officer be a resource for you?

Employers do have some incentive to hire ex-offenders, btw. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is available to employers as an incentive to hire felons, up to thousands of dollars a year. The Federal Bonding Program is another employer incentive. So… putting that out there.

Other thoughts…

Try temp agencies. I’ve always heard it’s much easier for ex-offenders to find temp work. And temp work can offer your husband a chance to prove he’s a solid worker. Temp work often can lead to a permanent job offer.

And I always speak on this blog about using personal connections and networking to find a job. In your husband’s case, this might be the best hope. Do you have any friends or family members who own businesses or who can help your husband find work? You’re looking for any situation where someone can find it in their heart to give your husband a second chance because they know and like him… or else can vouch for him personally.

What about your church? Do you belong to a church or religious community/congregation? I know this sounds like something out of Leave it to Beaver (or The Wire… I’m thinking specifically of Cutty from The Wire) but isn’t this sort of thing what churches are sort of for? This is just the sort of community work churches do. Or are supposed to do. Forgiveness and second chances and all. Try approaching your minister/priest/rabbi, what-have-you. He/she might be able to point you in the right direction or at least reach out to someone in the congregation who can help.

Finally, and this might seem flippant, but I’m being serious: what about self-employment. If you husband has the resources/skills, why not going into business for himself or starting a small business? If he’s the boss, he can’t reject himself.

Related posts:

  1. Ask Brian- Should I Give Up On My Job Search?
  2. Ask Brian- Long Distance Job Search
  3. Ask Brian – Job Search During the Holidays?
  4. Ask Brian: Confidential Job Search?
  5. Ask Brian- How To Schedule An Interview When You Already Have A Job
  6. Ask Brian – Can Bad Credit Keep You From Getting Hired?

Tags: Ask Brian · Job Search

  • Julie

    Something else that you should at least look into is expungement of the criminal record. The specifics will depend on what state you are in and the state statutes there. Expungement means that you don’t have to report the conviction to employers (unless you’re seeking a government security clearance). The type of offense you were convicted of and your record since conviction will be the most determinative factors. You’ll probably need to consult with a lawyer but often Legal Aid services can help with this fairly straightforward process. Without more specifics I can’t say that you would be eligible but it is at least worth some research.

  • gwyneth

    This is a truly awful dilemma, but to be positive just think of the opportunity that employers are missing!

    My best advice would be to apply to small firms. Try to avoid automation wherever you can. If you apply to a large firm chances are HR will reject your application before it is even considered. An SME, on the other hand, will adopt a more human approach, your application may well be considered by the proprietor who should jump at the opportunity to employ somebody so well qualified.

    Above all, don’t give up hope. Be positive and keep on banging on doors

  • Scott

    Expungement is a good idea. As to the temp agancies, it would depend on the client. SOme clients require background checks as well. I know mine does.

  • Eric

    There is a lot of good information to help ex-offenders get jobs at my blog:

  • 50

    The people that are looking for work are the people that are trying to change their life. I been out of prison for fourteen years, when I first got out of prison I got a job working in a hospital as a maintenance tech. eleven years I work there. new management and I was let go. the last three years have been hell for me. all that about a tax brake for employer, expungement is a joke and not helpful, information about you stays in the system, expungement was giving for the crime on such and such date. big deal that will change an employers mind. Face it prison is big business, construction, lawyers, judges, law enforcement, doctors, prison guards, food service, etc. etc. with out felons a lot people would be out of work. keep the slave trade moving. today if you an ex felon their is no need to apply is what they are saying, sure you can find work next to the illegal alien. I think I am going back to sale drugs on the college campus.

  • 50

    The people that are looking for work are the people that are trying to change their life. I been out of prison for fourteen years, when I first got out of prison I got a job working in a hospital as a maintenance tech. eleven years I work there. new management and I was let go. the last three years have been hell for me. all that about a tax brake for employer, expungement is a joke and not helpful, information about you stays in the system, expungement was giving for the crime on such and such date. big deal that will change an employers mind. Face it prison is big business, construction, lawyers, judges, law enforcement, doctors, prison guards, food service, etc. etc. with out felons a lot people would be out of work. keep the slave trade moving. today if you an ex felon their is no need to apply is what they are saying, sure you can find work next to the illegal alien. I think I am going back to sale drugs on the college campus. see ya.

  • Substantiation

    Dear 50,
    If you think negative thoughts you only seal your fate with a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to believe in the ability to work past all this before anything can happen. If you go back to selling drugs you know the routine. Believe in yourself and things will change fof the better.

  • Epictetus

    I agree with Substantiation. What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are. If you think you are capable, you’ll act that way. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you think, so you are.

  • June

    I agree with all of the above. The only thing is, some employers are broadening the scope of the period of time that horrible question covers, depending on the state. In some states, it may ask something like, “within the last 5, 7, 10 years,” others ask, “ever” and still others, “convicted, not convicted, plead, or plea deal”. It’s crazy. A relative of mine moved to a state that was more lenient (medical field), then moved after 3 years to another state that he eventually settled in. There’s really no quick answers. But it seems like you’re a good candidate for expungement.

  • 15 years too long

    Following 15 years of incarceration, beginning when I was 17, I am finding that the acceptance of my felony to potential employers is an iffy proposition. I have 3 college degrees, working on my masters, and the moment my felony is mentioned it’s as if I just committed the crime at that very minute. With the support of my family and close friends, I know that all I have to do is get my foot in the door. Establish that work history and the doors will eventually open for me. The only person to keep me down is me.


    i want to go to school for medical billing and coding i have felony of worthlelss checks will i be wasting my time and money

  • Pedro

    Can anyone provide a list of companies that hire ex-felons in the East Bay, California?

    I have about 8 months of probation left and expect to have my record expunged at that time but I need work now. I have technical/computer skills.

  • Pedro

    I am also willing to do regular store work like office work, stocking, ware housing, etc but I heard that places like Home Depot do not hire people like me.

    Can anyone provide an actual list of companies that hire ex-felons in the East Bay (besides construction companies)?

  • adam smith

    That is the worst advice I have heard. I have a felony for a non-violent offense from 1994. This is 14 years later and I have the same problem. His advice is the politically correct advice. Keep trying, eventually your husband will get someone to give him a chance to wash dishes for minimum wage, and if he’s lucky, 20 years later they might promote him. Really? You really want to go down that road? I have two bits of advice: first, for him, lie or choose a job that pays well that’s under the table. On all the applications I lied about my record on in 14 years, I got caught once. But I had a paycheck for 3 months. And that company said they don’t work with ex-cons, so had I been honest, I would have been hungry. The under the table job I recommend is pizza delivery—but in a safe and affluent town. Personally I have done it in both affluent areas and New Haven, CT, which is very unsafe. Do it in a nice town. I worked open to close 6 days a week and never left with less than $150 in my pocket. Do the math. That’s $900 cash a week. That’s $46,800 a year to start. My best average was $1200 a week when I hustled to make lots of runs and be as polite as humanly possible for bigger tips. The rest of you can laugh, but $1200 a week cash beats $7.60 an hour at McDonald’s any day of the week.
    My other bit of advice depends on how much you love him. If you truly love him, and would do anything for him, consider letting him be the one to stay home caring for any kids, the house, etc, while you further your career. Meanwhile, save. A lot. Most people need 10% of what they want even though they may buy 90% of it. Save and keep saving and help him find a business to start. The doors are virtually wide open for most businesses. Town licenses have nothing to do with your record. I own a pizza place, and while I’m struggling, I own it. In my name. I’d suggest shopping ideas with him. Maybe a liquor store with you as the holder of the license? Or whatever his dreams are, find a way to make them work. The last option is to leave the United States for a more compassionate country that will accept you. If either of you are Jewish, Israel offers the right of return to all Jews. It’s an option. Good luck.

  • Eric

    Hello everyone unfortunately my other blog was shut down. You can find my new blog “Help for ex-offenders and felons ooking for jobs” here:

  • Nicole

    Does anyone know of NJ ex-offender resources for job possibilities? Thanks…This is a very important and much needed website!

  • Jacqueline Caron Founder/CEO

    For any man or woman convicted of a crime, successfully completing their sentence, along with any assigned parole or probation, is just the beginning. After their release from confinement, they are faced with re-integrating themselves back into their community – often in the same area and with the same influences that provided them opportunity to break the law in the first place.

    Their search for employment is often stonewalled by the fact that they now have a conviction on their record. Employers performing a routine search find the negative information, and unless they are part of a progressive federal or state program, or willing to give the applicant a second chance, the applicant is put at the bottom of the list of candidates – if they remain on the list at all.

    The goal of improving their own economic status and fighting the impulse to return to their former ways is complicated further by the fact that even advanced education – like a master’s degree – is often not enough to convince a potential employer to give them another chance.
    Apartment leases, home mortgages, opening a bank account or a credit card, and many other processes that non-offenders take for granted are often closed to these individuals. This situation continues for as long as the conviction stays on their record, and with the advent of computers, the information is even easier to find.

    How long is long enough for a person convicted of a crime, who has successfully completed their parole and / or probation, to continue to pay for that crime? The Connecticut Pardon Team was founded in 2004 to provide tools and information for individuals convicted of a crime who are interested in clearing their record through the non-inmate pardon within our state through our Pardon Assistance Program.

  • Misty1NC

    There is some very good advice here. Convicted for marijuana 9 years ago, I had my own business, now defunct and worked at a Country Club for 7 years. Have two degrees and thought I could find a job. Ha ha. Doors slam especially in the south, I think. Things have to change, there are too many of us. But, I recently got my right to vote back and pot will surely be legal soon. Thanks for the website.

  • stucklikechuck

    bottom line where im from if u r a convicted felon your out of gas. did 15 yrs in prison been out 20 months and have been turned down atleast 50 times and still counting. the pain and paying for our past mistakes never ends.

  • http://poiu;;k! Petitin Congress for drug felons

    Push for legalizing drugs with the comment below. Stop felon charges for non-violent drug users. Put the money back into our economy. Columbian drug lords claim, the U.S. is their largest consumer of drugs, “if the U.S. citizens didn’t want it, we wouldn’t grow it.”
    We need to de-criminalize non violent drug users and stop building more, for profit, prisons. History has been
    repeated from the alcohol prohabition years. When alcohol prohabition law ended, everyone didn’t become alcoholics.
    Why aren’t we opening our eyes to history. There will always be blood shed from illegal sales and profit of illegal
    drugs. Alcoholics don’t serve a year in a 6’x 8′ prison cell for consuming too much alcohol. The drug addict doesn’t
    want the addiction. They want help. The U.S. government should grow it, legalize it, and monitor it. Administer it
    through a medical clinics with pshycologist and medical physicians. Ex. If a patient needs 2 marajuana cigarettes
    a day, charge them $14. for the week. If they want an ounce a week, charge them $300 for a bag. This would take it
    off the black market. We would save billions of dollars a year, not monitoring borders and the seas for drug importation.
    There would be no more profits from foreign and domestic drug lords. Follow the procedure from the alcohol repeal procedure.
    Drug addiction should be a family problem treated through medical help. 1 in 135 people are incarcerated for illegal
    drugs, classified as felons which reduces any chance of gaining employment. Result, welfare paid out to their families
    or dealing drugs to support their families at tax payers expense. The bloody mafia is still alive but not from the sales
    of alcohol, it’s profit is selling drugs. Is our new administration brave enough to step up to the plate, make history
    again, and change this law. This would domino the deficit and bloodshed from every direction.

    When he first visited the United States in 1921, Albert Einstein wrote of America’s ban on booze: “The prestige of
    government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law … For nothing is more destructive of
    respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.”

  • Curtis

    I work for a company that does help ex-offenders to find employment. The first piece of advice I could offer you is that your husband just can not interview well, he must intervew extra ordinary. Instead of cliche interview answers he has to appeal to the interviewer sense of business, meaning regardless of his background he must prove why he is the best qualified canditate for the position he is applying for, with enthusiasm and motivation. But he must lower his expectations he will probably have to start in a way lower level then he is comfortable with regardless of his degrees and prove himself all over again. Tell him on the interviews to let the companies know how dedicated he would be because of the second chance the company is giving him. We have had success with this approach. Just keep pumping out those resumes and although it is a cliche dont give up. Best of luck to you

    • Guest2011

      If you don’t mind me asking, what company or what are the names of some companies that helps ex-offenders get employment?

  • Deana

    My felony was 9 yrs. ago–plus, 4 yrs. into it I was stupid enough to get my 1st DUI…Never did any jail time, but I thought I’d never get a job or live it down.

    I have to say that my faith kept me going. I made my way–pulled on the skills I used before my offense and just kept going because the rent had to be paid and I had to eat. But until I forgave myself, my shame and low self-esteem poured out during interviews like perfume.

    I remember praying one night asking God what to do for my spirit because like the original writer of this post, I got tired of receiving rejection by mail and in-person for telling the truth upfront. God told me that “wherever I interview, tell the truth…the employer that hires me is where I need to be.” After that, rejections just became part of the process.

    The irony is that now I am an employment consultant and training specialist for folks who are in the same boat or worse.

    When it comes to getting work I tell them to know themselves and let it show. Send a resume before an application–that’s not dishonesty, it’s common sense if you want a chance. Don’t get so anxious about answering the “big question” that you don’t listen to what is being asked of you. Ask the interviewer how many “tiers” of interviews will be conducted, then you can decide when to disclose your background–I usually tell people to wait until they are a finalist.

    I have found that for me God has turned my past mess into many a message for others. There are probably people and organizations that would benefit from yours and your husband’s experience. Blessings


    my name is lawrence washington.I,ve been in trouble with the law; but i,am trying to get my life back together but it,s hard because peoples dont! give you a chance when they know that you have an recocrd. what resources is available in florida to help exfelons to get their life back with a good job .I can be reach at 813-312-8830


    my name is lawrence washington.I,ve been in trouble with the law; but i,am trying to get my life back together but it,s hard because peoples dont! give you a chance when they know that you have an recocrd. what resources is available in florida to help exfelons to get their life back with a good job .I can be reach at 813-312-8830 In polk county

  • Debbie

    I was convicted of a DuI 1998 and had another one back around 1989 and the first one was when I was 18–1976 Because the last two where within a 10 year period they slapped me with a Felony DUI (pulling up the DUI that was 22 years old ) There was no physical injury or property damage. No time in jail!!! Just over the points… I am being treated like I am a big time bad guy….These all took place in New York . I now live in North Carolina and can’t even get a dish washing job….any one have any advise…I tried playing it straight and telling the truth But in this”Great Big USA are they leaving me no choose but to lie???? I liked the one comment ..that at least I got a few pay checks !!!



    • Ddepallo

      I am glad to see that there is another company out there that is willing to hire an exfelon as i myself am. I have been out for 3 years and got clean and sober ,wrote a book about my life of addiction and about my regretful criminal acts which I would of never done if not under the influence of drugs. I  take college courses and work full time. I think that there are people who are willing to give guys who get there stuff together and fly right a second chance. I am so sick of hearing there are no jobs out there. I volunteer for waterbury police department and I am helping teens in trouble find direction in life by telling them what didnt work for me and showing them how to change. I also am seeking a career as a drug and alcohol counselor. I enjoy hearing success stories such as yours and it shows me that anything is possible when we try. keep up the positive attitude and your right thank god we have a job.

  • Enrico

    The reason your lousy husband can’t get a job is because WE ALL know he is just lying so he can use the opportunity to commit another crime. ANYONE who commits a crime in my book deserves NO second chances and I thank god each day they will NEVER make it in society.

    • An Ex-Felon

      Enrico, go to Hell.

    • Animal

      Enrico- If we’re not gonna let ex-convicts reintegrate into society after finishing their sentences, then what’s the point of letting them out of prison in the first place? Maybe we should just line them all up in front of machine guns and blow them away? Or be like Hitler and gas them all?

      When we deny employment to felons, as well as financial assistance or any means to better themselves, all too often they are left with little alternative but to return to the activities that got them locked up in the first place. Remember that many of them have kids to feed and house, and when they can’t feed those kids because they can’t find work, that’s all too often a major cause of them returning to criminal activity, rather than watch their loved ones starve.

  • 3D

    Never in our history has the United States had over 2 million citizens incarerated. At a cost of approximently 59.00 per day to house and provide for each inmate the cost to taxpayers is substanial. Two things that could have an impact on society and our economy is to release non-violent offenders and create rehab to assist in transition back into the working class. Once they graduate, expundge their records. Another item that needs to be addressed is some employers now do credit checks and if you credit is bad, that is held against you as well. We as a nation are to quick to condemn and in our humanistic society no longer give a damn. A Felony, once served should never be a life sentence and individuals should be restored. Best of luck to you all and God Bless the USA, she needs help.

  • chris

    my husband got charged as an adult for a non violant non drug crime when he was 17…we have been married since he was 19 and he is 30 now..we have one child and he is 9…we do not own a home mainly due to the fact that he cant get a job that is good money or decent and that is permanent…so we pay 900 dollars a month in rent for a house that is 900 sq and not even ours…when our leases are up usually we have to move because 1. we cant afford it anymore bcause the landlord went up or 2. he got laid of his job and my job cant pay all the bills..its just so crazy how you can be a teenager and do a rebellious teenager act take the blame for all the guys and be punished for the rest of your life..and not only that but your kid gets punished the worst!….i recently tried to get us in a 1 bedroom apt. at least it would be cheaper and we would have a roof over our head…..but no he is a felon from over 10 years ago! i can understand them not accepting child molesters sex offenders and murders…but non violant? thats crazy..this has ruined our kids life…the non stability is hard on our kid..he cant keep friends because we are always moving in and out of school districts…its whatever though we arent foreign so the government wont help us or make programs that will actually work for us it will just be a repeat cycle through our kids..

  • Tryin’


    Your lack of compassion and understading is appalling. I certainly hope you are perfect. I hope you can find a whole group of people that also live in perfectly intact glass houses.


    I received a felony conviction in 1992 for theft by deception. A temp agency kept sending pay checks and I (being stupid) continued to cash them. I received 2 years probation and never looked back.

    It’s been 17 years since then and I have never been involved in the criminal justice system again. I was able to excl at my career and I never had a problem getting employed. I was laid off from a fortune 500 company in 2006 and have not had a permanent job since.

    In 2003 the FCRA was changed with regards to obsolete information. Previously reporting agencies could not report any negative information that outdated the report by 7 years, but now they changed it from 7 years to lifetime with regards to convictions. (This is why there is a lot of confusion regarding the 7 year limitations on job applications).

    Background checks are now big business. 90% of big companies now run background checks, even (Walmart).

    There is no way to hide your convictions. Companies gather national (all states) crime databases of all convictions (not just yours) and if your name comes up they already have this information.

    This has resulted in life time bans on employment for anyone convicted of a crime. Can you get a job, of course, but it will be of the lowest paying and the most physically demanding. I’m almost 50 and can’t do manual labor.

    Most temp agencies now run background checks. I did get two assignments through temp agency, but I did too good of a job. The company wanted to hire me, I applied; they ran the background check and found the conviction and then told the temp agency, then the temp agency ran one and found the conviction and then told me that they can no longer work with me.

    I will soon be homeless with no hope.
    Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

  • http://google Amie

    To all the folks with job seeking disappointments, I hear you. My felony in 1992 has kept me from many good jobs. I was never fingerprinted so there is nothing to show up on a backgroungdcheck. My deliemna is I am an RN and the felony caused the nursing board to suspend me for 5 years. When potential employers validate my license, the response is “current with previous action”. The red flags go up and I don’t get the first interview. I do have a valid license in my state but cannot get licensed in other states. So I am stuck. Any advise from others in my predicament.

  • justin

    are criminal background checks international?
    e.g. does my US felony show up in australia, asia, or europe? bcuz im thinking of starting over in another country

  • Harley Man

    I have been an Ex offender for 14 years and I know how to do many things. I have read the comments by everyone and entering back into the job market is almost impossible. I went back to school and go a college degree only to find out that no one would hire me in that field. What is wrong with the American People. I think it’s about time there was some legislation made to protect the ex offender from discrimination.

  • Harley Man

    I have had several jobs sense I got out but they were not what I wanted. I lied on some job apps and got away with it. I was employed in the trucking business for awhile but the economy got bad and they laid me off. Prior to getting this job I had two others wich lasted about a month each. I told the employers about my background and someone in the office latter on decided they didn’t like what I done and they fired me. So I would say lie if you can get away with it . The economy is so bad right now even the most privlaged person is having a hard time finding work. I realy do belive there should be some new legislation to prevent employers from playing god with peoples lives. Not everyone who goes to prison wants to go back. I’m sure if you looked at the percentages you would find that only a few because of the news Media make it difficult for the rest of us. You can’t rent a place to live, you can’t get a job, I don’t want to hear about christianity because we Americans are far to judgemental to ever be a christian. The people in positions of power in this country can steal Billions of our tax dollars and not even be put in jail. But we the ex cons dont even deserve to be able to provide for ourselves or our family. We are suppose to be humble and wait for the master to throw us a bone. I say if you can find a job by lieing about and get away with it do it. I know many people who have never been behind the prison walls who deserve to be there and our society allows them to be free because they are wealthy enough to get out of it. Most of the people that I have known don’t want a hand out they want a job so theycan be proud of themselves and able to make enough money so society recognises them as a human being again.
    I thinkthat have you EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF, is a discrimantory question. How can someone who has been in trouble ever repair there lives if all we are offered by society is scraps and told we are not worthy enough to be working even for a garbage company. I seen that question on an application for a garbage company on the internet. I wrote them a little not on there application, I said for gods sakes your a garbage company. Your not the US Mint. I think the easiest way to get back in the employment field is self employment. I know I’m going in that direction. There are several loans an ex con can get to start a business because he is considered to be a manority. I think if a person gets out of prison does his parole and stays out of trouble no employer should be able to view your past. You done your time why should you pay for it for the rest of your life. All that queation does is create a revolving door. In order to be sucessfull while your starving to death and have no place to live because no one will hire you is roll with the punches. Otherwise you might as well give up because our american society thinks that you should be punishes for the rest of your life for making a mistake. I say if the crime doesn’t fit the job the employer doesn’t need to know. Its just a yes or know answere. I think the only people who should have any access to your background is the Law enforcement offices.

  • Middle Man

    You said it Bro! It is crapp… all of it. I have read all of the comments here and the guy who has the sex offenders rap sheet? Well. I too have a sex offenders rap sheet. Did 3 years and the last 2 years I was in INTENCE sex offenders recovery program through the state hospital! Plus counseling afterwards for 3 more years! after that , I managed to land a good job for 10 years and recently got discharged for unknown reasons, no crime was committed. I showed up for work every day and did my job the best I could. Now I am out of work i have a lot of experience and Know how,.. related to machines etc. I am n So just LIE LIE LIE about your past, that’s how I got the 10 year job.

  • Bebe

    Wisconsin has laws against discrimination of people with criminal records – the states view is people convicted of crimes have served the time and society should give them a chance. So it may be an good option to look for work in this state.

  • §Uffering

    We’ll it seems as if we all have alot of Q&A’s. With my experiance being a two time felon. It’s difficult to find employment, no food stamps, apartments won’t rent to you/housing. I’ll never be upset about paying taxes because people I care about see that money. There needs to be more education and less manuplation. The system is fouled, but it’s like any bussiness it has to make it’s money. Being incarcerted for 6months and let go because I was costing them money, when all I asked for was a jury trial. Later on charges where dropped because, “I had served my time.” Now the charges are on my background but I never was guilty. So you get arrested, you get a phone call to get a bail bondsman hopefully which then you need a co-signer to get 15% of money you won’t see again. GOOD LUCK TO THE INCARCERTED, MAY GOD BLESS YOU! Anywho, I got my passport waiten on a Work Visa. My license won’t be valid till 2010 but hell to05 is long gone. Funny that I’ve been CPR certified since I was 16. I’ve thought about joining as a Volunteer Firefighter or Rescue Squad just so that I can show that I wasn’t that bad of a guy.

    My advice: get references, vocational rehab, churches,thrift stores, build a work history, Family,Network,Self-employed, be positive!

  • richardo

    i am an ex-felon,my crime was commited back in 1996. my crime was that of a sexual nature with a minor male 14 yr.old. i have 5 months left on parole and i have been unemployed because of this offense i am having a hard time finding a stable job or even a part time job. what can i do? i dont want to go back to prison for not being able to find a job and now what is worse is that i am having trouble finding a place to live in the dallas/garland area. please i need help A.S.A.P.

  • 3D

    I’m a two time felon in my mid fifties and permanently disabled but will obtain my BS in Criminal Justice this year…I hope. Even if I wanted to go to work I doubt any job within my field of study would hire me. Our society is quick to condemn but slow to forgive. What if felons could create a entity that was owned and operated by ex-felons? Maybe it’s time we take care of each other and prove we can make a difference. Any suggestions are welcomed.

  • http://FISH=FelonsInSearchOfHope Cathyie

    Great Blog! check our ours on

  • Marcus

    I am considering starting a Small Business Incubator for ex-felons. It would be a non profit organization focusing on training ex-felons on how to be self sufficient at running their own business. I have access to 5 acres of land in a rural native american reservation in Arizona.
    I would like comments or suggestions on how to proceed. You can e-mail me at

  • In love with an ex-felon

    I am in love with an ex-felon. He grew up in the ghettos during the 80s. He was punished for an unregistered gun, that he found in his brother’s room, when he solely trying to prevent himself from being shot. I would have done the same thing. I don’t know what to do, he has so much talent in sales and gets many job offers and then they retract them later. He settled for a job he distasted and was let go a few months later. I love him to death but there is a huge human services gap in the aid of assisting ex-felons. This seems like such a waste. Not only do ex-felons want to work, they want to contribute to the community in mulitple ways. I do want to know more about the business loans for ex-felons. We live in NYC are there any programs for him? or banks/government agencies to help him start a business? I know he would be great. He just needs that opportunity to prove himself again.

  • peachy


  • Dawn

    I found this site very helpful. I was just released from prison for an 18 month sentence for DUI and VOP. I had a previous DUI 3 months earlier. My husband of 19 years died suddenly and I drank. I had never been in trouble with the law before. I was a Youth Group Leader at my church and respected member of my community. Now I am looked down upon and am having a hard time finding work. I start college soon, but after reading the blogs, I’m not sure that will even help. I like the idea of starting a not-for-profit center for ex-felons and will look into that. Thanks for the idea.

  • EFFtheMan

    I was in a fight when I was 18 years old. A woman verbally attacked me because she didn’t like the clothes I was wearing- things escalated, she hit me in the head with a billiards ball, I hit her in the head with a shoe. Felony conviction: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. A SHOE. I had an awful lawyer who advised me to plead guilty, which I will regret for my whole life. All I had was a year of unsupervised probation- the judge knew I was no more of a threat than anyone else, I was defending myself but because of the way it played out, I’m the one with a record.

    Now I’m 26, have a child with special needs and my husband has lost his job due to the economy. I am an upfront and honest person- but everyone I know who has dealt with this has the same piece of advice: LIE. That way you can at least get in the door. I haven’t lied yet, but I think I’m going to from now on. I’d love to see what everyone’s record would be if they were caught for every single law they had actually broken; how many of those employers chucking our resumes in the trash should rightfully have DUIs, domestic violence, possession of illegal substance, theft, fraud, even child molestation or rape! People are so smug when in fact, they’re as much or more criminal as the same people with a couple of indiscretions, the only difference is we were just unlucky enough to get CAUGHT.
    Blackball the repeat sex offenders, homicide and those with rap sheets 10 miles long- fine, understandable (though someone needs to dig ditches!). The rest of us are just human and it’s not that we deserve “a second chance”- we deserve to be treated as equals, no one except a judge and God are allowed to dole out more consequences for our actions than are legally required. Glass houses is damn right!

  • tony

    hi my name is tony and i’m a sexoffender for the last 16yrs i’ve been able to keep al my ducks in a row i had a good paying job i manange to raise a family i had been off of probation for 10yrs i kept my nose clean but then in 2008 i was hit with a new law violatoin and lost it all! and now that i’m back on probation i;m finding it hard to find work i know this small depression were going threw is making it hard. but being a sexoffender is making it harder .there are’nt any job placement programs out there for people with my label. and i’m not a c/m or rapist! so if there are job placement programs for people like me i aint finding’em so if there are some out please direct me to them thanks!

  • felon

    I was convicted ten years ago of a felony possession of marijuana. It was just enough for the conviction to be a felony. A year before I had completed college with two bachelors and a masters from a large state university. I haven’t worked since. Every job I have applied for I have been turned down immediately after I tell them my criminal history. I now don’t even get return phone calls asking for interviews since I have no job history in the last decade. My best advice is to make connections while you are incarcerated or with other felons in the area. It not possible to get a legal job as a felon so get a illegal one, you’re treated as a criminal so you might as well be one.

  • Mario

    I was convicted in 2002, i di 1 year for Poss of contr substance (felony b). I got out finished parole. I then moved to florida and started a small business. The business went well the first couple of years. Now this Recession has caused me 50% of my customers, cash flow is down and i will be filing bankruptcy soon. I went to a school to get into healthcare field and they would not let me enroll because i could not get state licence after completion. I dont know what to do. I’ve got to support my family and instead i will be homeless soon. What do i do?

  • David

    Everyone always says “Start your own business”. . .with what? What can I/we sell, do, start up exactly. Cutting grass? Shoveling Drive Ways? I don’t have the money to get a lawn mower, and people won’t pay enough to make that a viable career for an individual like myself. What business exactly am I supposed to start up, I’m asking honestly. I’m in Newport News, I personally am all for creating our own area, buying a bunch of land and creating a city of ex-felons who have more compassion and understanding then the rest of this country. Though if anyone wants a young able-body for work in Virginia, Maryland or DC let me know, I’m sick of begging my mom in St. Louis for help for rent because I’m not good enough for the corporate world.

  • Mom of a Felon whose tryin

    To Enrico……What an a-hole!!!!!All I can say to your absurd comment is the old saying, What goes around comes around, and buddy I wish I was around to see you get yours.

  • http://mistyhe misty

    look i don’t no when this site was updated let’s see what information can be give .i have a brother non voilent crimminal ,who served 18 years in prison ,he was just released this past winter ,he can’t find no job they won’t let him get apartment and he was walking with his head up now its down .he has a associate degree in general studies and gose to a state college willing to work ,i think it is a shame that there are no jobs for him and he has to be out of jail 5 years to get a decent job .it seems the system wants to make it hard for him and others ‘the judge said that if he had done the same crime today he would only have served 4 years .i need help with finding a life for prisoner who want to improve ther life any help

  • http://mistyhe misty

    me again where is amos brown and jessie jackson and the one who always showing up when something happens in the black community .where are they at how do these men find a stable life i am sorry but my brother is a non violent crimmal so what the judge said he served where is that system that stands up ,who do we talk to ,whats the numbers ???????????????????????????

  • ga boy

    enrico you are a first class idiot. you shouldnt even be on this site asshole. the only difference between you and the rest of us is you havent got caught. dumbass.

  • adam smith

    An ex felon does face challenges, but you shouldn’t give up. A lot of employers don’t even ask, or they ask if you’ve had a felony conviction in the last year, three years, or five years. You can lie on an application, that is one option, since a lot more big employers assume you’re being honest and don’t check, or you can take your chances. I have one felony from 1994 for stealing a computer. Someone left a laptop unattended and I took it. But that was 15 years ago. I did an experiment and sent out 500 resumes. I was honest on all 500. Not a single employer called me back. Then I sent out 100 where I didn’t mention it. At least 20 of those called me. I found a job at Subway World Headquarters here in CT doing technical support for POS systems worldwide. I later left the job, but not because of that.

    There are always cash jobs, which pay surprisingly well. I delivered pizza for years when I wasn’t at one professional job or another. My worst week delivering was $500. My best weeks were around $1200. My average weekly was $800, but it is long hours and hard on your car. Still, $800 a week is pretty good for a 5 day job. Don’t give up. Currently, I own my own pizza place. I’ve been here for 17 months now :)

  • Fed Up

    I live in Florida, one of the worse states to live in if you make a mistake and get into the system. Anyone who has been through the system knows it doesn’t matter if you are guilty or innocent, follow the rules or not, and it is insanely an unfair system. Mostly due to politics and money, once you are in the system it is to the state’s advantage to keep you in. The state makes money on people in state and county jails, and as long as that is the case , things won’t change. The fact that the economy is in the toilet, combined with the fact that your background can be checked free and in seconds, it’s no surprise anyone with a criminal background is out of luck. I too have a 14 year old drug related conviction that haunts me to no end. It’s mind boggling how many good people are turned away from a job and a less qualified person is taking the job. Things change, and so do people. The bottom line is that you should be hired for being the person you are now, not the person you were 15 years ago. I say that there should be a federal law that states if a person stays out of the court system for 10 years the an employer does not need to know anything more about that persons past. Of course there would be a few exceptions depending on the job, but enough is enough. Now a days a bad credit report can lose you a job. When will it end??

  • John

    I suggest that if you are a felon filling out an application, LIE LIE LIE. Admitting a felony is like shooting yourself in the foot right in front of your employer. Make them do a background check and perform the hassle of firing and rehiring. Make them pay these costs if they want to interfere in your personal business. If you work hard and prove yourself, only a complete sociopath would fire somebody for not telling the truth after they have proven themselves, and EVERYONE LIES. Imagine if your company’s customer asked you, “Has your company ever done anything honest?” The answer you would be required to give is NO OF COURSE NOT, WE ARE UPSTANDING even though most businesses have at least told small lies, checks in the mail, product will be ready to ship by XX date, which could have easily caused financial distress for their customers.

    Look for smaller businesses since they are less likely to spend the money doing a background check. In this economy,even if you work for only a couple of weeks before they find your true record, any job that pays two weeks pay is two weeks pay you would not otherwise have.

    Try to not give your social security number until your prospective employer at least interviews you, or even better if you can push it off until you get hired. You might want to put just your last four digits, to show that you are concerned about privacy. Many companies will run a background check right from your social security number, even before the first interview. Site privacy issues,and because lets face it, we do not want even our felonious identity stolen. Think of the all the companies that require an SS number just to apply on-line, and think of the millions of SS numbers stored in those data bases and think about the complete lack of protection from those companies doing whatever they want with the information you provided.

    If you do get caught in the lie, apologize. Explain that you did lie to get the opportunity to prove your value. Explain that you are changed from your experience with the law, that you learned your lesson. Explain that you wanted to be honest, but honesty had not worked, and you feel ashamed you had to stoop to dishonesty to survive. However, you must convert the topic from your past to your present performance or the decision is not likely to be in your favor. Do not beat yourself up to badly, because most companies have broken the law purposefully, all in the name of money. What makes their crimes less despicable? Because they wear a tie when they commit them? We all know that if Bernie Madoff got out of prison, he would be hired somewhere immediately and he would be making big money.

    I speak from experience from the benefits of lying on an application. I tried to get a job for 13 months, being honest about a drug possession conviction of less than .05 grams residue in someone else’s purse in the vehicle, and this was two years after the conviction, no prison, no jail, just 6 months probation which were completed. I did not even get one interview when I was honest about my past, so, I decided to try lying, and it worked. I held two jobs in the automotive industry, before being laid off, and made an annual salary of 70K at one job that I had for three years. This place found out that I had lied and they admitted that they would not have hired me had they known, but I dedicated my life to this company, even buying my own laptop for company business, and worked off the clock for many hours. I proved my worth to the company. With 25 other resumes fighting for the same position, they told me that my resume would have immediately hit the garbage can.

    The federal government has done a lot of research to see whom to trust and whom not to trust, and it turns out that the Big Brother will grant security access, even top secret, even if you have a felony drug charge(s). I performed my work in the factory that builds the F22 raptor and was on military bases that had live nuclear munitions.

    If you file for bankruptcy, however, which is perfectly legal, you can forget getting even secret clearance… won’t happen. So, if the US military, FBI and the Pentagon think I am safe enough to work with an around the most advanced weapons systems on earth, then surely a national fast food chain should feel safe letting me flip burgers, right?

    Wrong. Many chains will not hire anyone with a felony, unless its the bosses son. This is why it is important that all felons lie on applications. Its a travesty to snoop into someone’s non-professional affairs, and therefore, they do not deserve honesty in that matter. What they do deserve is an honest days work for an honest days pay. If you give them that, they have no cause to whine.

    • Freeman1776

      John, although your post is a year old, its still a valid statement. We don’t like to lie when we make a commitment to ourselves and our families that we are now better and on the straight course. Society’s rules just wont let us be. Those employers who feel the need to check backgrounds have an unwritten or unspoken rule, if you have a record, they wont hire you. Plain and simple!

      So, we are expected to do our time and once out, integrate back into society, but that’s just wishful thinking on our part. We enter the confines of an institution remorseful and regretful that we are being “put away” and we do our time as prescribed by law. Then, when we are done doing our time, we look forward to our reinstated freedom to walk the streets once again unencumbered by legal obstacles. We take our first breath of freedom and we savior the moment that we shed our binds.

      We return to our loved ones and friends who are all glad to see us and are glad to not have to make regular pilgrimages to a prison. Once we are settled and feel we are ready to go out and do the right thing, our first mission is to be gainfully employed. Ahhhh, that’s when we get a reality check, there are people out there uninterested in our savored moment of freedom or our commitment to our families that we are on the road to a normal straight life. Those people are everywhere, churches, employers, police and others who treat us as if we are wearing a scarlet letter which forever brands us with little chance of proving otherwise.

      It is against such odds that we have to attempt to go on with our lives and correct our past, but the opportunities are limited by societies archaic standards of non-forgiveness. These “folks” call themselves “Christians” or “believers” or even “honest folk”, but aside from their own self righteous labels, these sanctimonious “honest folk” would deny an ex con the chance to be a better person. They not only do so with their intrusive background checks, but in their whispers and gossip they condemn us.

      Our role is to rise above this, but its a “catch 22″, if you tell the truth, no job, if you lie, you may get the job, but now you had to break your own commitment to not lie.

      So, I say, lie and never falter from your story… one needs to know your past. Bragging to people will only set you up for being judged and more. When applying for work, say you have no record…ever! If you succeed in landing a job by lying, return back to your original commitment, no more lying, no lawbreaking, be a model citizen. Do some extra things like getting involved in community volunteering, take night courses, tutoring ex cons, or whatever you can to better yourself.

      If you follow this course, some day, you past will not haunt you as much because those background checks only go so far. I know, its been over 40 years for me.

  • John

    peachy- Contact your local Bureau of Labor and find out why the information was released, and if it was not supposed to be released, what legal action you can take and against whom. Find out if someone there might lobby the company on your behalf to get rehired. If you were wronged and that info was not supposed to be released, yet it was and you have to suffer, contact the media, local TV stations, try to get bad press for your company. Realize that if you got paid, you got more money than you would have gotten by admitting the truth. Firing you so summarily means that they would not hire any felon if the knew in the first place. If you gave them an honest days work for an honest days pay you have fulfilled your end of the work bargain, so do not beat yourself up. I hope you find a way to sue the pants of these freaks. Find out if you can record phone calls legally in your state, without knowledge of the other party, and if legal, record a phone call of your friend asking for a job reference and use whatever your former employer says about you against them in court. Speak directly to the ass that fired you, because he will probably want to play tough guy and make sure you never get a job. If you aren’t allowed to record without the other party’s consent, then have a friend bring over another of their friends whom you do not know, and let them listen in and make careful notes. You may be able to sue the company, and if that does not work, sue the worker directly. Also try with other people who work there to find someone who will make a mistake and let too much information get out. Defamation of character is a very serious offense and costly, particularly when it comes to defaming someone professionally. Make them pay dearly, use the law as a weapon to punish the unjust. If your past is not affecting your current job performance, firing you in this economic climate, if you are doing your job acceptably is heinously immoral, far more so than you lying about your past. Use any leverage you can to either get your job back or make them pay in court.

    Do not hold back. Be prepared to do anything you can to win, legally that is. If you are minority, play the race card. Play the discrimination card to the hilt, discrimination against a young unwed mother, how sickening.

    If you do not get satisfaction, tell us the company name so all reading the board can do their level best to boycott all products and services. If you know of any illegal activity or suspect tax evasion, contact the IRS and see if you can’t make them suffer an audit, or even better, see if you can’t get somebody there sent to prison. If the guy who fired you is sleeping around the office on his wife, call her. Fourteen dollars can get you a phone number of the wife, and $35 can get you a criminal report on the guy who fired you, anywhere on the internet. If the the people responsible for firing you are in the habit of going to the bar to drink, call the cops when they get into their car to leave telling the cops they are obviously drunk. I knew a company who 4 of their management get drunk driving tickets at the same time because they mistreated a subordinate. Justice was never so sweet.

  • htwohelp

    You know, people who react the way enrico did have been subjected to bigitry on different levels and facets in Life and well…for the most part their life is hand held by quite a few life lines which is the total opposite for most felons.

    But I do not want to waste anymore words on him as I know that Life do have the Tendency on getting it’s Prize…

    What I do want to talk about is the “Obvious”, what can we do to change the laws or ammend them? I committed a stupid I “Dare you mistake” almost 25 years ago and till this day I’ve been scrapping.

    I have gotten more savvy in online work and ran into an industry that I know for a fact works but I’m having problems getting referrals to even do the work since there is so much online Scam.

    For anyone who would like to learn more about this online op and would like to give me the opportunity to teach you, I promise i will start you off with an easy site. Just email me for the details, I’d be honored to help you all out.

    Back to my original thoughts, I believe that we the people need to get up off our behinds and start working on something that will MEND our Families. I say this because being a Felon doesn’t affect just the person who’s accused of it but the Family as well.

    Felons create felons, and before anyone jumps down my throat…what I mean is that in the experiences that we have heard here and elsewhere, when there is no jobs and only slim pickings…the children that are being raised mind frame or mind set is completely jeopardized and aliented from positive thinking.

    Not to mention that this creates insecurity issues on these children, they may have undergone cruel teasings because their parents cannot afford anything other than hand me downs or thrift stores.

    On top of that for those who have been less fortunate and ran into nosy neighbors who happen to find out your secrets, this can have one moving from city to city etc.

    Nooooo, there definitely is too much of a rise in Felons. I for one don’t understand how the hell America who is supposed to be the Land of Opportunity take pride in Preventing so many good people from Reforming their lives and being an Asset to their communities.

    Bad checks, shop lifting, credit card fraud, drugs, alcohol. These are all categories that according to the way it’s worded, sounds dangerous to those who don’t know.

    You see my felony is not even supposed to be on my record as it was withheld adjudication, I was having fun celebrating and took some things from a clothing store trying to be a Dare devil….mind you I was a fresh 18-19 yrs old.

    My sibblings and I were raised very secluded from everything so when I got away from my parents, all I could think off was to party.

    That was my mindset and I thought I would get a third degree speech and be sent on my way.

    Yeah right, that has cost me eternally. I have no family so I can only depend on myself so it is not easy to tell someone like me who cannot find a half decent job on account of background checks to hang in there and keep looking.

    Yeah ahaaaa…in the meantime how do you suppose I pay for the roof over my head.

    See what I mean? I’ve survived by living a life that I never wanted, also being a guinea pig for medical research and doing my online op.

    I strongly advice for those who are political intellects to work on changing the Felon laws and the way they label offenses that bring home the bread and butter.

    We are a starving nation and slowly but surely Decaying…if we don’t do something fast.

    There will be no buildings to build or companies to grow…we will be in Swamp land..figuratively speaking that is…I mean how much can you beat a dog before it strikes back or want to bite your arm off? Exactly, the poverty levels are increasing to high levels…with that Ladies and Gentlemen comes a price and that price is “Crime” and more Crimes as a matter of fact “Violent Crime”.

    So the Next time you Turn down a Felon and deny him/her the Opportunity to show you that they got what it takes and they belong in your company “Look in the Mirror and Know” that you have just contributed to the Death of your Child…you’d be surprise what a desperate person will do to keep their babies, children and families “FED”.

    Think of it this way “Who gave you the Right to play Russian Roulette with Families”?

    I commend those who are still having a positive attitude about their position and I completely sympathize with those convicted.

    The only way things will ever get better is getting together to “Change the Laws”.

    Here’s something to think about “Strip clubs are a dime a dozen” and immoral owners make excellent money with this not to mention that negatives surrounding this industry gives the state and uncle sam a good cut.

    Women are exploited each and everyday in this industry simply because they are in a position where this is a they can do at the given moment to be able to put food on the table.

    But what happens to these women who by the way many go to school, college, trade or tech?

    Yeah, the Great big Wolf does it again!

    Tell me something how in the hell does it make sense to any of you that a state will give these Wolves a license to operate and include alcohol beverages, not to mention give those Slime balls the right not to Pay anyone and on top of that Charge the employee to work,

    Yet they have the Audacity to charge these women with Prostitution for performing a Table dance or Lap dance on a paying client.

    Where do the women’s “Future Go”? These women are victims, used and abused by not only the proprietors and management of these clubs but by the “LAWS”.

    True, these businesses have their Rotten apples. But this is true in so many ranges of working fields such as the one that sleeps with their boss to climb up the Ladder. I don’t see them getting convictions over that!

    I believe that these types of businesses should be “Royally Fined” for allowing and permiting their “Clients” to over step their boundaries.

    The employees are the little fishes trying to swim, it’s time that all of the “Injustices in this World” get a Real look at who the Real “Criminal” is…..

    I’m always interested in ideas of changing the laws and what we the people can do to assist in making these changes a “Reality” so feel free to email me if you are a “connected” and can turn the “Wheel”. I’ll be happy to cast my Vote,

  • htwohelp

    I’m with you Fed Up, only I wouldn’t go so much as 10 years. That’s too much, people have already done the time, paid the fines, done the probation.

    I think it’s high time that they implement “laws” that accommodate the meaning of Rehabilitation. This to me means that if anyone fits the profile stated above then they deserve a “Fighting Chance” which I suggest for the Government to create a “Review Board” specifically for these types of Crimes, that let’s face it. In most cases had anybody had good opportunities….they would have never gotten to this point but being that what’s done is done.

    I recommend that people be treated on a case by case and given a chance to show that they have repented of their wrong doings and are willing and able to be an “Asset” to the community.

    I Vote that “Review Boards” check on a person every two years. What they can do to Offset the money they are not going to make from keeping the people in jail or programs is to conveniently “Charge a Fee” for the Priviledged of being “Reviewed”.

    The way this would work is that if an Offender has not been in any new trouble since they got out and have shown “Efforts” of “Self-Improvement”.

    Example: Any type of Degree or Non-Degree learned Profession or Trade.

    This “Review Board” will send your case to a special “Union of Judges” to Completely clear your Record.

    There will be Failed attempts I’m sure, for whatever given reason including the fact that it is nearly impossible to keep employment as a felon but the “Good part Is”.

    That you get the opportunity every two years to Pay for the Priviledge of being Reviewed and Considered.

    Now this is what I call “Giving back to your Community” and Turning negatives into Positives.

  • Aaron

    My name is Aaron. I am now 28 finishing my BS in Computer Science. I have extreme anxiety about entering the job market due the fact I have a DUI felony from when I was 22. I am worried due to my career field I will have a hard time finding a job. However, I noticed you were able to obtain or at least mentioned the ability to obtain a high level government security position. This was interesting, at least to me because I am married to a military woman and have what is called “spousal preferance” when it comes to military government positions and being hired. I would appreciate any advice you could give me on how to pursue such a job. In the near future I am planning on on applying for an internship on a military installation. Any advice or direction you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

  • http://yahoo wifie

    Moving companies hire ex felons. I should take that back; small local area ones do. But you have to watch the ones you work with. Because you are the ex-felon, but the fools who haven’t served time are the ones who will steal from the customers. get together and start moving business with people you can trust. Rent U-hauls for your jobs until your name is out there. Save what you can until you get it up and going. You will be surprised what you are capable of. Pick yourself up because can’t no one else do it for you.

    Someone mentioned in an earlier thread about staying home with the kids. We saved $800 a month at my house by doing that for a while.

    Keep your heads up. I know it’s hard and it seems like the world is out to get us. But only we can make our lives better. We have to show them that we don’t need them but they will need us eventually. And that is when we will have our true rewards.

    • the unforgivin one

      here in oregon the police are setting up stings to catch movers who are not licenced. To get that you have to have a background check

  • Azonei

    I served 29 years and have been out for about 7 months. I have applied to at least 4 jobs every single day since then and have had only 6 interviews. Not only do I have the felony record against me, but I was only 16 at the time of my conviction so I didn’t have any real job experience, and I was never eligible for vo-tech while in prison, so I came out with virtually no experience and no training.

    I did have one thing going for me, though: I did a lot of clerical work in prison and had access to Visual Basic. I taught myself programming over the years and took a certification exam when I got out and scored in the 99th percentile. With this one ray of hope, I went to It’s an outsourcing agency where you bid on jobs, mostly tech-related, from all over the world.

    Being an independent contractor provides a lot of freedom – you can pretty much make as much money as you want by putting in the hours, but you have to be able to deal with the stress that goes along with it. Being an independent contractor is little more than a sugar-coated way of saying you’re always looking for the next job. And even if you’re just getting by, the fact is you have to sell yourself to potential buyers just like you have to sell yourself to potential employers in the traditional job market. The difference is that most buyers don’t ask or care about the past – only that you get the job done.

    Even though I’ve been keeping afloat with jobs obtained through oDesk, I keep looking every day for a more traditional, stable job. I may never find one, but I’ll keep looking.

    If you have any computer, clerical, or administrative skills, give oDesk a shot. It could provide all the income you need, just a little extra to get by, or even jump start your own business someday.

    Whatever you do, don’t give up and don’t use the economy as an excuse to go back to the old lifestyle. If you think it’s hard to find a job now with a felony, just think how much harder it will be when you get out in 5 years with 2 felonies, or in 10 years with 3 felonies.

  • Felons Don’t Get Rights

    This website and its entire string of posts, comments, and blogs in its entire does not make me sad, feel bad, shed tears or pity on any one of you individuals that are now serving the lifelong debt of servitude that you bestowed upon yourself.

    You are what you made yourself to be whether it was at 16, 26, 43, or 65. You are a convicted criminal with a federally searchable arrest and conviction record…You are a felon and it should be a burden that you carry and probably will carry for the rest of your life.

    Even though the expungement process exists, did you know that statistically in the U.S. out of every 100 cases that are heared upon by a circuit or district court, only 10% of the applicants are granted a sealed or permanently closed record of criminal conviction?

    You are the one who was instilled common sense, values, and moral judgment abilities by your parents, peer, teachers, and loved ones…you were taught how to function in society and what is considered breaking the law and yet you chose to ingore these simple instructions in life to live and abide by and you chose to break the law.

    It is the ageold saying that if you make a decision or choice, you have to live with the consequences of your choices and your actions.

    If you chose to commit a crime, were convicted and found guilty, who do you really have to blame but anyone other than yourself.

    Stop blaming the system, the government, and society for supposadely harassing and discriminating against you.

    No one is committing a crime against you, what employers are doing is making a conscious choice to say that because of your decisions and actions, you would not be an individual that represents the business rapport and values that we are trying to portray to society and to our customers.

    When you committ a crime you are decieving people and you are depriving them of civil liberites in one way or another.

    You victimize people through your robberies, drunken driving, drug dealing and various other offenses.

    You burden society by forcing us as the taxpayers to front the 20 plus dollar a day bill it takes incarcerate and house each and every one of you offenders.

    So if society spends $45K over 10 years or so to house you, feed you, and cloth you…why should we reward you with an opportunity to take more of our money.

    Not only does it possibly look bad for a company public profile and image regarding your background should they hire you, they have to wonder if you pose a security risk to their money, goods, and to the customers of the general public….how would it look if a convicted sex offender is stocking shelves or cashiering at the local Toys R Us???

    You pose a risk to a business and to the general public when an employer takes you on, no one assumes the risk but the employer and it could end up backfiring in their face.

    If you are convicted of a crime, what is to stop you from repeating the same actions that you once did….what your good faith and word…that kind of trust is not evident in today’s society with the ever rampant spreading of violence, murder, and drug dealing.

    Your best assumption is to accept your reality for what it is, you will be lucky at best to get a minimum wage paying job and live a life with basic amenities…its what you did in prison..whats so different now that you can’t do it least you don’t have to have someone tell you when to eat, sleep, shower, and how to live…

    Accept reality and your life for what it is…society discriminates and you are a criminal and you will be discriminated against for years to come probably till the end of society as we know it today….

    • Animal

      Felons Don’t Get Rights- If we’re not gonna let ex-convicts reintegrate into society after finishing their sentences, then what’s the point of letting them out of prison in the first place? Maybe we should just line them all up in front of machine guns and blow them away? Or be like Hitler and gas them all?

      When we deny employment to felons, as well as financial assistance or any means to better themselves, all too often they are left with little alternative but to return to the activities that got them locked up in the first place. Remember that many of them have kids to feed and house, and when they can’t feed those kids because they can’t find work, that’s all too often a major cause of them returning to criminal activity, rather than watch their loved ones starve.

  • Reginald

    For all the people dogging the felons on trying to succeed, you are worse than any of them. Listen to yourselves. You literally want to see people suffer. This makes you worse than any felon because felons usually act out of human instinct, instinct that all humans are capable of. We are all capable of bad judgement if the right situations pushes your buttons. I used to be just like you judgemental fools until it happened to me. I used to think that anyone who went to jail should never get a second chance until I was convicted of a crime I didn’t commit. What you “judgemental fools” fail to realize is the law doesn’t care about anyone. The law gets whatever it can get no matter who you are. If something like that was to happen to you and you wanted to try to explain that you’re not a bad person, guess what, they’re not going to listen to you either because you’ll be just another criminal too. What people need to realize now is that this judgement on ex-felons who are trying to survive is really getting out of control. The population of felons is getting larger everyday so don’t think society isn’t kicking it’s own economy in the butt because that’s exactly what it’s doing. Their are a lot of intelligent people who has been unfairly held back because of mistakes in their lives and think of the effects it’s had on us that we don’t even know of yet. Imagine if Bill Gates took one moment to do something stupid and got caught. Imagine where computer technology would be because no one would have given him a chance to show what he could do. We wouldn’t have thought anything of it because we wouldn’t have known how far he could have taken us. Imagine any great person who if they got caught doing something wrong would not have had the chance to effect our live positively because of the system. People should always be allowed to show what they can do positively and that’s what has been taken away from so many people.

    People need to feed their families. Don’t punish the kids. Besides, just like some of the respondants said, it only causes more crimes being committed. What sane person do you know who wouldn’t do “ANYTHING” to make sure their babies are fed and are well taken care of. It’s ashame how people in this society can watch a movie and cheer on a father who hold a hospital hostage so his child can get an operation he can’t afford, yet, still put ex-felons in a position where their children can starve or be kicked out on the streets with no good clothing. Children can’t survive these weather conditions 24/7. As a matter of fact, ex-felons tend to have a stronger mentality than those who judge them so harshly, because if faced with the same situations, these “judgemental fools” would have cracked. If you check the reasons a lot of people commit suicide, a large percentage is from people who were doing well, but for the first time faced a situation the many ex-felons faced for many years.

    For all the ex-felons out there trying to do good, keep your heads up, you are not alone. I’m going to keep in touch with this website and if I come across anything, I’ll let you know. Pleas let me know if you find anything. Trust me, I have it hard. Texas is the worst place to be for an ex-con or a convict. I’m open to hearing from people on my e-mail. The address is:

    The non-profit organization idea is a good one. We all need to communicate because different states have different laws so we can all have something to say to people in each state about how to handle situations according to the way the economy is ran in that particular state.

  • Just like you…….

    It seems to me that since we are becoming since a large percentage of the population, we have a large political voice. As soon as you can, reapply for your voting card. Over two million felons is more members than AARP and they are a large organization that has influence politically. But we need to be able to vote. If two million felons wrote to their government representatives, it would be a loud message. It’s free to write as many e-mails as you want to them. Start communicating on different issues in your neighborhood and state. They do get to know you. Then you can start asking for help for felongs and changes in laws or new programs. I, agree, that creating a national organization like AARP would get noticed everywhere. It would be become recognized and respected after awhile. A website isn’t that expensive to maintain and from what I have read here, there are plenty of folks with computer experience, administrative and clerical experience, and I seems to hear from a lot of you that sound like natural born leaders. Two million members at $10 each would create a lot of seed money to start training programs and referral programs or small business loans, etc…..We just need someone with leadership and executive skills to put this together. Who will step up to the plate????

  • Everyone’s a felon

    I’ve never heard of a felony standing in the way of a bank loan? Is that only if the person served time (which might be apparent on a credit report)?
    Also, to “Reginald” how exactly does growing a pot plant or selling home-made moonshine or possessing a gun for self-protection in a state with strict gun laws taking way someone ELSE’S civil rights? I got news for you pal, the majority of convicts are low-level non-violent VICTIMLESS CRIMES. The person with a record for marijuana possession is the person who has had his/her rights violated. It’s generalizations that perpetuate the stereo type of the beefed up tattooed ex-gangbanger instead of the reality of the college kid in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’re perpetuating a lie, while you attack others for dishonesty. I honestly feel sorry for you Reginald.

  • Revolting

    I am appalled at some of the blatant hatred I have read here.

    I would like to ask anyone expressing their disapproval of convicted felons to ask themselves if they have ever 1) handled an illegal substance at any time in their life 2) driven while intoxicated over the legal limit at any age 3) stolen even a pack of gum from the grocery store as a child 4) gotten into a fist fight with a childhood friend

    All of the above, if caught, are considered felonies. The difference between convicted felons and the vast majority of society is that “they” got caught and not the rest of us.

    Now while I do agree that felonies such as rape and murder should never be over looked as easily, I think that minor felonies and single offenders should certainly be completely and undeniably cleared once the person has done his/her service as set by the judge. I mean what is the point of sending a person to prison for a year and sentencing probation for a crime, if that person will never be able to overcome the crime?

    My SO hung out with bad kids when he was a teenager. Someone played a prank and attempted to set the porch of a house on fire. They were 15 years old. When he was 19, this childish act came back to haunt him and he was convicted of arson. He was sentenced to probation and had his records sealed, however this torments him to this day. He had hopes of becoming a police officer and has realized that although his punishment was 10 years ago and he has NEVER been in any form of trouble either before or after this one-time issue, he will never be able to pursue his one dream. Because when he was 15 he was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. 15 years old and paying for it at 30…

    I keep thinking of the man down the street who sold me cigarettes when I was 14 and didn’t get caught, the woman who stole a tshirt when we were 17 and didn’t get caught, or the man down the street who drives home highly intoxicated and still goes to work every day as a lawyer because he didn’t get caught.

    We’re so easy to judge but I bet we ALL have committed at the very least a minor crime that we were never caught doing.

  • Ms dc

    Well my name is toya an I haven’t Bern convicted of any crimes but my daughters father Just came on July 18 2009
    from doing 90 months . He has been in every since I was 2 months pregnant my daughter is now 6. It’s crazy because they allow him to come home for 72 hours an now he had to go to a reentry drug program . Which is crazy he doesn’t have a drug problem . Neveg have use drugs in his life . He have been certified with his hvac license , electrical wiring . My question is do anyone no if je can get into a union or not ? Am here in dc yeah they have non profit organizations but majority of them u have to put your name on waiting lists . An we don’t have a problem with that . I’m a strong young black woman an I’m going to stand behind my man 1000% percent . It’s hard out here the government don’t give a hell about them . They give them enough rope to hang there self . Because some men out here feel like damn there been lock up an there companion is doing everything an now that there home she’s still doing everything . To all the exfelons just have patience an don’t do nothing stupid to get u back in that shit hole that u don’t ever want to go back to. An to the ones that’s passing judgement on these people u have a heaven nor he’ll to put them in . A nine times outta ten u have done something illegal but just having got caught . Look at the big timers on capital hill have of them are undercover crackheads an dopefiends . They prostitute , stealing money all types of stuff. But if anyone that’s in the. Dc area have any suggestions feel free to email. Me at Good luck an don’t give up

    • Uffy54

      I don’t know about california . But in oregon all the unions ask if you been convicted of a felony and you don’t get in. In oregon 8 out of 10 temp agencies do the same thing. Express has a lock on most the entry level jobs here and they say no real load.

  • TO: Felons Don’t Get Rights

    OMG! Where is your compassion!

    If I were you I would worry.
    In time there will be more of us then you.
    Just think California has to release 40,000 early.

  • Chris

    My husband has a horrible record but has never really had trouble getting a job. Once he got straightened out, he was up front with everything he applied for. If he got past the employment app., he usually got the job. As the years rolled by and more and more distance from his past, the same thing is true. Either you don’t get past the first line or just be up front with the employer, hold up your work record, and don’t be afraid to not get the job. After all, we’re in a recession. People don’t get jobs for all sorts of reasons today. The right job is out there. A lot of ex-offenders give up too soon. If you need more skills, go back to school. But don’t go into a field where you won’t get a past the first line. You might want to read and join this blog called Ban the Box

  • Starting Again

    I was convicted of a Class D Felony and faced 7 years in prison. The Judge was very lenient and I got 1 year. I was released on conditional release after doing 4 1/2 months.

    My employer promised me that I would have my job waiting upon my release. Guess what? My Boss, as much as he fought for me, I was terminated by his superior, because I was a treat to others.

    Well living in a small town, there are VERY few jobs here. I did not give up. I started with $100.00, a will and a lot of determination. I started an eBay business, that now after only 16 month from my release, I am doing 8,000.00 a month in sales and have built my inventory to over 17,000.00 in merchandise. All’s it takes is an idea, self-motivation and A LOT of hard work.

  • Philly Mike

    Listen up all you other felons. Here’s my advice…if you don’t like it, oh well.
    1. Lie on your application. You are NOT going to get the job otherwise. Period. (unless you know someone).
    2. Seriously consider moving out of the US. It’s corrupt as it is and now you are fighting for shit-jobs against non-felons. Might as well start over somewhere else if you’re starting from dirt.
    3. Don’t go for advanced education (B.S.,masters, etc.). You’ll just be a more educated, out-of-work, impossible-to-hire felon.
    4. Panhandle.
    The point I hope to make is that it is tough as hell, especially in this market. It isn’t impossible. Start your own job (farm) like I did. All I could afford to eat for years was pasta and PBJ sandwiches (if that). Many times I wished I was actually back in prison. 15 years after my release, I finally took my first vacation this year. Don’t expect much–you’re a second class citizen.

    • Tony K

      Philly Mike, your post is now one year old, but the message is still controversial.

      I agree about lying on application because they just wont give you the job if you try to be honest and tell them you’ve been incarcerated.

      What I don’t agree with you on, is your using this forum to lower the expectations of other ex offenders who need some hope and encouragement. Your message is a total downer!! You tell them to leave the country, not try to get an education and in essence, run from their challenges instead of facing them. If we all ran from challenges, we’d all be losers like you.

      Do us all a favor, either support and encourage ex offenders to do their best to improve themselves and become better citizens, or say nothing.

      If you can only be a doomsayer, you will do nothing to help new ex offenders and will only show them that there is no hope and they may as well leave the country or go back to prison. Thats a very piss poor attitude by one ex offender to another.

      I know you want to tell it “like it is” and feel by telling what you think is the truth, is needed to be heard, but your message is more destructive than productive.

  • Michele, BX

    I read almost all the comments here and I agree with both sides. I agree with what “Felons don’t get rights” is saying to some extent and I agree with the convicted felons. While I believe there are consequences for our wrong choices, I also believe in 2nd chances. I think “FDGR” was extremely harsh. I mean where is your compassion? How will you ever see the positive, good side of a person if you don’t bend and take a chance. How will they be able to ever prove themselves if they are never given a chance? My husband is facing the exact situation at this very moment. While I don’t condon what he has done, all he has ever known is the street life. When you’re young, you don’t care to listen to anyone and of course the wrong choices get you into trouble but when you’re older I think you should be wiser and more willing to listen and take the advice. My husband is smart, talented and gifted. Unfortunatley, he has used his greatness for negative pratically his whole life. Now that he’s married, he wants to be able to be a good provider but when he’s not given the chance or being rejected over and over again, he naturally wants to go back to what he’s familiar with and knows. Of course, I am doing my part to help him to think positive, to belive in himself, and to keep the faith. Yes, consequences come with wrong choices, but if you have learned the lesson then you should be given a second chance. If hearts were more compassionate, there would be less judging.

  • Seekie


  • Major Lee Scrood

    I have a bachelor’s degree, I’m a bright guy, but due to some dumb things I did when I was in early-mid 20’s I really don’t have a chance at any thing in life.

    I recently remarried to a wonderful woman, and she does everything she can but has no clue of the frustration that I feel. I try desperately to resist the urge but I honestly feel as if I have to do something dishonest in order to pay the bills. I’ve been hoping that Barrack Obama might make some changes but I haven’t seen anything yet.

    I have a job right now, actually two, but they are very low paying and as a result I hardly ever get to see my 11 year old son. And, since I’m never around, I’m starting to see signs in him of how I was like when I was younger and turned to a life of crime for a small period of time. So it’s like a vicious cycle.

    I want to teach my son to be honest and all that but I also have to sometimes teach him the truth about life.

  • Please don’t give up because you are priceless!

    Please continue to be encouraged. I just registered a business that will be servicing ex felons or I would to say those that made bad chooses that resulted in a conviction. However you can turn things around and you will!! I will be posting an update within the next few days that will help many of you. Even though I don’t have a record, I understand what it is like to be rejected. So we have to make change so if a job isn’t provided for you then you must think within yourself and be creative to create a job that would allow you to become self employed. Yes, be self employed then you wouldn’t have to be so concerned about how would hire you because you hired yourself!!!! This program will provide the tools that you will need to start your own business, receive start-up capital to get your business going and the training to continue. Stay encourage and I will be posting another message with more details. If you’re interested please post a message with your first name and an email address.

  • James

    This if for #27 Enrico….simply put, you are a “JERK”…and you believe in DOG…call yourself a Chriptain….People make mistakes, and I’m sure that you are amongst the ones that make excuses for your own mistakes…you’re just an ass.

  • the ex-felon on the ropes


  • the ex-felon on the ropes

    i am a realest. i look at only reality, there area lot of things to consider here,first off i’m an ex-felon, car theft, burglury, asult,armed robery,ect,…. i have not broke the law in 12 years i now have a wife 2 kids a house 6 cars, and more toys than i can count, oops– did have,, you see over the last 7 monthsi’ve been selling all of them, at a big big loss, so i can keep food on the table, the plant where i worked closed my unimployment is running out, and i have aplied to no less than 1000 companies nation wide ,i do have a cdl but no recent experience 4 years ago is last time i drove. 9 out of 10 companies that i aplied to won’t hire ex-felons, the rest eather want me to live localy or want more,, or resent experience, –here is my thoughts,, as an employer and as an ex-con,,,,, the reson for not hireing me is- THIS MAN HAS ALREADY DEMONSTREIGHTED the willingness AND the past ability to get very very violant, steal my stuff andjust plain disrupt my buisness,, whitch is understandable to me,,. however there is somthing else to consider !!! here is also a man willing to break every law ,and hurt any one he has to in order to pay his bills and feed his family –AND I just turned him down the only leagle way he has to survive, as i said at the beginning, every person on this earth will with out question find some way to feed himselfe and his family PERIOD….i hope and pray some one will hire me BEFORE my children look up at me with tears in there eyes and say daddy i’m hungy

  • john. s

    I made a big mistake 23 yrs ago since 911 my world has change I not have a job since than. Yes I when to so many interview an yes on the application have you committed a felony. I answer yes and my respond to the this happing 23 yrs ago. Once I came out prison land a job at a law firm from a hookup than after that other job from a hookup at the NY Stock Exchange back then I was living a dream until my company merge an I was layoff 1996. Since then I temp for awhile it was cool but I felt I deserve more since I am a created person that has many talent. Yes I have do freelance work decor friends apt or being they fashion stylist, Being 45 yrs really having know career meaning life saving plan as i 401k this shit really hurt. I am very tired going to these interview an the employee is so fascinated what I done in the past and many people stop me on the street of new york thinking either I a designer or a interior design. That the industry I want to be in but once crime label comes up I bypass remind you this happing 23 yrs ago yes I have my release paper . An the funny once I got out of prison I saw my pro role officer once. Yes my sentience somewhat was unfair being a first time felony being a drug dealer an got busted from snitch like alway rating me out. MY was sentience 6 yrs to life I did 8 mos yes I was lucky never been back since an of course the judge was banking being a repeat defender guess Ms Lessie Snyder from NY yes she rude my entire life. Really want to say to her face you lost the bet I be back in prison but you won you destroy my entire careers hitting me with a life sentence that will cost me thousand to remove it. To honest I very worthless to America land of freedom I’m shame of America not given many folk a second chance living a positive life. Yes to be honest suicide has cross my mind but if I do that many of my friends and families would be devastated of my actions an not knowing the pain inside of me. Yes I so be grateful what I have who living a two bed room for 20 yrs an having everything I wanted be on his own. Plus greats friend that support me the fullest, but for me it just having a job in my industry, You might think I crazy or spoil true got it going true but I not happy with myself . Yes I had therapist they couldn’t help at all they could figure it out yo this Blackman got what it take if you would see behind this letter I spreading about my feeling ans I pass you in the street you will think this man got a great job no it a great costume to hide my pain. Please excuse me what I am feeling 2009 be strong for me I see darken in front of me the prefect man in many people eyes but they don’t see the tear that roll down my face at night an look at my pills. good night at moment i be alright if some ting happing you read it in the newspaper


  • foreeya

    I constantly here from my own wife that I am not trying hard enough…she has her masters and working on her Ph.D and had to find a job out of town. It took her 4 months. I been out for five months and only did 10 months in prison, still no job. I may be just guessing here but the design for re-entry is clear. Bills have to be paid, laws enforced to FILL the prisons so the people can complain about higher taxes to house them, yet they want to make money using cheaper labor so they dont hire somebody who made a mistake. Then , they scream about forgiveness when the repo man comes to their porch. We want to work !!!! We want to move on!!!! Makes me wonder “how many businesses would there be if every person HAD TO TELL the truth about every aspect of THEIR lives” . Those who have done wrong , served their time, and want to work should be allowed . Most of the ones who dont do a good job are the ones who dont have anything to prove…100

  • PeterNess

    I feel your pain. i have been working at my job for 20+ years and i have now been accused of doing something that will most likley give me a felony….and there is no way to fight it since they will always take the word of the other party regardless of what i have to say….no proof of innocence or guilt..just hearsay… i have to pray my employer never finds out because i will never get another job again…and for sure nothing even close to what i make now.

    and yet people serve their time and then get punished again years after. almost seems illegal, but the companies control the law.

    and then people get angry and tell felons they need to deal with it. these same people have to sit back and realize that their tax dollars are going toward taking care of these people….no jobs = more taxes to take care of these people.

  • Sorry and repentful

    I had my 1st and only brush with the law a few years ago (2006) and had to serve 15 months in jail. I got out in August 2009, and like many others, am finding it extremely difficult to find a job. I have a bachelor’s degree with 12 years of experience. I know that I’m just starting out on this new journey, but I’m hoping that I can’t find a compasionate soul out there that will give me a chance professionally. My wife, family and friends have all stood by me as much as they can.

    It’s unfortunate that so many people think that you are trash just because of one mistake. I can understand being reluctant to hire someone that has been in trouble numerous times, or even being wary of someone that has been incarcerated for a long period of time, but why do people, as a society, look so far down on giving a persona second chance? Isn’t that supposed to be one of the founding principals of this country?

    Now I understand, and can agree that people with certain crimes should not be provided employment in certain fields, but if everything worked that way, then your should lose your right to drive because you were in an accident, or got a speeding ticket.

    Everyone makes mistakes of some form or another. If someone made a mistake, albiet a major one, but it does not really reflect his or her real personality, and that person admits to it, accepts responsibility for it, takes the punishment handed down by the courts, and really, really want nothing more that to be a honest, productive member of society….why should the rest of the people stand in their way?

    I don’t want to live a state assisstance. I don;t want to be a burden on taxpayers. I want to provide for myself and my family. I want to pay my taxes, to volunteer in the community, to help other that can’t help themselves. Why is that so hard?

    I’m sorry for what I did. I even had a court ordered evaluation that determined that I do not need any counseling or anything like that. I know that I am an excellent worker and that a company would get a good value in hiring me. I have so much to gain by being employed. I just home that one (I only need one) employer to see it the same way….I only hope that one person is out there somewhere.

    For everyone else in a similar situation….Best of luck to you.

  • 3ric

    Ok so, I am 21 years old, I received a felony possesion charge not even a year ago. Thing is, I did it out of trying to pay bills and survive, eat for God’s sake. For a simple non-violent felony, I have been turned down so many times looking for work its not even funny. It is putting more of a strain on my family then anyone else, more than even I. I recentley have been attending a TASK assesment class because at the same time of my conviction, I also got a DUI charge (I got caught after a wreck.) So, Here I am with limited options. But for those on probation, There is a list in your local probation office/courtroom of local businesses that hire convicted felons. Lying on an application will not work as before you are hired, you will undergo a background check. Also, Because of my TASK assesment, I have been thinking of a career in mentoring/counceling young men in my area going down the road I was. No better person to councel a user than a user right? Anywho, My point, Don’t give up hope, there is always a way. As to the “haters” posting on this sight. You are the animals that should be locked up, you are the people that make society a dangerous, bad place. People that take their lifes for granted, people that dont realize how easy they have it… Don’t spread your negative energy any further than your children and family, which will turn out worse than we ever were. Thanks for reading.

  • http://priceless76 Wynena Chewey

    I have just recently been released, and find that I have closed many doors for myself.I still have a shimmer of hope but after reading evryones comments that shimmer is dwindling. I start college in Jan. I started college in prison but after reading this Im wondering now if college is going to be a waist of time. I have been fortunate enough to find a hosstess job (not many hrs) but they never asked about a criminal background, yet,but am in fear of losing it if they do . I am very interested in please dont give up you are priceless comment ,please e-mail me @ or of any other oppertunities in OK, Bartlesville.

  • steve

    I was not convicted of a felony 19 years ago. I had adjudication withheld. I was arrested for theft in Florida. I didn’t actually take anything but, I was there and watched another employee take it. Perhaps, that is why adjudication was withheld. Long story short. I somehow stumbled into Banking about 7 years ago. I quickly became a top Branch Manager and moved around to a couple of Banks and became a Regional Manager in charge of 12 Branches. I was their top performer. In 2008, I was laid off due to branch closures. Now, my non-conviction has come back to haunt me. I have no idea how I got the job in the first place. They never asked and I don’t think they ran a background. I worked in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Georgia. My crime was in Florida. (Interesting, someone mentioned that Wisconsin is more open to felons) Although, technically, I am not a felon. Regardless, I might as well have been with the background checks. What States besides Wisconsin are the easiest for felons? I think my Banking Career is over. However, I heard that small Credit Unions don’t have to Bond like Banks do. Is this true? What States are the easiest to get Fidelity and Surety Bonds? I am open to relocation. Thus, any answer on States that are most lenient for Felons would help.
    P.S. Don’t wasted your time arguing with people who are so against Felons. Everyone has done something stupid when they are young. Some just get caught. Everyone who drinks a couple of glasses of wine at a restaurant are technically over the limit. I have seen cops at restaurants drinking. Some people just get caught. Nobody is perfect. Granted, some crimes are worst than others. Sure, we made poor choices… But GOD and people forgive. Some people are very talented and can be tremendous assets to a company. Should we rule them out? Bill Gates smoked pot when he was young. I believe he was arrested. What if he had a gram over the misdemeanor limit? He then gets a felony. Look what he has done for society. How about the Bill Gates foundation? They give back MILLIONS. In Chicago, it is illegal to drive and talk on the phone. Everyone does it. Are they criminals? It is all relative. You can commit a crime, but you may not be a bad, non-trustworthy person. Granted, some people are just pure evil. I don’t think they are the ones on this site trying to get jobs. So, don’t give me your tax payer BS. You are not perfect.

  • Rob

    I’m 29 years old and was convicted of a felony back in 2004…landed a decent job shortly after I was released (worked for a manufacturing company that primarily hired convicts) and didn’t have to worry about living till January 2009 when the layoffs came. I was one of the first to be thrown out on my ass along with 1,300 others.

    Now, I’m not struggling since I’m on unemployment (which is pitiful compared to what I was making) but it’s still tight times…I know the unemployment won’t last forever but I’ve been applying and applying and applying…I’ve been offered a couple of jobs that pay lower than my unemployment (how am I gonna pay rent and still feed my family?) but for part-time work or serious job offers, I’ve had none. Part-time work would be just fine since it would supplement my UC benefits. But nooooo….

    So, I’m in the process of going back to school on the TRA program (fortunately, my employer qualified for it) and I’m looking to get a degree on the government’s dime…hopefully, that’ll give me a sense of purpose while I gain more education.

  • ilovemathis78

    my boyfriend is having a very hard time finding a job due to his past. it’s hard putting himself out there everyday and getting told no before he could prove himself. is there any programs he can look into ?

  • Gameiel

    As a fellow convicted felon, here is my advice. Lie your ass off on the application. Here’s how to tell if you can get away with it. There’s a little law called the Fair Consumer Reporting Act; which says they have to get written permission before they can run a pre-employment background check. That little paragraph at the end of the application won’t cut it either, it has to be a separate form. If they don’t shove that form at you, they can’t legally run a preemployment background check on you. That’s Federal Law!

    Bear in mind, though, they can do random background checks after your hired, or just might decide to google your name….not much you can do about that.

    But, as much as I hate to say it, lying works! I’ve been out of prison since 2002, and have yet to be unemployed. I’ve worked jobs from minimum wage, all the way to $15/hr, and am now in the process of starting my own business.

    If I can do it, you can too. And to those who say we ex-cons don’t deserve a second chance, all I can say is I didn’t ask if I deserved a second chance, I seized opportunity when it knocked, and i took the second chance, whether you like it or not.!

  • Felon’s Don’t Get Rights

    Where is my compassion you ask…why should I have any for people who burden society and violate my civil liberties when you people committ a crime. That is what the definition of a crime is….violating the law bearing standards of society and removing a person(s) of their civil liberties, right to live, and freedom to own property/business. Everytime one of you felons committs a robbery….you deprive someone of their civil liberties, everytime you steal a car….you deprive someone of their civil liberties, everytime you take merchandise from a store….you deprive someone of their civil liberties.

    Society bears the burdens and reprocussions of your actions more than you do. Everytime you committ such a crime as the ones I listed above, you deprive a company of the right to pay their employees and provide employment to upstanding community members. Everytime you committ such a crime you deprive people of their property and money they have worked so hard to attain. Everytime you committ a crime, you drive the prices of goods and services up in America. Everytime you committ a crime, you pass the burden onto the rest of us who have legitimate jobs, pay our taxes, and contribute to the welfare of society by forcing us to have to pay higher taxes and revenues because you’re not contributing to society by being in prison and we have to pay for you to live their, not you.

    The compassion should be reserved by you towards people like me who don’t break the law. I don’t steal merchandise from businesses or private homes, I don’t steal vehicles, I do not use or solicite illegal drugs, I don’t run schemes, I don’t drink and drive, hell I don’t even drink. I don’t get into drunken bar fights, I don’t get into physical assaults in public.

    Why is that…because I have an obligation to a family, to a wife and three kids, and to myself to provide the best possible environment for them and to set the best example possible.

    What kind of example do you set….telling kids that its okay to get a non person, non violent feleony and ruin their lives.

    If life was so bad at one point and you have mouths to feed and bills to pay, they make government programs that help people who are in need. They have unemployment, TANF, HUD, Section 8 Housing, Medicaid, Foodstamps, WIC, and other programs that will help you get back on your feet. There are food pantries and non profit organizations that will provide you with basic necessitites.

    Stop trying to live beyond your means and live for what is real.

    There should be NO support for ex felons and their should be NO excuses for what you have done or what you can’t do.

    You are not handicapped, you simply chose to place a bullseye over your head by committing a crime, for that you get NO compassion and NO sympathy from me.

    Take the fucking crack pipes out of your mouth, throw away the weapons, stop boozing on the bottle, put the joints and the bongs down, and pick up the want ads and go find a job…..flip burgers, work in a factory, drive a truck, shovel manure….if it pays the billls it pays the bills…..

    • Daidealist 84

       COMPLETE CRAP.  Let me guess you are an overweight thinks he knows it all american. Who sits around and thinks he has it all figured out. Your No attitude is why we continue to have crime in this country. What are you afraid of that felons will get out and given a real second chance beat you out for all the good jobs and opportunities. STOP LIVING IN YOUR MOM’S HOUSE. Question what have you done with these so called civil liberties? Most likely nothing but boot up your computer to look at porn or play pc games and by the way everybody has broken a law its just everybody hasn’t been caught.  GET A LIFE

  • Dee Dee Hollingsworth

    I was convicted of drug trafficking charge in 1988. My sentence was 7 yrs. The driver of the car had 26 grams under his seat, I had 7 g’s in my purse. I was also pregnant at the time sentencing was to begin. I was suppose to turn myself in after I had my daughter. I never did. I never deny the fact I am a convicted felon I do and feel I have done my time, worrying about what would happen. I am not running by no means. I pay taxes just like everyone should. I would give my right arm if I could have this label removed from my life. I more than anything want to go to nursing school. But I am afraid it would be a waste of time. What’s your opinion?

  • BLC

    I’ve read all the comments on this blog, and although I am not a convicted felon, I do sympathize with your plight. My maternal, half brother and I were best friends when we were growing up. I was the oldest, and at 16 years old, I got pregnant and moved with my father. Since we didn’t have the same father I had to leave him behind. After I left, my brother ran away from home and was living on the streets. He turned to selling drugs to support himself. He was just 13 years old at the time. I went on to finish high school, get my bachelors and am currently pursuing a masters. I’ve always felt that if circumstances were different, and had I not gotten pregnant, my brother would have accomplished similar achievements.

    My brother was paroled home last year after serving 3 years of a 10 year sentence, but was recently arrested again for selling drugs–a move motivated by the inability to find employment. It’s unfortunate that the system does not focus on rehabilitation and that the felon’s debt to society is not considered paid once the felon has served their time or met the terms of their parole. If that is the case, what does releasing these individuals symbolize? Phase two of their punishment? I’m sure each of us has committed some type of crime, including “Felons Don’t Get Rights” above, even if it was speeding. Should you be punished everyday for the rest of your life for speeding too. Speed is a major factor in accidents and deaths on the road.

    It is in the best interest of society that people who are willing to work hard be allowed to make a decent living. Why would we as tax payers prefer to support these individuals and their families through welfare, HUD, etc. than allow them to be productive members of society? Blackballing these individuals leads to hopelessness which perpetuates recidivism. This recidivism can lead to the destruction of the family unit. There is no reason to continue to punish an individual over and over for the same crime. Individuals who are proponents of this in my opinion have some sort of morbid God complex. The problem with that is even God forgives. If lawmakers and citizens insist on punishing these individuals forever, wouldn’t it be better to allow these people to work and withhold some type of compensation from their checks to repay the taxpayers for the burden of supporting them for the time they spent while incarcerated. This would allow them to keep their dignity, support their families and pay their debt in the form of monetary payment.

    • Emmdog

      You are right:  hopelessness perpetuates recidivism.  Enjoyed your well-argued response.

  • Alan B

    I have to say, as someone who is a convicted felon, it is tough out there finding work. Just today, I was told NO by a substance abuse rehabilitation center. I have my bachelors in psychology, and am in recovery from alcohol, and drugs. I have been in recovery for 4 years. My felony was simple possession of cocaine. I was convicted in 2004. I recieved probation and a suspended sentence. I was caught, when someone tried to rob and murder me, in my hotel room. Police were called and I was arrested. He left me for dead, and received nothing as far as I know. Pretty interesting, the same people who talk about giving others a second chance, would not give me one. Just thought I would express my frustration.

  • Medic

    tis is a response sort of to the fellons dont get rights posted earlier. To almost all of those goverment sponsered programs u r not allowed if you r a convicted felon depending on the charge. I am looking looking at a felony convivtion in the near future for a mistake i made talking to the wrong person on the internet. I wasnt out trolling for someone underage (nor did i, was an adult in a sting) was looking to connect at a bad time in my life and i ended up talking about sex. so i am now getting a huge whammy. I will be double branded as a sex offender & felon. I have read so many posts here that are hopeless. I have hope but not for me. I will do my time and recieve my punishment for my mistakes, as i always have. But i have hope that all my family will go on and forget i was ever part of them. I will pray for the ones here for help for them. I see now after looking on here and looking very hard at my options after this conviction that my life is over. Any dreams i had of owning, renting, or buying a home, finding a job of my choosing no matter the level of training, is useless. The worst part is is that i am disabled through military service and can’t really find many jobs i can do with my injuries already. What hope would there even be after?????

  • Melissa

    I never realized that so many others were going through the same thing I am. I was convicted 13 years ago.I was cohearsed into getting drugs 2 times for a friend(so called).In the end she was setting me up to get herself out of trouble.I have never been a drug dealer. Only I knew where to go if you needed it. But I was charged as a BIG TIME drug dealer.I served 4 yrs in prison/work release and completed reahab,and parole successfully. Only to find the better jobs were unavailable to me. I am not a stupid person. I just made a mistake. Ok…well I am a single mother and I continue to struggle everyday.My only hope lies in my faith in God that I always seem to pull through some difficult situations.The last job I had I was laid off and so I am back at square one. I cannot even recieve foodstamps. As I am banned for life.Geez….where will I be when I’m old and broken down?LOL:) I do know that some states have much different laws so search those. I did! Hey there are a few. Wanna go to Hawaii? LOL:)
    Also Illinois,Tennessee,and there’s more I just cannot remember them all!
    You can email me if you have any info I can use.
    Oh yeah….Remember that we are all here for a reason even if we don’t
    understand. We all have a purpose but we have to stead fast and never give up cause when we do then we fall!
    As hard as it is and trust me I know!!!;
    Keep your faith in GOD!
    We are all forgiven!!!!
    And anyone who says a child of GOD does not deserve a second chance is absolutely WRONG!
    We are all equal in God’s eyes!!

  • http://exfelon OTTO

    have work in the towing industry five years,doing police calls,i have work with state patrol and did acciddent and private impounds and always been a good employee,want to start own repo buisness. want to get own truck and work for i can provide for my family and use my personal skills to advance in life, have felony record .my record is about 16 years ago but wondering will this stop me from starting my own buisness in repo buisness ,i live in washington.

  • http://exfelon OTTO

    want start repo buisness , have five plus years towing and cdl.clean driving record no acciddents.well my felony record stop me from starting own buisness.

  • Only help I can offer!

    This might help with starting a business or get you to someone helpful.What you do is google the words “micromentor”.

  • Capone

    This message is for that insensitive “DICK” enricho. How can your dumb ass say such bullshit? Knowing if you were in the same situation you would be trying to find some sort of employment resourec. What you dont thing you can get cought at the wrong place at the wrong time? But then again I guess it wouldn’t be hard for you because you don’t even have to speek english to cut grass. SHUT YO DUMB ASS UP and get bck to those hedges. JACKASS


    I’ve been sitting here reading your testimonies for the past hr or so and I want to let you all know that hope and help is on the way. I am in the process of starting an organization the will help get you to where you want to be. It will consist of housing job training ad placement. So I ask that you keep your head up and stay prayerful and hopeful. My name aint Martin but I do have a dream, as we all do. That dream is that you will have somewhere to turn to for the help you seek. This is my real email feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas. Oh and did i mention I too am a two time felon. I know EXACTLY what your going through. GOD bless and don’t give up. PS; I hear your cries and I’m working on it

  • Renee

    CTS Express…let me know what you come up with…ASAP. Alot of people would look up to you if you come through with something to help all these people. Something definately needs to be done…Yea people make mistakes and pay for the rest of their lives which isnt fair at all. I have a boyfriend and we are going thru the same thing too..cant find a job or a place to live. Its bull shit and we all need help too

  • Sunrise

    hello everyone, i have a misdemeanor A, domestic violence. I think i have been lucky because i have a family and i am also collecting SSI. I feel your pain. and there is a website called They find felons work in that site. give it a try.

  • hideoutcabins

    In 1969, (41 years ago) at age 17, I was convicted of stealing a car and sent to a youth center for 13 months. However, I went to work in an extremely high security federal position later on and nobody ever discovered the concern.

  • Gabo

    There is hope! There is a Wave coming and it will provide a future for those with felons (like myself) and for those that are coming out from prison. I believe that all of you have skills and a trade to flourish, unfortunately we as individual allow society to characterize you to your crime. We all have some accomplishments in the past and even while we where incarcerated we had a choice to continue to gain knowledge and understanding to work with each other. Prison was a society in itself; living and breathing. Under the circumstances of our poor choices to do the crime, I am not my crime but a choice that I mistakenly did, ignorance to the fact my choice has a domino effect to hurt others, a lesson that I experience because of me and now I have God as my guide. So, there is Wave coming to get us back on track, and yes God will be the one to open the doors. It will be your choice to open and work. There wil be jobs for us felons, but ultimately it will be your choice to work ( I do mean to work at a job.) Did you know that whether you are hired or promoted for a job may depend on the information revealed in a background check. Yea da. But did you know that The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets national standards for employment screening. However, the law only applies to background checks performed by an outside company, called a “consumer reporting agency” under the FCRA. The law does not apply in situations where the employer conducts background checks inhouse.

    Your state may have stronger laws, such as California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (Civil Code §1786) and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agency Act (Civil Code §1785). In addition, many state labor codes and state fair employment guidelines limit the content of an employment background check.

    Under the FCRA, a background check report is called a “consumer report.” This is the same “official” name given to your credit report, and the same limits on disclosure apply.

    Under the FCRA, the employer must obtain the applicant’s written authorization before the background check is conducted. The authorization must be on a document separate from all other documents such as an employment application. In California, at the time an employer obtains permission for a background check, the applicant or employee should also be told that he or she may request a copy of the report. The FCRA, in contrast, says the subject is entitled to a copy of the report if a pre-adverse notice is given.

    In conclusion, I too seek a job, as society have the right to discriminate. I am not discouraged. I keep may head up and I keep myself this thought, The Laws of Variable tells me that for every NO, eventually I will get a YES on my job hunt or creating my own job. I’m finding myself to ge able to work under my conditions as a social networker providing the need of others. I am researching and coming up with many ways to help myself back into the workforce. I’m hoping before this year ends, I can work for myself. And for all, do not give up! Give a good fight for as long it last.

  • Sunrise

    i have a misdemeanor. i can’t be a cop or a teacher because of it. luckily i have been collecting ssi because of a mental illness i have. i live with my mother and i know i can’t get an apartment. when my mother dies i will be homeless or live with relatives.

  • Amanda

    I am not a felon, or anywhere close, I have never stolen anything, no drugs, barely any alcohol, I do speed, but that is my criminal background. However, I fell in love with an ex-felon, and married him. At 19, and in love, I had no idea what this really meant, but boy did I find out.
    We have tried to get apartments, only to find out that we were red flagged. You cannot tell me that out of all the people in a relatively large apartment complex, that NONE of them had any priors convictions.
    He is currently unemployed, and friends and family tell us, and send us all kinds of employment opportunities. They really don’t get it. And MR. FELONS DON’T GET RIGHTS doesn’t get it either!! Freakin’ Mickey D’s, Lowes, trash companies, anywhere and everywhere does background checks, which equals no job!
    These felons (it seem there is no such thing as an ex-felon) have families. The families suffer too! So it is my kids fault that daddy stole something when he was a teenager, that causes him to not be able to provide for us. How is a minimum wage job going to pay a house payment, and expenses, feed the family, provide daycare for 2 kids, and have gas money to get to and from work?? MR FELONS DON’T GET RIGHT, why must we suffer too, because self righteous meanies like you think you are better…hmm…are you judging? Are you God?? Nope, but we all know that perfection only exist in God, not humans, so there is sin somewhere in your life, maybe you look at pornos, or want you nextdoor neighbor, or her husband. Stop judging, we all have the right to live. Happily would be nice!

  • Sunrise


  • Sunrise

    hello everyone. I have a mental illness and i am collecting ssi because of it. I feel your pain. I have a misdemeanor and it is hard to get a job because of it. I feel your pain.

  • time2fightback

    Wow!! Felons don’t get rights you are a total jerk. Im a convicted sex offender after I was set up by two juveniles in a correctional facility I worked at where I actually got raped by them and they turned around and said I was forcing them to have sex. So now Im branded for life. You have some loose screws their buddy, not every felon has the same story and everyone deserves a second chance. You might be careful what you say, you have children, and they may end up being felons. I was raised by a very good family and don’t deserve to be where Im at but I am and cant change that. It s just jerks like you that make society the way it is. Why are you even on this blog. You obviously don’t belong here.

  • eric

    Hmmm……Enrico, have you ever went 1 mph over the speed limit? you just committed a crime.

  • not fair

    No who every say it not fair, it’s not fair but hold on because if god forgive other he will also forgive you. There is something out there for you

  • Mom

    The fact that there is even this discussion board is so sad. My son, 25, got in trouble with drugs when he was young. He never sold, just proceeded to destroy himself. One day, an olllld “buddy” of his came to him with a huge sob story about needing to get some money in the bank fast so he could get custody of his daughter.

    My son offered to give him a place to live, he and his daughter, feed them both and give him gas money. The “buddy” told him, he had to have cash in the bank in two weeks to prove to the court he had the funds to care forhis daughter. Asked my son to get some pills for him.

    My son told him, I don’t do that, can’t do it. After 2 weeks of daily pressure, finally my son gave him 3 ecstasy pills that his gf had. GAVE him.

    The buddy was in huge trouble, he was a narc and bought off his time by setting up my son. In one of the pills , there were 3 different drugs, thus, my son is now a convicted felon …FIVE felonies…one for each “DRUG” found in the three pills.

    Here in Montgomery Co Va, the sentence was FIFTY years , first offense. Yes, you heard that right, FIFTY YEARS! He got that suspended with 10 years ACTIVE PROBATION!

    Now, to get to my point…Our prisons are FULL of drug addicts or people who just made bad choices, people who never hurt anyone but themselves, had otherwise always contributed to society. Why are we not “sentencing” these people to inhouse drug rehabilitation programs with job programs and shadowing attached?

    What our criminal justice system has done is answered a “POLITICALLY CORRECT” call from the “public” most of whom really have no idea what these “crimes” for MOST people involve. I honestly don’t think ANY citizen would think what happened to my son here is fair or right.

    What’s happened in smalltown USA here, is , that without a license for the next 4 years!!!!! and his felony convictions, my son will never be able to give back to society. What people don’t understand is that they are missing his TAX DOLLARS , his ability to be productive in his community and his ability to change his life.

    What do these felons do when they come home? They give up, they become depressed, with no job, comes no health insurance soooo… we use the emergency room $1000 + a pop. HMMMM who pays for that? NOT my son, he has not a penny to his name, our community pays for it. How ridiculous is this vicious circle? I’ m honestly embarassed to be a citizen of a country where this is ok.

    My best friend was hunted down and murdered, shot in the chest with a shotgun, by her estranged husband in front of their kids. One of the girls, aged 16 was injured jumping in front of the gun to try to save her mother. How much time did he get? oooooo about 10 years, if that. TEN YEARS FOR MURDER…. 50 for 3 pills…what is wrong with this picture?

    I watch my son , who has completely changed his life…no more friends, because they weren’t friends to begin with, no going out with good people, because they go to bars and clubs for fun, he doesn’t even drink now. No job, no chances, no insurance, no self esteem and under all of this pressure, continuing every single day of his life to NOT use. Why would you want to not use under these circumstances? Life has been closed to you by our judicial system.

    Something has got to change. Until this happened to our upper middle class family, I , like most others was like “well, you did the crime , do the time, thats what you get when you break the law, not supposed to be a joy ride.” But, I had NO idea whatsoever what we turn back into society…bitter, depressed, men and women who have little or no chance, especially in a small town, of being productive and giving something back.

    Lessons learned alright, but what is the lesson now? Sad beyond words. Everyone can’t find the self employment situations or fund them… small towns , everyone knows everyone. I teach, trust me , there are probably parents who don’t want their child in my classroom because of my felon son…. that’s just how life works here. To move, an impossibility for us. 4 children and our life is here, and my husband’s job which he could not do anywhere else.

    My son’s probation officer is a joke. He never returns a call, never helps him find resources, improve his life, nothing but a pee test and “did you pay your fines?” ooo, by the way, $7 k attorney’s fees for nothing, small town so he really didn’t want to cut a deal is what it boiled down to, not kidding…we got that news 5 minutes before the court started. $10k in fines … does a felon, who the judicial system has red lettered into being virtually unemployable ever pay any of that? They don’t, our other children and the families of these people do. We pay, because he can’t and he will go to jail if it’s not paid. No one EVER thinks about how that works as they drive off to their 9-5 jobs, oblivious to what is actually happening. Oblivious to the human cost and the real money cost to them as citizens of this community who imposes a lifetime sentence, so to speak on a lost child, who made one mistake.

    I give up, this is killing us all, and it kills us to see this loving , compassionate young man drown in depression and waste his life away. Good job judicial system, Bravo!!

  • Mom

    To Mr Self Righteous, who will never even come back to this site to read the comments directed to him….

    There are different crimes that receive felony labels…different circumstances and different stories. NON violent crimes, those that hurt that individual who is comitting them , usually towards him or herself, are a whole other category that deserves consideration in help, rehabilitation…drug addiction is an illness and it is usually related to other mental illnesses (bipolar disorder, adhd, etc.) These people can become productive members of society and you wouldn’t have to pay for them in terms of your tax money for their jail time, your tax money for their medical costs, your lack of tax dollars in your community because they can’t own a home and pay taxes or pay them via their work paychecks. I think you should probably do a little more real economic and sociological research rather than spouting off your self-righteous crap, because the wife doesn’t want to spend time with you tonight or your job promotion didn’t come through so you felt the need to vent.

    Also, the lovely programs you mentioned aren’t available to felons!!!!! My son, at 25, had to have 2 teeth pulled (at your expense, basically) because he couldn’t afford the preventive dental care…having no job. Let me applaud you Mr Felons have No Rights. I’m sure you’re sitting in church each Sunday being righteous as hell, what compassion…What Would Jesus Do? Seriously , ask yourself that question…Can you honestly see him reveling in the misery of others? I think he would reach out to those people, putting God and his love above his own perceptions and selfish needs, doncha think????

    I totally agree that there are consequences for actions. My husband and I both have Master’s degrees, have worked since we were 14, sometimes two and three jobs at a time to put us through school, and have never broken the law. I hear ya, Mr. Perfect…unfortunately, one of our children was human, he made a mistake … he was killing himself, so in the end, this probably saved his life and for that I am grateful.

    What I don’t understand is, the punishment was dealt, the monetary compensation back to the public (which honestly, I think they just make new parking lots and buy new toys for the police cars with, I don’t think the public ever really gets any of that.) So, why would Mr. Perfect like to continue to pay for my sons medical bills , as he incurs them and they are written off , i.e. Mr. Perfect’s taxes just went up….Why would you like to go to work every day and work hard, while he sits at home with no job? Why would you like to say “no I’ll pass” on his tax contributions to your community through real estate taxes (even modest homes and trailers pay taxes) and employment taxes?

    Imagine how well off our medicaid and SS systems would be if they had the contributions of these felons from their paychecks!!

    So, to you Mr. Felons have no rights, although you will never read this… I agree with some points, but just like me and my family, before this happened to our son, there is SOOOOO much more to SOME of these stories than your non compassionate heart , ill researched mind have considered to think about.

    And to those who have commited other felonies and ten years have passed and you have changed your lives, you too deserve better. We are human beings, we live , we make mistakes and some of us learn…to those or those willing to go through some rehab (long term) program , there should be an incentive to contribute to society once again, along with the opportunity to do so.

    Someone mentioned above, that this is “phase two” of the punishment….how true that is… it never goes away and no one ever talks about it , perhaps if these discussions were the topics of 60 minutes or some other news show more often, people would take a step back and go OMG, wow, are you serious? Had NOOOOOO idea, ok, that’s just not right. Let’s make some changes.

    But, until we take the money out of politics, the corruption out of our local and national judicial systems, this is an embarrassment our country will endure for years until it is written about in the history books of the next century and someone steps up to the plate and makes some changes.

    • JamesHiner

      It is getting worse,the government is making money from putting people in prison.private prisons are in every state alone and growing.Even if you do follow the law,they will find away to get you tied in to some felony.I liked your words.

  • Only

    I was arrested for a crime that was already investigated and proven not to have happen, I couldn’t afford a lawyer, and was given a p.d. who convinced me to “plea bargen or the prosicutor was going to find a way to put me in prison”.
    I am a master of my trade with excelent work history, as well as referances.
    Yet I cannot even get past the interview.
    I have had companies(large and small) tell me that I was “just what they were looking for”. And did everything but put me on the payroll right there and then.
    I even had one place tell me to show up to start on monday. (this was at 4:00 friday)
    Only to have them tell me, when I showed up “we decided on someone else”.
    Then, I still saw the ad in the paper. Called to see if it was open, and was told(by the secretary) “The position is still open come down and fill out an appilcation”
    The work place is full of nothing but judgemental hypocrates, Every one will tell you how much of a “christian” they are. Then turn around and judge you for something that happined 20 years ago.
    With out even asking you what happined or why.
    I truly hope for an anarcist uprising, so that people can go back to being judged for there present conduct, and not for what some lying cop said two decades ago. Just so that they could get their first arrest.
    And it’s only going to get worse. I am sure that everyone is seeing the commercials for all the background checking sites. And how you can’t let anybody around your family without knowing, who they are.
    America is no longer the land of the free, nor do we have the ability to persue happiness.
    Eventually everyone of you are going to end up on someones list somewhere.
    I agree with the “Fight Club” concept Blow up all the credit(and information) data bases, and let people start over.
    And all you people whom say “just keep trying someone will give you a chance”. You give me a chance! Untill then.
    Pull your heads out of your asses and get real. Look at the world you have created, and how you ignorant,judgemental, afraid of your own shadows idiots have ruined so many good peoples lives.
    No wonder america is crumbling, your nothing but a den of cowards crying about what MIGHT happin.
    This country was built by crimanals, and outcast’s. And your grandpa was right in the middle of them.
    The only way things are going to change is when you(as a business owner) stops insisting on doing backgrowned checks. And starts hireing baised on ability.

  • Ron

    NEVER ADMIT to having a felony; not on a application, not on your resume, not in an interview, and certinally never in online job searches. Avoid employer that you know check backgrounds. Try to duck the question about criminal history and flat out lie if asked directly. Employer don’t ask if they already are going to run a background check.

    MOVE TO ANOTHER STATE or two. When employers say they are going to run a background check, and this goes for landloards too, they are often bluffing. Background checks are expensive, especially if you have lived in more than one state.

    Employers can legally ask if you have ever been convicted BUT the companies that sell that information cannot give out information criminal convictions past 10 years back. It is still illegal under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (pre-9/11 hysteria it was 7 yeas and enployers could not even ask past seven years).

    I have a record and I have only been turned down once (to my knowlege) because of it. I was turned down for a job that paid $11 an hour and got one that paid $20 three weeks later, in the depth of this recession. Thank goodnes for that employer rejection other wise I would be making $9 an hour LESS righ now.

  • Jill

    I work in the jails in Los Angeles county. I am asked every day by an inmate, how the job market is and what are the chances of them being hired with a felony on their record. It is very discouraging to report that I can’t even get a permanent job, and I have no record. I hate to deliver the sad news, but honestly, employers these days don’t have to hire felons when they can just hire the hundreds of others that are applying for their $12.00 per hr. job. I encourage my students to brush up on their Spanish, and to use their time in jail to attend the classes that are provided, since the school district I work for can provide transcripts for the student’s hours without any mention of earning those class hrs while incarcerated. Other than that I can’t of anything I can say that is encouraging about the job market these days. It’s tough out there, and tougher for felons. I think this is a great site, and am going to suggest it to my students.

  • anonymous

    Please, don’t be discouraged! I was convicted of multiple credit card theft and fraud felonies about 10 years ago in VA. Over the years finding good employment while avoiding the issue of background checks has been hell to say the very least. I was turned down by even Target several years ago. However, after years of working menial jobs in retail and processing plants, I was recently hired by a very reputable company with excellent starting wages and benefits with full knowledge of my background. Upon interviewing and signing a background check disclosure form, I submitted a letter of explanation which detailed the crimes for which I was convicted, time and dates served and acceptance of responsibility which I’m certain made my rap sheet a little less disgusting to look at. Good companies are willing to take a chance on some convicted felons depending on the nature of the crime committed. I think when it is an issue of safety and repeat offenses, companies are much more cautious. It’s difficult, I know! But keep your head up and try to stay on a good path. Companies do hire! Good luck to all!

  • Craig

    I think people who have never been rejected on the bases of a grave mistake or mistakes(whatever the case may be) can’t really understand the frustration and discouragement the a person suffers when trying to find a job and being unable to provide for yourself or those depending on you.I’m a recent trade school graduate and i’m living with my brother because i’ve been unemployed for the last two years.I’ve had several job interviews where the interviewer was so impressed with my quilifications and positive attitude that they offered me the position right on the spot,until they discovered that I was an felon(I say felon because when do you really become an “ex” felon).I’m not going to give up on my attempts to find a well paying job because that’s not an option but this issue needs to be thrust to the forefront of the minds of our policy makers while there’s a national job and employment debate going on in this country right now,there has to be real enforcement of existing laws on the books that prevent employers from rejecting job applicants and denying jobs to people simply for having any convictions at all,until we make enough noise about this issue companies are going continue to do what they’ve been doing and that’s practicing discrimination(which is against the law).Check out my blog and share your views on this issue and many other socially important issues facing us today.

  • aks2

    Right on “Mom”. I couldn’t agree more, and you already said the majority of anything I would care to comment!

  • Alec

    Anyway, I clap vigorously when I see someone on the news that’s just snapped and killed a bunch of people. Or the drug dealer who shoots it out with the cops and kills a couple of innocent people in the process. I applaud you guys! Because it’s going to take a lot of that sort of thing to bring anyone’s fucking attention to the fact that societal blacklisting a person for employment for the rest of their life is not a way of re-rehabilitation that allows a person to do the right thing even if the right thing is what they want to do. All you felons out there, sorry, there’s currently NO HOPE for you. Proceed with a life of crime. At least this way you don’t have to feel like a worthless piece of shit every day because you cannot get a job. You create your own by slingin’ drugs or something? You know where you fit in at…if you were meant to be a productive citizen society would have made it so hard to get a fucking job dumbass. You know there’s only one way you can get the self respect and dignity you deserve. And it’s not by turning in apps to your local shitty fast food restaurant and getting denied a position because you got a felony when you were 20 years old. Do what you’ve been beckoned to do.

  • Brent h

    Amway can work for you

  • Brent hArris

    There is no back ground check in Amway Norman ok

  • SecondClass

    I love this place. I’ve only been out 5 months and after doing 7 years I haven’t even been able to get close to a job. Every day I wake up feeling like I might just be better off dead, and I read the stuff here and know that this isn’t my plight alone. There should be more than a discrimination act. There should be a seperate country. Society and God are so detached from each other that people have been allowed to live without the capacity to forgive. Money is the absolute evil in our society now. I would rather use one million dollars to hire ten ex felons and generate looping income for them in masse, than count my blessings and just live off the money. People should start doing for people again.

    God watches.

    • gala20

      I just read your post that is a year old. A wise comment. Wonder if you would still hire ex felons and generate a change.

  • Animal

    “ANYONE who commits a crime in my book deserves NO second chances and I thank god each day they will NEVER make it in society”

    To Enrico- If we’re not gonna let ex-convicts reintegrate into society after finishing their sentences, then what’s the point of letting them out of prison in the first place? Maybe we should just line them all up in front of machine guns and blow them away? Or be like Hitler and gas them all?

    When we deny employment to felons, as well as financial assistance or any means to better themselves, all too often they are left with little alternative but to return to the activities that got them locked up in the first place. Remember that many of them have kids to feed and house, and when they can’t feed those kids because they can’t find work, that’s all too often a major cause of them returning to criminal activity, rather than watch their loved ones starve.

    • Rene

      This is targeted at the first comment: “ANYONE who commits a crime in my book deserves NO second chances and I thank god each day they will NEVER make it in society”: who ever wrote this must be GOD, or a perfect person, you know I would love to be next too you in heaven when you have to answer to your perfect life! -Rene

      • Tmac31365

        I agree Rene, it may not be you (in general) that makes a mistake, it could possibly be your child/grandchild or someone blood related to you. People should be careful what they say because Karma has a way of bringing things back around. We all have made mistakes and guess what? we will make more, we’re all human.

    • charlie mac donald

      your a total dumb*** THAT LIVES INSIDE A DUMB*** BOX

    • Animal

      I’m a dumbass? Or the person I was replying to?

    • Wadealdridge48

      you suck dick

      i hope your kids go to jail and get out and cant find a job bitch

      • Freeman1776

        Wadealdridge48, your attitude and language doesn’t do a damn thing to promote our effort as ex felons trying to reach out to the public and make them understand us better.

        Unless, you are a plant by some religious group intent on tarnishing our image.

        If you are doing this on your own, back away buddy, start to act more mature, you are ruining it for those of us who are really trying to be straight and accepted by our communities.

        • Animal

          My guess is that Waldy’s a troll trying to stir things up.

          • Freeman1776

            Hey Animal, about this moron “Wadealridge48″, I flagged his comment for the moderator to review. Please, if you or anyone else sees it, flag it as inappropriate. It has nothing to do with this discussion and creates more adversity than it does dialog.

          • Anonymous

            We have removed the inappropriate comment!  Thanks for flagging.

      • Tony K

        you are a bad example with your foul language and you are an embarrassment to those of us who fight for respect for ourselves.

      • Animal

        Hope my kids go to jail? What for? For asking what the point was of letting people out of prison if we weren’t gonna let them reintegrate into society?

    • DesBlexrude

      Here is some thought for you animal!!!A friend of mine mother get stab 118 time,this is in front of her daughter who’s 18yrs she try to help her mother stay alive buy finding a baseball bat and trying to stop this man fromkilling her mother. The daughter is doing 13yrs in CDC Womans Prison.For trying to save her mother life…….. I wonder God would say to you if this was your MOTHER….

      • Animal

        In prison for defending her mother? What was she supposed to do? Let her assailant have his way? And what happened to the person who stabbed her mom? Sounds like she’s got strong grounds to appeal her conviction.

        • Wruffner

          reformed ex pot grower now securrity officer my knowlege in crime is advantage for me and the sucessful company i work for

    • Mvpcandace

      You are stupid…and not only that you are not God. So, you have no right to judge anyone. Plus, I’d bet my last dollar that you’ve committed at least ten crimes over your life time…you just never got caught. So shut the hell up, because it could have easilty been you.

      • Animal

        Did you see the quotation marks on the first sentence on my initial post? That was originally posted by Enrico, whom I was quoting- scroll up and check it out. The rest of my initial post is MY REPLY to him.

    • Tte

      I bet you committed a crime even just speeding or cheating on taxes something. You will be judged as you judge others. However people should be accountable for their actions

  • adam smith

    So, since the last time I posted my pizza place closed thanks to poor planning on my part, and a little help from Bush killing the economy. I’m happy I read what Enrico wrote. It’s good to see there are still some morons in America. I wonder if Enrico knows that Jesus gave a second chance to a lot of people including a hooker, and later a thief.
    Anyway, after losing everything and closing, I moved to a different part of the state to be closer to my girlfriend and her family, and found a job at a pizza place delivering. It’s not glamorous, but it’s paid bills so far. Tomorrow I am actually looking to get hired at one of two new places. Hopefully I can keep two jobs, manage about 60 hours, and go back to making upwards of $1,000 a week :)
    I had a few ideas that might help other people, even if it only helps one of you. Some things I am working on right now for money: I buy domain names and am developing some of them. My main website you can find just by clicking my name. Be warned though: I have copyrights on all the work there. I’m also working on a book about certain life experiences in a genre that has never been done before. Not a single time :) I am also working on an ebay store. Right now I am at 47 sales, 100% rating and 4.97 of 5 for my DSR. There are wholesale websites out there that you can compare with the better business bureau for reputable resources that you can buy in bulk and resell on ebay or amazon. A criminal record doesn’t affect that.
    Lastly, and once again: start your own business. Wash windows, start a pizza place, paint houses, anything. Do it cheaper than the next guy. Do a great job. Always make sure your customer is happy even if it costs you money. People will flock to you.
    Yes, your dream of being an engineer might be over, but it doesn’t mean you have to settle for less either. Now it’s just harder. Not impossible. Don’t give up!

  • Adam Smith

    Alec: You’re posting the wrong kind of message on here. If YOU can’t get a job because of your past, you’re either shooting yourself in the foot by volunteering information or just not applying at the right places. Like someone said, Amway doesn’t check and there are others. Some have things like “in the last 5 years”. Some employers just trust you. I worked at the world headquarters for Subway in Milford, CT doing computer work and they never checked. I worked at a world headquarters for Dazzle Incorporated and they never checked. And I worked at a Walmart and they never checked. Not to mention all the little guys that won’t even bother to check because they need workers and don’t want to pay for the search. The guy I work for now would never have hired me if he checked. A year later and I still work there. With cash every day. I’ve also never gave employers a reason to check.

    • Lvwanat34

      Did these employers ask why you left your last job? If that’s where you got the felony, what did you tell your new employers as to why you left there? What about when they ask to contact the employer you got into trouble with? What did you tell them? Also, did you have a large period of time where you didn’t work? If so, did these employers ask about that time period?

      • Micheal

        the things we look for help but in ways, nobody cares or doesnt want to listen due to people like us or friends and families that has a past convictions and do everything the State says, its all hogwash… Here is the true grit of USA and how it became famous and yet people that knows these history doesnt want to put down that USA isn’t involved or declaring to not telling the truth by manipulating or Judicial, Legislative, and Executive and all the rest of political trash that the State and Government officials want for you to hear and witness to their own sick and twisted junk… from day 1where the immigrants were the English settlers and in our history about Christopher Columbus days, we left and sought and found a new place and settled in USA and said somewhat of that we are tired of paying taxes and bared arms and fought the British off due to the Boston Tea Party, and won and look now we are paying taxes, don’t ask for the government to help you cause its like everywhere else, if you don’t have money then don’t cry to us (the state officials), here are some examples to our government is so screwed up and yet we ask ourselves why??? Everything to the Government including State officials, are crooked, why don’t they all sign a paper stating if they get caught then everything they own whether its in the US or out of the State be given to the nearest church or people looking for to get back on there feet, including the ex-cons that has fulfilled everything from trying to stay out of trouble…. They wont do it due to the thanks of lawyers manipulating (another word for lying), bending the laws but actually in judicial and legislative terms means to actually lie….  Here is another thing that the laws are so crooked and doesnt have anything to say about how stupid our laws is…. We are supposed to know about our laws in USA when we approach a judge if not, then some are asked if we don’t know about there racial words and lies, just to sucker us to become guilty and not telling us later how it devastates our lives by pleading Guilty or become Guilty by Bench trial or Jury trials, what a joke how the government officials have us wrapped on our little fingers telling us do to what the LAW says, these laws are so stupid just for the government just to get your money and or ruin anyone’s lives…. we need to make a stand and change USA to what it really is known for Liars from the beginning or change and not a democrat country or a republican country but it should be called ISA Immigrant States of America and that we fight for freedom and hope and work for our families and friends and our new Era in Humane Society, not the Governments telling us what we can or cant do, remember we took this land away from the Indians the true Americans are them… I believe if the Government makes mistakes and are allowed a way back into office or work in an official branch, then all ex-cons trying to make an example to be given the same treatment and not be justified by our laws and consider that, that’s in the past and its time to make amense, and be allowed to work at any level of job as long as he/she isn’t doing anything and staying out of trouble from our Governments and that NO Job Employment should have the rights to look up our records and be given a fair rights to have or look for a job and be allowed to have a job and not worrying about people gossiping about our Pasts….

    • Littleonejr

      Its true Adam, I never gave my employers a reason to check. Matter of fact I was more loyal to the company then the other employees who worked with me. I just want to say thanks, your words did lift me some…

      • JamesHiner

        yes that was up lifting

  • Adam Smith

    People, reading some of your comments, you really need to stop being cynical. We put ourselves in this position. Yes, it is truly frustrating, but our opinions might be different about this stuff if we never did any crime and the other guy did.

    Calling people hypocrites doesn’t help. You know that some of them are. And? Does complaining about the way things are help your situation, or do ideas on how to get out of the situation help? If I ever win Powerball, I’ll hire all of you. We’ll all sit down at a big round table and figure out what to create.

    Seriously though, never stop dreaming, never give up. We can win this. I would bet most of the people on here have found jobs already. The job market is tough for everyone right now. Give it some time.

  • Venting today

    Well my husband thought he finally found a person to give him a chance. He told the complete truth. I have Felonies at his interview. When he was hired the corporate manager he interviewed with stated “Don’t let your past define your future.” then a week later fired him for the same felonies the company had previous knowledge of. The background check show the same information he filled out for them on the application.

    Within a week he worked seventy-one hours without complaint. He learned alignments within a day. He even received a tip from a customer for the care he gave his trailer tires.

    He was so happy that somebody gave him a chance. Sad times when a person can not provide a living no matter how hard they try to change for the better.

    We will keep on moving forward. Just needed a place to vent for today.

  • asg

    I have been reading all the differrent comments. Today, I have been brought to tears because there are other families like mine going through the same things and its sad that this crisis is being ignored. Everyday I wonder what steps can be taking or where do we start to get this changed. This is a problem whether people realize it or not matters can get worst, if this is not addressed…. For those people who are so harsh towards felons and their families we will pray that GOD be with you! My husband has a felony, so for the ladies thats going through these tough times with our husband keep the faith, keep encouraging them even when its hard and know that OUR LORD does not sleep nor slumber. Best wishes to you all

    • Wruffner

       there are people out there that forgive im ex pot grower and my current boss actually stole me from cleaning crew to promote me 2 security after i told him about my past its an advantage. dont give up if he has truely changed. turn bad into good! if he hasnt changed leave now! i beat the odds i am nothing but thankfull for the suspended imople likeposition i got i can lie on gun apps job apps any apps anbd the law is on my side it says i can lie on any app and cannot be held liable 4 pergery 4 any reason under any law! if ur man got susp imp talk to a lawer there are things u probably dont know  i was shoked 2 know i could guns and a gaming liscense now i got respect and good job  also guns to protect against people like rob the hunter

  • Mama Mia

    Well don’t feel alone. Nowadays you can’t even get a job if you are a smoker. I am an RN and can’t find a job. My last employer was affiliated with a big company, that owns all the hospitals around here, and they have a Tobacco Free Environment. So my rights to smoke are not rights at all. But I refuse to quit, especially now.
    Another thing, I was working for 8 yrs and some co workers just did not like me, because I stood for what is right, or just because I am quiet not gossipy,and they thought I did not like them. I was harassed and bullied out of the place, terminated.
    And so I want you all, it is hard out there. I have no answer, except the run your own business thing.
    Good luck and god bless you!

  • my2cents

    This is for the poster of felons should have no rights. Out of curiosity did you vote for Obama?

    Quoted from Obama’s book. “I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though…”

    Admitted drug use, doesn’t this qualify him as a felon? Not a convicted felon because he wasn’t caught, yet he is trusted to run our country. Had he been caught, he wouldn’t be trusted to flip a burger, or bring the shopping carts in from the parking lot.

    In an interview during his Senate race, Obama said he admitted using drugs because he thought it was important for “young people who are already in circumstances that are far more difficult than mine to know that you can make mistakes and still recover.

    Don’t convicted felons deserve the same chance to recover?

    “I think that, at this stage, my life is an open book, literally and figuratively,” he said. “Voters can make a judgment as to whether dumb things that I did when I was a teenager are relevant to the work that I’ve done since that time.”

    Had he been caught and convicted, he would would have a whole new outlook on how dumb mistakes affect your life.

    • Sunshine

      First of all it is a excellent choice voting for Obama. As you can see he doesn’t discriminate, like all the employers who are shutting people down because of their past. Obama also want to focus on getting employers to hire people with felons because he knows from speaking with many people how hard it is.

  • tennessee

    where do i go to get help just got out monday.need help getting a grant for school need cloths and etc…

  • siobhan

    What this is called is “the invisible punishment.”
    Ex-offenders who had plea guilty to a criminal offense because of a so-called “plea bargain” would soon find out that paying your debt to society by doing your time in prison is only the beginning of your punishment. Once you are a convicted felon, you have that label for life, even if you want to go straight that tag will be with you for as long as you live. you cannot vote, get public housing, health and welfare benefits, and trying to get a job is almost impossible no matter how minor your offense was. even trying to get private housing is impossible. You have that little box on the applications that you are now compelled to check off about your ccriminal history.
    Then to add on to it their is the catch 22 about getting out of prison with the shirt on your back and barely enough money to treavel anywhere. That day you do get out where do you sleep, or get food to eat, how do you survive? If you do get a low waged job, you make $8.00 an hour if your lucky, and most of that goes to paying rent, and personal needs, then the rest goes to court fees, parole fees,etc. you do not have enough to pay off the orginal fines that were put on you, and if you don’t, you can be put back into prison! If your a minority, then you are sh*t out of luck, because this is the new form of discrimination against minorities!

  • http://freedomforexconvictsisfullofsh* siobhan

    When you are talkingto the police or a lawyer they don’t tell you the consequences of a guilty plea, and what it will do to you. some of the minor charges may be dropped anyways if you plea not guilty, and may be better off. But it depends on what the charge is and where it is.
    But if as one of the bloggers stated :criminals don’t deserve a second chance” I have to disagree with you. Maybe if we didn’t condemn them to a civil and social death after parole, they might not be tempted to repeat their criminal activities because they have no other way to survive since the state and government and society don’t see them as citisens any more.

  • Chris


    I’m white and I can’t find work. This has nothing to do with race. There is very little for us. No one is interested in whether or not we’ve rehabilitated. There are 1,000 other people who will do the same job we’re applying for, and they don’t have records.

  • Emily

    My husband has a 5th degree felony for breaking and entering in 2001 and hasn’t had a good job that lasted longer than 1 month since. It’s terrible. We finally saved up enough to hire a lawyer to look into whether he can get his felony expunged in Ohio. Well, one phone call with a lawyer was all it took to find out he’s not eligible in Ohio since he is not considered a one-time offender. (He also has a few misdemeanors) The lawyer didn’t charge us anything thankfully. But after much research online I learned there is currently a bill that has been proposed in the Ohio Senate (Ohio Senate Bill 291) that would change some laws, one of which would allow certain offenders who are not considered one-time offenders to have their record sealed in court. Amen to that! I emailed the Ohio Senator that is the sponsor of the bill and thanked her and she said I could email the other senators to try to gain more support of the bill. I encourage you to do the same! This would be a great step in the right direction. I wish a national bill would pass like this though. I think I will write to Obama. I received several email replies from some of the other Ohio senators saying they feel this issue is very important and are watching the progression of the bill in the senate. Very encouraging! I am even thinking of having my husband and I speak at the state senate committee hearing when this bill is debated on. (The bill hasn’t been assigned to a committee yet) Everyone please work on emailing your state represenatives to express your concerns and tell them your story. We must act for change!


    HEITK // Mar 26, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Wow I wrote this 1 1/2 year ago. Well I’ve gained almost 60 bls since I wrote this. My unemployment will soon be goon.

    With the Republicans in the house, I know that there will be no extension. I will now have to live in a shelter with on hope and no chance of a better day. I pray for death every morning. I’ve lost all of my friends, because of the deep depression.

    I now have a two year gap on my resume’, Companies will not consider the unemployed, I will be 50 this year and I’m a 18 years old felon.

    I don’t think that I’m going to make it.


    its the people who submit laws to there congreesman or woman.we as the people need to get a law past for felons who have completed there sentence and are free from parole or there to be no back ground check or criminal history. why to protect the public.we are the public and people make mistakes.get together and rally on your state capital.its time to get are lifes back together.or the goverment needs to refine the search the only jobs not applying to your if a drug dealer want to work at a have a program set up to were only pharmacy back ground checks only exstend as far as as people whith drug cases. no other information should be submited. please pass on the ideas and get things changed we need a change.we want are lifes back!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rob the Hunter

    Many felons leave prison only to go right back again. They love the free food, free shelter, free clothing, free medical care, free haircuts, the freedom from responsibility, and the freedom to lift weights or watch TV all day, or whatever. Freedom and society mean absolutely NOTHING to them. So why should we give them any rights or priveleges that they’ve already proven unfit to deserve? As far as I’m concerned, their families can take care of them for the rest of their lives. Their families obviously did a poor job of raising them, so they can assume the burden as their punishment.

    • Hvac491

      go shoot yourself hunter

    • Onejahaya

      @ Rob the Hunter
      Some people actually want to change, you cant judge everybody based on a few bad apples. What if it happened to you? you would want a second chance. Things happen in life and no ones perfect so stop judging because you dont know what your future or kids future will be.

    • Tony K

      Rob, you are lumping all ex offenders into one image. First, let me remind you that you are only bringing up “many felons” and not all, and you are doing a disservice to those of us that are not on your “many felons” list. You have nothing at all to say about those of us who are the “few felons” who are the ones who have served our time and have become good citizens.

      No Rob, you only focus on the the “many” bad ones, rather then than the “few” good ones. Your view have been tainted by a few bad apples and now you condemn “many” of us without as much as benefit of the doubt.

      So, on the one hand, you want to send felons back because YOU think “many felons” are just plain lazy and want to sit it out the rest of their lives in jail, and you probably feel that the key should be throw away and just let them rot in jail.

      On the other hand, you also want safe streets and so you love your police and your prisons because they afford you protection from the “many felons” whom you have decided are just unappreciative and care less about “freedom and society”.

      What I sense here is, a very scared man who would find a wild lion in the African peninsula such a danger just by looking at it, that you’d probably shoot it dead and ask questions later. You wont let a loose lion just pass you by and go its way because you dont want to encounter it again and have to FEAR it yet again. So, its better to just eliminate the lion.

      Same with ex offenders, you dont care about the fact that they have served their sentence, that means absolutely nothing to your Rob. It doesn’t mean anything to you when you hear that some ex felon has gotten an education, volunteered in their community, raised a family and even opened their own business. Nope, all that means nothing at all to poor scared Rob.

      Finally, lets discuss your lack of religious convictions. You lack the basic skills of another human to forgive and give others another chance. If you were religious, you might have discovered that there are many religious organizations who are heavily involved in rehabilitating and assisting ex felons to return to society as viable citizens. They do this not because they are paid to do so, but because they have something you don’t have, a compassionate and forgiving heart.

      I will bet you anything that if someone in your family was ever convicted and you kept up communications with them by visiting and writing to them, you would be there for them and care about how they reenter society. Only then will your heart soften up and allow you to see clearer and spend less time criticizing and more time helping the cause of forgiveness.

      Right now you are so blinded by fear and ignorance, that you say things which you are not even sure if your statistics (“many felons” ) are correct. In other words, you engage mouth before engaging brain. Guess what Rob? There are more compassionate and smarter ex felons on the streets than you. So, stop acting so “smart” and righteous and get off your high horse and do some research about ex offender programs which work on helping ex offenders reenter society. Do some research on some unknown but true achievements by ex felons. Learn how many have been more than productive but helpful to society. The reason is, because most of us truly want to prove we are better than people like YOU think we are. We try harder.

      I hope this response educates you somewhat and some of your fellow mediocre philosopher friends who think they know everything. Perhaps you might learn to be more humble and forgiving after you read what ex offenders have to say on your trivial but hurtful comments.

      • Emmdog

        love your well-written, cogent reply to rob the hunter, tony k. !

      • Littleonejr

        Well said Tony K…..

    • Emmdog

      Speaking to the idea that “their families obviously did a poor job of raising them” :  Consider the possibility that at a certain point in life people make choices of their own, because of their own thoughts and perceptions, their own weaknesses and hurts:  far apart from the choices that their parents might make. 

       I for one, am a law abiding, moral, loving human being.  I was a compassionate, patient, loving mother and yet I have a son who is a drug addict.  I also have a daughter who is moral, hard working, highly educated and a successful leader in her chosen field.  Hmmmmm…….

      My son is currently serving prison- time for his wrongs.  As a moral person, I believe he needs to pay for those wrongs, and— hopefully—he will find the strength to overcome his addiction and change the associated behaviors. 

      I believe our society should end the punishment the moment the felon is released from prison.  Time served. Done.  (except in the case of violent crime– rape included, or child molestation)–that is a different story.

      As a society it would be better for all of us if that felon was ACCEPTED as
      a productive citizen again, given the opportunity for employement and encouraged to re-design themselves into laudable citizens.  That is what I call a “hand-up” to the person behind me:  opportunity, and respect.

      Rob the hunter, you sound VERY judgemental. 



    • Big Sexy

      You are a stupid ass idiot. U don’t know a thing about what someones family has done. Haven’t you seen someone on death row executed only to find out that they were innocent later. My uncle was charged and arrested for robbery because a white woman said he raped and sexually assaulted her. She identified him in a lineup because he was black.

      Well come to find out two months later as he sat in jail the damn robber sexually assaulted her again with a condom and robbed her so she felt guilty and confessed to the police that she had the wrong guy. My uncle lost his job and his apartment all because someone told a lie on him and was was a honest hardworking father and husband. Get the facts before you comment you stupid ass idiot. The justice system isn’t fair.

    • Wruffner

      some of us change honestly not many do but i am nothing but thankfull for my 2nd chance suspended imposition i can lie on applications and its legal no record u would never know about my indiscression if i worked 4 u and u would never guess i was pot grower 4 living  im buisness savvy due to that i can spot shady people mile away now its advantage i took the good and bad with me to use for good purposes all positivity

  • Rob the Hunter

    You felons with kids should’ve thought about that before you broke the law. You’re not doing them any favors by keeping them. If you have any regard for them at all, you’ll put them up for adoption. There are plenty of law abiding families who will be more than willing to adopt them and give them a better home than you are likely to give them.

    • post

      You are a poor excuse for a human being. People like you, make even the honest citizens look bad. Karma is a B—-, and buddy, you will get slapped in the face one day.

    • Wruffner

      you are cold as ice forgiveness led me to a better life and understanding that i done wrong by violating the law was key to changing .laws and morals are two different things my clients claimed that if it werent for my high quality pot they would be still bying meth and heroin i thought i was helping them. PEOPLE HUMANS make mistakes I WAS WRONG. if u have beef with me visit me but dont forget i got suspended imposition so i got concealed gun permit and would defend MY house that i OWN and my FAMILY but u should realize SOME people change and with security cams every where that can back up truth WATCH YOUR STEP

    • Ashlie

      Who the fuck are you to judge us? I hope God have mercy on your soul. I may be a convicted felon, but cant nobody be a mom to my kids better than I can. Nothing can top a good mother’s love. Do you not realize that being in an orphange or with an adopted family could ultimatly turn my kids to a life of crime and violence as well? Educate yourself before you open your dam mouth. When I commited my crimes I worked three jobs and just still was not enough. My felony convictions have inspired me to go to school and get a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I plan on working as a Probation Officer and am currently trying to figure out what I can do to help better the lives of other convicts. Whether that be a halfway house, a program, trying to change the laws…. I dont know yet but I am actively seeking out answers!! Everyone on here is right, there is not much if anything out there for us and it is sad.


    Please do not respond to Rob the Hunter he is a troll. Please don’t give him any power.


  • Chris

    If people really believe that ex-felons should be unable to obtain gainful employment or housing for life, why do we have sentencing guidelines and laws, and why do we let anyone go (ever)? Why not just impose life without parole for all felony convictions? Sometimes it seems like life would be better in prison than homeless on the streets.

    Honestly, things are worse for people who were sentenced to probation and never went to prison than those who were released from prison on parole or at the end of their sentences. There are Federal tax credits and bonding programs to entice employers to offer work, but only to those who were in prison. For those who were “lucky” enough to have only got probation, there is no help from anywhere.

    The only escape is to work to change the laws concerning which employers may seek background checks and how far in the past information may be accessed or used in the hiring process. Really, nothing else will suffice. Employers must be required to demonstrate a valid business reason to seek criminal history (or credit history for that matter). There’s no reason that someone with a 25 year old non-violent conviction can’t be a door-greeter at Walmart, but they won’t hire you.

    • Ctucker2329

      Luck! Is that what we call it now? I always thought it was called a RAT! 

    • Sara Corona

      Hello Chris,

      I am a conviction from 2001, and I was able to obtain a job from Walmart, they have the Tax Credit Program which gives kick backs and tax breaks to organization that are affilated with these programs. I think you should try again.

      Best Wishes

      Sara Corona

      • Kymdjac97

        what state

  • Czar

    I got into some trouble a few years ago for something beyond my control at the time and cannot get work anywhere. Worked at an nursery for a bit but the boss was alcoholic and used me as a scapegoat until a coworker thought she’d try to set me up for stealing from the register. She really was a thief, stealing from the company and other employees. I was forced to leave or be a crash-dummy. Crazy too because she was the broke one with substance abuse problems. I had 50k in the bank of Iraq war blood money at the time. The parole officer kept hounding me to get a job, not work for myself so I trusted a deacon/youth pastor of my lifelong church with a landscape and a network marketing business and he stole everything from me and left me homeless and won’t even let me have usefull things I see him throwing out. I think I can count the number of true christians I’ve met in my life on one hand. Anyway, now that I’m off supervised release I ebay things, sometimes things I make, I’m sort of a house husband to my fiance, and I’m gardening. When I say gardening I’m talking John Jeavons biointensive style. I built a geodesic dome greenhouse and am starting seeds. I was almost done with a bach. in horticulture before it hit the fan. If you’re not afraid of work, you can make 100,000$ per acre per year according to some experiences. That’s 40 hours a week with a few months off in the winter. You can sharecrop sort of. There’s people out in the sticks willing to sell or rent land cheap. You can live primitively out there too, like in a geronimo style scout pit, until you have some money coming. Learn your local native edible plants and hog down. Get a hunting license (so you don’t get more time) and learn to trap and fish. Father Water and Mother Woods are overflowing with fine meals. Or even guerilla grow valuable crops like you would pot. Just be smart and don’t plant anything illegal or get caught trespassing. I used to do that as a kid with a borderline personality disorder stepfather who wanted me dead so I could eat. No one is born a great gardener but it was what man was originally designed for. Define, learn, do. Get John Jeavon’s book, learn, and do it. Wanna learn how to swim you gotta jump in the water. There’s a huge and growing market for that kind of stuff too. That money is often cash that you can eat/drink/wear. If you do get audited, feed a bs line on how you are breaking even after fertilizers and herbicides and failed crops and fungicides and pesticides and all that. Create wealth that goes back into your community, improve their lives, their health, their nutrition. Would they rather arrest you on tax evasion and have to foot the bill to house you in the fed instead? Invest the legit money according to’s Bill O’neill’s How to Make Money in Stocks. You’ll average 30% a year in the long run. I was introduced to it by a big time crack dealer who got tied up in the whole big Iran contra-coke-Freeway Ricky Ross-Nicuaragua sandanistas thing. It’s the only system the guys in the fed with big money actually use. Until you understand the Rich Dad Poor Dad cash flow quadrant and put yourself in the business/investing side, you will be poor and with no security whether you have a felony or not. Take you lives back fellow felons. Get more free than the 9-5 mooks will ever imagine. The best revenge is a life well lived. Hold your head up, your not beat yet. Remember Coolhand Luke, Andy Dufrain, Papillon. We will come out the other end of a river of shit and scream “Hey you bastards, I’m still here!” Youtube “homegrown revolution” for something that will really fire you up. I’ve served my country, watched dogs eat children, survived the prison of the federal prisons, seen folks shot in the face, head sawed off, ground to hamburger, piles of corpsed burned, eaten weeds and bugs and oak moss and lichens and ash and bones and more. Like Led Zepplin said- cryin won’t help you, prayin won’t do you no good. It also take action and positive attitude. Watch Joel Osteen’s free streaming video sermons when you’re down. Self discipline brings you more freedom than obese, self righteous tards will ever taste. There are inmates I’ve met that I trust more than my mother and I plan to hire them when I get more land and they get out. I’d like to dedicate Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down to all you holy rollers out there.

  • lifesucks

    this is an older article but still relevant.
    i have a 1 time felony conviction stemming from a minor shoplifting incident in Jan. ’04 (the po claimed i intentionally tried to and struck him in the leg twice while I was trying to drive off) My story is of course different but I had NO witnesses. The store owner dropped larceny charges that’s how minor it was but the felony conviction the State charged and convicted me for is assualt on po so on paper I am a very violent chick not someone anybody want to hire lest I go postal too. My lawyer did nothing on my behalf other than get me a suspended jail sentance. The whole thing was surreal. I stole less than $25 of groceries and am being convicted of the most violent crime. it was truly painful to plead guilty “because I am” I lied 99%, 100% if the judge thought this was intentional. According to the po ER records he suffered NO injuries so i don’t see how he got away with claiming i assaulted him (2ce!) in the leg. I did not even knock him to the ground so any actual contact with my car would of have to have been like a light touch, um like I was there and witnessed the entire thing? Anyhow been w/o a job for 26 months and living off life savings and Section 8/Food stamp card whic is very nerve wracking as you have to keep re-applying. 18 interviews and the reason I dont get the job is “we found someone who is a better fit/suited” meaning: we found someone with NO record. Getting a pardon in CT is impossible i’ve submitted 2ce and been denied due to “serious nature of the crime”. I dont know what will happen to me and the rest of us if we can’t earn some money, there is no cash assistance for single childless adults under 65 and in CT the record follows you forever not to mention the online police blotter which in my case turns up on the first few pages of my name search like multiple times as must’ve been written by the officer himself as it really puts me in a very bad light, even i woudl not interview or hire someone described there. Self employment for me would likely not be possible as anyone doing business with me could easily look up the police blotter, i was thinking of cleaning houses but that scare people off.

    • Pattyanne2008

      I am in total agreement. This system is horrible. Think of our government officals, police officers , priest, etc…..who have committed crimes and either not got caught or made them disapear. It pays to have money or pretige , you have a lot better chance on making it back thru having a felony.

  • Kevykev2020

    This is what I think should take place as an ex-offender myself..but first let me tell you what I was convicted of..drugs[$50 worth of crack in nj.]I sold this to an undercover officer by in no way am I proud of this,I was sentence to 3yrs prison time I did 16mths of it. mostly in a program behind the walls,the rest on parole thats that…7rs later I’m having trouble finding a job,i can’t apply to certain mgmt apartment complexes for housing in nj.I’m not eligible to receive monetary assistance for housing being it temporary or permanment nor cash assistance all I receive is 200 hundred dollars in food stamp this is my current income per month because nobody want to hire me..I did not do any violent crime what so ever I just tried to take care of myself for that moment of time but I was breaking the law and I had to[PAY TO PLAY]but that was then and I dont even live that way now,but I’m STILL PAYING WHY!!!I would be wrong if I go back to what I was doing then.. right..,I’ll be wrong if I commit another crime knock someone over the head and rob them right!!but dont worry I’m not going to do that.Im much smarter now than what I’m trying to say is that ex-offender jobs or people having problems finding one should be able to use some kind of Id to get them a job by at the same time monitored by the state witch they where convicted and by the social services that are renderd stating the fact that they are ex-offenders and help these people along the way…

  • Darrel From Zeeland

    What a bunch of fucking whiners here. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. The only sad thing here is that the jury, prosecutors, and judges didn’t have the balls to do the right thing and remove you losers and troublemakers from society permanently, or better yet, send your sorry worthless asses to meet your maker. If our judicial system wasn’t a fucking joke, most of you would’ve been hanged or fried for your crimes right after you were found guilty.

    • charlie macdonald

      u need a good a** whipn

    • Tony K

      Darrel from Zeeland, you are a sick puppy!! I can’t believe you throw a blanket statement that every felon or ex felon should be shot or hanged. Each situation is different, and some are thrown in jail because of corrupt legal system or cops. Yet you brainless in Zeeland are so full of hate and contempt that you can’t take time to find out what we, ex felons, have done to better ourselves or what we have done for the community. I’ve volunteered for three organizations, saved two lives, got a degree, two certifications from trade schools, and have two college educated daughters.

      And here you sit at your computer, being so almighty righteous and perfect and condemning those of us who made a mistake once in our lives to be hanged or shot. Its amazing that people are afraid of ex felons and not of people like YOU.

  • Jon


  • Tony K

    AS an ex felon myself, I can appreciate this couple’s dilemma with having to speak out about a previous record. Brian, I agree with you that its best to be honest, but I am not sure that its “the law” to state such information. It may come back and haunt the applicant if its discovered they lied, but they wont be charged with any crime, just loss of a job.

    So, the issue is clearly a moral issue of how do you rejoin society if the truth will cause you to be discriminated against. My felony dates to 1967, served 23 months of a 30 year sentence, let out on GOOD BEHAVIOR 1969. I have also done volunteer work and one such three year volunteer task was working with ex felons and new felons recently charged about to be sent to prison for a lengthy stay. One of my roles was counseling inmates and helping them return to society.

    In all my times of group counseling, I never advised anyone to state that they have a record. This was in Chicago, and in those days, only governmental agencies and banks etc. were doing a thorough criminal background check. I knew from my experience, that my case happened in the US Army, in Texas, and a few years had passed since I arrived in Chicago. I knew that I would be able to slide under the radar without notice if I avoided jobs that did background checks. My having worked for Dean Witter for a year, and two other companies that did background checks on me to make me bondable to work with them. My background has never been compromised and I’ve never filled out any form telling people I was an ex felon.

    Like the husband of the woman who wrote to you, I too have been to college, two trade schools, graduated with high marks, and dont have even a traffic ticket after 42 years of being free. You see Brian, I have done all I can to be a viable citizen of my community by educating myself, donating my time to three voluntary organizations for a few years, having a family and a home, and above all, staying out of trouble. My offense was a youthful indiscretion and not deserving for a boy of 18 to have to grow up as an adult and have to wear a scarlet letter for the rest of his life.

    The community expects me to do my time, I did, and to rehabilitate myself so I can be a part of the community. The last part, of being part of the community is a cosmetic gesture. Once we did our time, are released on good behavior, and make all the efforts to become better citizens, we hope we have fulfilled what society has set as a precondition for us to rejoin them. However, society reneges on their part of the condition, they only see us as an ex felon, and STILL a threat to them. So, they ask you to fill out forms for a job and state honestly if you have had a record, and they qualify that it will have no bearing on your being hired or not. Come on now, does anyone really believe that???

    The reason the want to know if you have been a felon, regardless of the circumstances or how much time has passed or how much you may have changed, is to protect themselves and not let you near cash or other sensitive areas which they will surly point a finger at the ex felon if something is missing. It is an unending mentality of distrust which stigmatizes us “ex felons” until the day we die.

    There are two options for felons unable to get jobs due to their honesty, one, is to go back to a life of crime and just take what we want because society has put obstacles in our way to furthering our effort to become a member of society.

    Or, the lesser of the two evils, to just not discuss our past with ANYONE and to avoid filling out job forms asking if you have ever had a record. I always check the box that says NO, Never had a record. If they find out, I’m out of job, but if I do fill it out, I’m not even going to get the chance to get the job in the first place.

    These obstacles of previous record information create a dichotomy, on one hand we are supposed to be honest and report, and on the other hand, we are doomed if we do, and doomed if we dont. If every employer rejects us because of our past, we’ll be either on welfare rolls, or back to crime. Seems that’s what society wants, to get us back into a prison and throw the key away. They want this so bad, that they are blinded by it and cannot envision an ex felon being reformed and viable. So, we live in secret, and omit information. Not because we want to continue to be unethical or dishonest, but because society has put us between a rock and hard spot.

    What needs to happen is, if a person has say gone “clean” for a certain amount of time, like five years, they should be forgiven in full and not denied voting rights, jury duty, or jobs. When society reforms ITS own values and views on ex felons, maybe there will be some equity for both ex felons and the community.

    • ab

      i certainly can empathize and truly appreciate the obstacles ex-cons have to go through or can’t get through at all. i agree with being forgiven in full, especially nonviolent crimes…otherwise, how are people expected to move on with their lives without resorting back to…whatever.  anyway, thanks for bringing this to our attention.  ab

    • Littleonejr

      Tony K, I sit here in amazement of what you have written. Because everything you said is so true, from 1967 to todays society, we ex felons relive our past everytime we fill out an application for employment. My crime happened back in 1979, I spent 12 1/2 years away from society. It was my first time ever getting in trouble with the law. I married a guy who I thought was a decent one, but only to find out I lived with a monster who control my every movment. I lost who I was and I let this man be the breath I needed to live. I became afraid to leave and after awhile I didnt know how. I dont truly blame him for everything, because I was an adult, I just blame myself for not having the guts to stand up for myself. But what happened happen.

      I came home to no one, no family support and friends were scarce. But I was able to overcome all that and little by little I was able to find work. Did I answer yes on the form, no. I have life parole, and depending who your parole officer was, they made it impossible to at times keep a job because they would  show up at your job unexpectly. In my years on parole I only had two parole officers who did that.

       I have worked from 1995 to 2002 and got laid off. Was lucky enough to find work on and off. Then my old job rehired me (they never knew I had a criminal record) and worked for them from 2005 to 2011 and again laid off. Now its harder for me because I had surgery on my spine. So I’m limited on lifting heavy objects and I can no longer stand for long hours. To top it off, I’m now a 59 year old woman and still on parole. So its the double whammy for me. I’m still without a job, and I’m still trying to find employment. 

      When I first came home I thought there were agencies to help ex felons find employment. Reality always hurts when faced with it.

      So here I am, with a high school education, some college, and 14 years experience with office work. So where does someone like myself go from here?

    • Perci

      My husband had a DUI in MI Oct 2011.  They have here now which we did not know about a “look see” period where they search your whole life as some of the commenters have spoken of.  He had one 1996 and 2001 in CA did his time, fines whatever.  So now, he gets into Sobriety court in order to avoid a Felony DUI.  This was going well, he also had rotor cuff surgery, 5 tendons gone, he does Black Oxide, has been there 6 years.  All of a sudden in May 2012, the po says he has a dilute, we are 59 and 55, wth is a dilute, i research everything i can, the only thing i can come up with is that he held his piss too long, as he has prostrate and that would have done it.  So we are not even told it is a probation violation till we get in front of the judge and the po slides some piece of paper to him as he standing at the podium in front of the judge.  i am not believing at all what i am hearing or seeing.  Now has a probation violation, and is told to be back in court at 2:30 p.m.. with a different attorney because remember, he took Sobriety Court and that was his sentence.  Just the beginning of the nightmare.  So the old attorney tells him to go at 2:30 just apoligize to the judge and all maybe all he will get is a weekend in jail.  THIS IS WRONG!!!!!  HE WAS NOT DRINKING!!!!!   

      Next we get another attorney who ASSURES us that just get out of the Sobriety Court, plead guilty to Felony 1 DUI and YOU WILL GET WORK RELEASE!!!!   Long story short, he did not and the freaking judge yelled out as he was being sentenced, NO ONE IN THIS COURT GETS WORK RELEASE AND NEITHER ARE YOU!!!!  WTF WTF  I am almost puking and passing out at the same time, so in the meantime, his so called BOSS, throws a letter in my car that he is terminated immediately as of 07/30/2012.  We are behind 2400 in rent, I am recovering from BC Stage 2, why don’t they just hand out some JIM JONES KOOL AIDE, because I can’t take the despair, lies, greed, corruption, stigma,, and as others have said, the jail sentence is only the beginning……with both our health issues, how are we to have the strength to rise above when all money has gone to the stupid courts and programs that now COUNT FOR NOTHING!!!!  Oh, yes and just as good measure after jail,, 5 MF years probation……ahhhhhhhh   whattttttt  60 some years old and on probation with NO INCOME!!!!!!

      Thank you for your site, i am silently going crazy, anyone who wants to hook up and talk about this, mkimbrue@hotmail:disqus 
      …this is so wrong, all of it and I feel for each and everyone of your pain and suffering, it is now the US of GULAG, everyone has a FELONY if you are not rich, corrupt and powerful.

      How in hell did your past dui’s come back to bite you in the azz again is beyond me…..thaat is real voodoo trickery to me……sorry about spelling, but this nightmare is every day, every minute, and I  also found out that I do not want to be going to news outlets, useless, or the MI Judicial Com, because THEN THEY COULD JUST SAY I AM A THORN IN THEIR SIDE AND TAKE ME AWAY for dissent or some such junk, this is surreal……….

  • Rea Wynder

    I would also like to add that if your husband can go through the process or check with his state to see if there is automatic restored civil rights, he may be able to add a positive spin to his circumstances when communicating with employers by letting them know his civil rights have been restored based on his conduct and completion of all the conditions required by the state courts re. his crimes.

    Also, he can go to his governor’s website to see what the restoration of rights policy is. Good luck.

  • Freeman1776

    I am not sure if anyone here has read or seen the play or movie of “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo. Its a story of a guy, Jean Valjean, who is imprisoned in the 1800’s for stealing a loaf of bread, and sent to prison for 19 years. He is known as “Convict 24601″ and is finally released but with a clause, he is issued a “yellow pass” which labels him as an ex convict.

    Jean Valjean is obviously very disenchanted with the law and its cruel punishment, and as he searches for work, he is rejected because of his past. So, he goes to the Bishop’s house, and steals silver to survive. He is caught and brought back to the Bishop, only to have the Bishop lie to the police and tell them he gave Jean Valien the silver and he even forgot two silver candlesticks.

    The Bishop tells Valjean to go and use the silver to make something good of himself. So, he does, he builds a factory and employs several people and becomes mayor of the town. The story doesn’t end there, there is lots more, but the moral of this story is about a man who was given excessive and hard punishment for stealing bread, and then is further plagued with the stigma of being an ex con even after having to do the unfair amount of time. Its a story about being given a second chance and doing something productive with himself including saving people’s lives.

    If you are an ex con or even one who doesn’t agree with ex cons having rights, you must see this movie and allow this subject to sink in before you hastily judge others. There are many of us who are like “Jean Valjean” and are worthy members of society now.

  • Shawnobie

    All of your comments on the job for ex-felons topic make sense. it is very difficult to find work as a felon or ex-felon. My crime was back in 1998 and involved burglary and theft. any advice for me

    • Freeman1776

      Shwan, what sort of advice are you seeking? Can you be specific as to you would like help on?

  • Anonomus

    intersting stuff.

  • Brianjlemoine

    Wisconsins CCAP has a hicup that any case under felony charging comes up even convicted with misdemenors as a felony. More profound in amended cases, and coverted data. Persons are falsely convicted by false felony conviction records within CCAP. Employers use CCAP, as the criminal justice system also. Arrest and conviction record discrimination protections within state statutes fall mute to unknowing persons having false convictions on their record.

  • SS Truewolf

    I have been fighting for equal rights and against local government corruption for along time now. The sad thing is many citizens curl down and hide like wimps when it comes to standing up and fighting for compensation for government wrong doing. What’s worse is most all lawyers and educated persons , even those paid great sums to fight for citizens rights and to fight against such wrong doing and not to mention that their sworn oath/affirmation to do so, curl down like punk wimps and the entire time while stealing funding. If you believe the government has done you wrong in any way at all, no matter how great or small, contact me asap @ The government done you wrong and you deserve to get justice and compensation contact me now.

    • Freeman1776

      SS Truewolf, why do I get this funny feeling that your comment is more a solicitation for business than a genuine desire to help people? Could it be you are getting a percentage of whatever you help people collect?

      Not accusing you, but it sure sound more like an advertisement than a desire to help people recover their money.

  • MacAdvisor

    Despite Brian’s comment, I don’t know of any law that requires one admit to being an ex-felon. If asked, one must tell the truth or one can be fired later for not telling the truth, but if one leaves the question blank or if the question isn’t asked, then one does not need to fess up. 

  • Wesleyharden1212

    SAME HERE, except mine is 3 D.W.I.s in Texas I have to compete with illegal Aliens for work, so My best advice is we all keep pushing for them to change it from CAN”T WORK FELONY TO WORK FELONY and see if you like us or not, just like a regular person!!!!!!! It’s bull shit that felonies from the start can’t work so most turn to food stamps wal-fare ect…. But I have never used the system for such things I would do anything like pick up coke cans for strap metal ect.. Before adding to the debt why don’t we make some changes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lenny

    I’m reading these ,I can help you get a job adds, but all of them are asking for money to pay them to maybe help me get a job.If I had money,I would’nt be looking for a job.I’m also an felon whose last crime was committed almost  twenty years ago.I’ve worked for the last fifteen years,got laid off and am now having an incredably hard time finding work. No write ups,no tardies,no unexused absenties in almost twenty years.Can someone explain this to me.I also think this at-will work law should be abolished,you work fifty years and someone comes in an says you’re fired or laid off with no reason.You’re just out of a job after all that time.COME ON USA

  • Hill051110

    Does ex-felon really mean ex-felon? Because I’m an ex-felon being treated being like a now felon.Ex means past, but these jobs look at your past as if it’s now.You can’t get hired to provide for your family, so what’s a MAN to do?We got to eat.

  • mishelle padilla

    Not only that but a wrong is a wrong. Our government has placed guidelines on what wrong-doing is permissible and what is deserving of imprisonment. Whether you steal office supplies at work, or steal a bank, you’re stealing and it’s a crime, but society acknowledges only one. Ages ago there would be no different degrees of a specific crime– a thief’s, a thief’s, a thief. So Rene don’t sound so righteous. I’m sure you are not morally perfect, just be glad you live in a society that has double-standard morals. OH NO BUT WAIT! A crime’s, a crime’s, a crime when you act on self-defense? Because you are trying to protect yourself? Our system’s out of whack! Every year, many become wrongly imprisoned due to the  unjustly system. My husband who stayed in the south side of Chicago  (predominantly African American, with him being a pale Caucasian) on summer break during his first year of college, had to face problems everyday walking back to his place. Until undercover cops, who he mistook for crack heads came up to him, acting hostile. So in self-defense he took a swing. Fast forwarding, it became “police brutally”. My husband was poor and so he couldn’t afford a lawyer, and was stuck with a half-ass DA. He had no choice but to plead guilty to lower the years, and now that he’s out of the can, everyday he tells me, he is struggling and doesn’t feel like a man because he cannot get a decent job to provide for his family. I cry for him. 

    • JamesHiner

      Wrong place at the wrong time.OH HOW I KNOW THAT FEELING

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  • James Bulger

    Shit,I’ve been outta prison for 9 yrs and them assholes at kelly services won’t hire knw after six years they shld let you have a job but instead they want to act like ass holes! well if it weren’t for my family,I would of TORCH all the places that i put an app. to!do that shit on a weekend late at night/morning.rubber gloves,beer bottle and a shop rag dipped in gasoline and some veg. oil. oil burns fast like gas but longer! throw 
      the bottle of oil on the roof,, then light and throw the beer bottle!if they wont hire you,then they wont hire anybody!

  • James Bulger

    they don’t HIRE so put their place on FIRE!!!

  • Onesaudee

    Hello fellow community members,
    I have been searching despersately for work for over 7 months with no prevail. I agree that we as felons in AZ should stand up and write a letter to Jan Brewer. Removing the felony box from job application. I am tired and devastated having no job. I have sent a peition to Congress, US House of Reprs, and the President himself. I would like all my fellow felons to go to this webiste and also ask that the felony box be removed. I am willing to start a movement, however we all need to come together to stop this discrimination. Go to the following website and search (Peition2Congress) .  Please put your information. This was posted by someone else however, I also posted the removal of the felony box. Peition2Congress in the search engine put felony reform I need all of your support so that we can change our laws. We are all a part of society and need to be contributors to our self’s community and society, not a burden.

  • Dalehornburg

    what makes a person ineligable for hire in wisconson

  • Joseph

    im an ex-con served 14 years inside, i have been out for 6 and a half years, i finally found a job where i didnt get fired once my past was found out, i am living in my first apartment for the last 2 years, i have a a car and insurance and 2 cats. everyday is a struggle to continue but there is a turning point where things will begin to get easier. last year was my turning point. the key is to be strong and never give up, be honest in everything, no matter how difficult. and the very most important thing to do is to cut all ties with anyone from your past, a preacher once said to me how are things in your life going to change if you keep doing the same things again and again again, things wont change if you keep up doing the same things, be strong never give up and one day things will break. ya its lonely sometimes, but youll find the people you meet who are in your life after you do all that arew worth far more than you ever thought, there is a lot of people out there who do believe in giving second chances, second chances are not given second chances are earned and when you have been in prison most of your adult life you can expect to have to prove yourself  to those who are willing to you a second chance, be strong never give up, and when if seems you cant craay on just think about all the reasons you decide to go straight and you will find your way, i am by no means there yet but i have after 6 years started to find my and build an honest, you can do it too.

  • Joanielang

    You can write to your governor explaining the situation and ask for a pardon, if granted it would show up in his record when they do his background check, then they can’t hold that against him. He does not have to subject himself to ex-felon job services.

  • Zoebaby61

    Yes it’s hard but we excons must put are trust, and faith in Gods hands letting him have the wheel because he already knows the outcome. Beside theirs always a lesson to be learned behind every door that is closed, and for that a new one will surely open. May God Bless all excons

    • Joseph

      Zoebaby61 whats up? that is very optimistic. i by no means am baggin on you but in your past in and out can you honestly say that you have stood in faith the whole time? yes i believe in god i have faith, but there are times when i have said fuck it, shut off an just did my own thing. not drugs or crime but become a ghost, even to my self, this is who we are and what we are and even though we as people may change on a personal and individual level the world doesn’t see that, the world doesn’t see the desires of our heart, or our dreams as people both men and women, they don’t see our hopes, lost loves, they only see the wrong we have done, there are very few of us that make it, and yes god does sometimes give us something to hold on to when things get bad but even now after 7 years being free, its still home, but in my attempt to change my life i find i have traded one prison for another, my house is no longer a cell with a steel toilet and regular counts, my cell is now an apartment, i got to work and i go home and don’t leave my apartment, so even though I’m free I’m still in prison, i have been told it is institutionalization, i just think I’m broken, so as i asked above have you stood on your faith the whole time,  in all honesty what ever your answer is, is really only for you, and it doesn’t matter what your answer is either way i know its hard just to make the decision to say enough, good luck. i hope you find what you are looking for.

  • Joseph

    Sittin here staring at this never ending wall, a tear falls

    They say ill be free, patience, wait.

    I have swallowed my hate, lost

    Wondering alone, no home

    Im free now,

    I shook the bars, got no home

    No im not free,

    Yes the bars are gone, and with it my home

    Left by the wayside,

    My mind is still in shackles,

    My heart locked,

    No more emotions to share,

    Only thoughts of the prison life I left behind,

    Always grindin for my paper,
    IWA (I Walk Alone) 

    Im still lockdup.

    Traded one block for another,

    One house for another,


    Living in solitary,

    Isolated from all,

    No im still not free,


    14 years in side,

    7 years in my own prison.

  • Bufu$


    Looking threw the bars

    Looking out the open fields so near but yet so far.

    Wondering about my friends out there

    What there doing now.

    Wishing I could be with them today.

    My strength is my memories of yesterday

    I keep them close I keep them near.

    I keep them, to keep down the fear.

    For every day I awake and pray

    For the Lord to take my soul away.

    I know life with him is much better than life behind
    theses walls,

    I know someday he will take me away

    I pray that day will come today.

    But if not I’ll do my best

    And wait another day.

    And listen for him to say

    I’m taking you away today my friend.

    Because today is the end.

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  • heida

    It makes me sick just thinking of the situation, because my family is in the same situation. My husband has a criminal past, from five years ago, he’s gone to school, we have two children with disabilities and every interview he goes on… never pans out. It’s a vicious cycle.. and I see why people go back to what they were doing before, because you don’t get a second chance, you don’t get to explain, you are eliminated because there is always someone else more qualified or who isn’t a liability. 

  • Felon4life

    As a convicted felon 20+ yrs ago had a decent job company knew of my past. Worked that job for 3 yrs saved and started my own business in that industry. Well thanks to our US government and some rule makers my livelihood was taken away. 
    And nothing I can do about it I can not go back to that industry and here is why. 
    Lawyers there is a lawyer out there that will sue the company , landlord , anyone they can if they do a back ground check and find out you have a felony that is related to what ever has happened.
    So companies and everyone saying no to hiring ,renting,ect to anyone with a felony.
    I have had several landlords and fortune 500 companies that I have worked for before 9/11 tell that to me .
    As for Freeman1776’s bit about Les Miserables that a great concept only problem every church I have come across is all about bringing in the money not giving out enough to start a business. 
    Yes I am cynical when it comes to organized religion as i have seen so many turn people away that are trying to better them self or really need help but thats another topic. 
    Just my 2 cents as a felon that can’t find a job thanks to sue happy lawyers.

  • Cristian Canciu

    I would like to help the couple from the first add .

  • paul v.

    My message is this. To every American who reads this read it carefully. I am an ex-felon, I made mistakes in my life in 1985, 2003 and 2007. Now you will say, well you had your chances…no I did not…my life is not a mass of similar groups prone to do this and that, I am a human being with dreams and passions just like the next person…What I did in 1985 cost me 21 years of my life and when I got out I was so institutionalized that I lasted exactly nine months and a day before being arrested again for fighting…yes fighting, the cops came and we fought, it was that simple, especially seeing as how when they came they automatically became aggressive, why? I can tell you, I killed someone when I was seventeen and in the State of maryland my name will forever be in the warroom which is an alert system in place to register of violent felons whom get out of hand and have them arrested right away. Now, look at it from our point of view…we broke societies laws, and, paid our debts to society so why are we not viewed as full citizens of this country instead of pariah???
    No matter what I do in life I will always have that stigma labelled to my name and it will forever bar me from serving my country as a marine, it bars me from becoming a firemen, a cop, a postman, a nurse and doctor, managing a company…it bars us from almost every good educational job in this country save for the jobs no one wants to do such as janitorial, yes I can get a job as an auto mechanic or a construction laborer, yet at 45 years of age how long do you think I will be able to carry re-bar and concrete? To become an auto body tech I have to go to school and the funny thing their are no schools which cater to this career but to auto tech industry as a whole. I want to work believe me but who out their will grant a murderer a job? Who will be compassionate enough to see me as a human being and grant me the one desire that I wish in life and that is to work an honest job for an honest employee. What the major issue is is that employers see that one title and almost every time ur resume is placed in the circular file!!! What is needed is to allow ex-felons to become members of our society again, allow us the right to join the military, to fight fires, to be your nanny, to clean your home or run your office…yes, i understand that education is a key factor yet I could have all the education in the world do YOU truly believe any employer would ever allow me to be a bank guard or a navy seal! In the days of yore ppl who violated societies laws were sentenced and served their imprisonment, when they got out they were given a horse and a gun…they were now full members of society instead of a weight on it. We are HUMAN BEINGS. It is my decision to give my life for my country…why can’t I join the marines? Why can’t I fight for my country and…if necessary give my life for it??? You tell me whats wrong with this story….its not the fact that we broke societies laws but that we are viewed as animals and in this day and age of economic mayhem is next to impossible to get a job….I drive trucks for a living and you know the federal government will not grant me a TWIC card to enter the port of Dundalk to work an honest living….why? The cemetery at Loudon Park wouldn’t even give me a job….you tell me whats truly wrong with this picture…President OBAMA, and if I could vote I wouldn’t, made a statement that every person needs a second chance in life, will he give me a job guarding him and his life…afterall I survived 21 years in prison…can I become a cop, the ppl I hated the most as a kid, NO. They carry weapons and have the right to kill you on the whim…it wouldn’t make any sense at all to give a job to a killer now…would it??? Now that I have at least said part of what I wanted to say my question to you is this…are their any auto body shops in the Baltimore area that would be willing to hire me as an apprentice on OJT. I am willing to except a lower payment for your training and will guarantee you my loyalty once I have become a certed auto body tech. I have been assured by the Maryland Unemployment ppl that I can attend any trade school in this state for an education…what I’d like to do is OJT…On Job Training so that I can take care of my family and learn something I want to do in life. I have some skills at it and like to create things so I am certain rebuilding a mangled vehicle is what I want to do in life…any employers out their willing to take me up on my offer please email me at I am a good person whom had this misfortune of messing my life up as a kid and have been paying for it for the last theirty years…is that long enough to pay my debt back to society?

  • Patrica

    a felony conviction of intimidating a witness allegedly ( posted facebook threats only ) is not a violent crime, but what doors are now closed for my son, he is only 23.