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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs

Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs

 


Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs
Thanks for stopping by my blog.  You are here because either you have a criminal record and want to put your past behind you by getting a job and becoming a contributing member of society or you want to help someone you really care about.  Getting a job with a criminal record is going to be difficult but not impossible.  I work with ex-felons everyday and many of them get jobs right away while others have to put more work and be more determined to overcome their individual situations.  Here are some important steps that ex-offenders and ex-felons can take to  dramatically increase their opportunity to get hired


 Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs



Get a Copy of your Criminal Record

At some time during the job search, the question about criminal record is going to come up.  I encourage my students to be totally honest when talking about their background.  The best way to do this is to have an accurate record of your criminal convictions.  If you have a probation or parole officer, he/she can help you get a copy of your record.

Find out if the convictions on your record can be sealed or expunged.  To be clear, NO RECORDS CAN BE ERASED.  If someone tells you that you can erase your record, do not believe them.  There are legal processes that can have certain convictions and charges hidden from public view making your record easier to work with.  Your record, even if hidden from public view, will always be available to all government agencies, court systems and law enforcement.

There are lawyers who make tons of money by using these processes so they are not going to like this but, you can get this done for little or no money.  I suggest to all of my students to contact their local legal aid office.  There you will be able to find out of expungement or sealing is available in your state and what can be done about your record.  If it is an option for you, you can get help getting it done for little or no money.

Get Some Really Good References

Increasingly employers are paying attention to references when considering new employees.  Ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs should be able to provide strong references that will help them make a good impression on employers.  There are employers that will hire a felon and a strong set of references from the right people can help you get hired.

References are upstanding members of the community who would say something positive about you. Good references  could help an employer look past your record. References from religious leaders, teachers, former employers and local political leaders would look great to an employer.

Most employment applications ask for for three references.  You should always have at least four.  Be prepared to list a name, title, and contact information for each one.  Make certain contact information is current and keep it updated.  Over time, phone numbers, titles and addresses change.

Get permission from anybody you want to use as a reference. Let them know that you are looking for a job and a reference from them would really help.  Never offer anyone as a reference without their consent.  Once you have your references all together, keep them in your job search folder for easy access when it is time to fill out an application.

Only offer references when they are requested.  Never put references on a resume.  Include a line on the resume that may say "References will be furnished upon request."

Taking the time to get good references will have a powerful impact on your job search.



Get A Resume

If you are looking for a job without a well written resume, you are at a disadvantage. A resume is a short, concise document that states relevant information regarding your education, skills, experiences, accomplishments, and job-related background. A well written resume will help you present your best qualities to an employer. If you have a resume, have a professional person look at it to judge it's quality. If you do not have a well written resume, I suggest you get some help putting one together.



Dress to Get Hired

First impressions are very important.  What people think upon meeting you depends so much on what they see.  When prospective employers meet you for the first time what will they think they see?  Will they see a potential problem?  Will they see an ex-con trying to get a job?  Will they see a polished professional looking for an opportunity?  That will totally be up to you.

It is important that you look like someone of quality.  A well fitting suit with a nice shirt, a coordinated tie and polished shoes is what most ex-offenders and ex-felons should shoot for.  Your clothing should more for you that anything you say.



Get Some Quality Job Leads

Do you know what type of job you are looking for?  Do you know where open jobs are?  There are many ways to find out where jobs are.

1.  Networking - Networking is the single best way to find out where jobs are.  Networking is simply talking to people you already know to find out if they know about any open positions.

2.  State Job Services - State sponsored employment services have access to job openings and other services that can help you get a job.

3.  Temporary Employment - Companies use temporary employment services when they need help immediately for a certain amount of time.  A temporary agency could have you working on a very short time.  Some temporary assignment turn into permanent jobs.  Temporary agencies cater to a wide array of businesses like offices, restaurants, construction companies and even the medical industry.  Whatever type of work you do, you will be able to find a temporary agency that needs employees.  Check you local telephone directory or search online for agencies in your area and apply just as you would any other employer.

4.   Help Wanted Ads - Help wanted ads can be found in local newspapers. These advertisements can be found in the classifieds section of you daily newspaper, having listings of  open jobs. Ex-offenders and Ex-felons looking for jobs can also use the Internet to find help wanted ads.


Unfortunately, not all job fields are open to ex-offenders and ex-felon and you may not get the job you want right away.  You may have to start at the bottom and work your way up.  Be prepared


Practice Interviewing

The key to successful interviewing is practice.  You will have to practice how to answer questions especially the one you will get that relate to your criminal record.  Find someone to work with you practicing answering questions until you sound convincing.



These tips will get you started on your task of finding a job.  As I said before, it won't be easy, but having determination and working hard will definitely pay off



Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs



Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs



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Thursday, December 6, 2018

How Female Felons can get Jobs

How Female Felons can get Jobs
Hello Mr. Mayo,

Thank you for reading my email.


I am a 24 year old girl and have a charge of simple assault.  I got into a fight with another girl who pulled a knife on me.  I had no choice but to protect myself but I got a charge anyway.   I have gotten interviews, but when I get to the part about explaining my charge, everything changes and I don't get hired.

I read your blog all the time.  How can people with charges find jobs if no one will give them a chance.  If they can't find jobs then they sell drugs and do other things to get money.  I want to get a job and put this nightmare behind me in the worst way.  Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

Thank you.

Lori


How Female Felons can get Jobs



Hello Lori,

More and more I am seeing women with felony convictions who are have a hard time finding jobs.  First let me say that ex-offenders and felons get hired everyday all across the country.  You have two challenges.  Firstly, to make yourself as marketable as possible and secondly to find employers who will offer you an opportunity.

First you will need a well written resume.  A resume will quickly help an employer get an understanding of your skills and qualifications.  There are many resources online that can help you get an understanding of how to put a resume together.  If you have never done this before, get help from someone who has written one before.

On most application you will find the question, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"  This part is critical.  I encourage everyone I work with to never lie on an application.  In this computer age, lying about criminal records doesn't work so always be honest.   When answering this question, list the name of the conviction, the county you were convicted in, the month and year, and the final outcome.  It might look something like:

Simple Assault (isolated incident), Cook County, IL, 2016 ,  Probation/Fine Paid

When it's time to talk about it, briefly state what happened and how sorry you you are that it happened and how hard you are working to move past it.

Next you will have to practice your interviewing skills.  Find someone who will pose and an interviewer so you can practice answering questions and work on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  Practice until you can easily answer questions while sounding sincere.

You will also need professional interview clothes.  The best clothes for an interview is a nice pants or skirt suit with coordinated blouse and shoes.  If you wanted to be looked at as a professional, you must look like a professional.

Finally, check out this list of companies that have hired felons in the past:  Companies that Hire Felons

Bear in mind that these companies will not hire you just because you are a felon, but you may get the opportunity if you are qualified.  Best of luck to you.


 Companies that hire felons


Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Where can Ex-offenders Find Jobs

Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Ten Steps to Getting a Job with a Criminal Record



Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Resumes for Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record | Female Felons


How Female Felons can get Jobs



Eric Mayo

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Shutting former felons out of opportunity is economically foolish

Nearly half of all children have a parent with a criminal record, and the US is losing $87 billion a year in GDP by not employing them



Shutting former felons out of opportunity is economically foolish
Ap Prison Visitor Fee A File Usa Az
(Photo: Matt York/AP)
Our nation’s failed experiment with overcriminalization has burdened between 70 million and 100 million people with criminal records. That's nearly a third of the population. Millions are marked with a scarlet letter that can lead to a lifetime of closed doors.

And closing opportunities — in housing, education and, more than anything else, employment — isn't just morally wrong, it's bad economic policy. 

The two of us don't agree on much — one of us is a former Obama administration official and the other works for Koch industries. But we both believe adamantly in the need for second chances and in the economic boon our country would experience if we fully gave them to people with criminal records who have paid their debt to society. 

And while there is some momentum in Congress to enact reforms on the federal level, the fact remains that the federal system is only a small part of America's criminal justice problem. The lion’s share of criminal records come from the states, and there’s much states can do to put fair chances within reach, no matter what happens in Washington in the coming weeks.

Doesn't make economic sense

Shutting people with criminal records out of the workforce costs the United States up to $87 billion in lost gross domestic product every year. Individuals who can’t make a living legally are more likely to continue breaking the law and are likely to go back to prison, causing costs to rise even higher. Needless, preventable cycles of recidivism strain government resources — and make our communities less safe.

If a job applicant has a criminal record, his chances of getting called back for the job or of getting a job offer are essentially cut in half. Sometimes, that bias is legally mandated. Most states have multiple occupational and business licensing laws that prohibit hiring people with felony convictions. Still more legal restrictions deny formerly incarcerated people access to crucial resources like loans, credit and educational opportunities. And if these individuals want to vote to change that system — well, they often can’t do that, either.

It’s not just individuals who suffer because of this discrimination — it’s entire families. More than 33 million kids in the USA have a parent with a criminal record.

When formerly incarcerated people can’t find housing, their children are often forced to live with grandparents or sent into foster care. These challenges can lead to behavioral and school performance problems that get in the way of a kid’s future — making it more likely for that family to be trapped in a cycle of poverty for generations.

Current laws aren't enough

There are already laws that are supposed to help folks get second chances. States allow people to petition to expunge or seal at least certain records. 

Nonetheless, thanks to antiquated and complex application processes, the steep cost of legal assistance and expensive court fees, millions of eligible Americans can’t move on with their lives.

Clearing those records should be made much simpler. Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic governor managed to work together this summer to do just that. They passed legislation, known as the Clean Slate Act, that will automatically seal certain types of records once a person has shown that he's on the right track by remaining crime free for a set period. States as diverse as Michigan, South Carolina and Colorado are seeking to do the same.

It’s a commonsense move that will make a huge difference — both for individuals and for the economy. 

In Michigan, improvements for the formerly incarcerated were seen even during the first year that their records were "set aside," according to a University of Michigan study. Wages, for example, increased by 22 percent. 

And data collected by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute show that most in the business world are open to hiring and working alongside individuals with criminal records.

The midterm elections exposed the deep divisions so many feel in this country. It also marked the start of political careers for a number of state legislators and governors. As they think about what they’ll prioritize during their terms, we hope they'll take up legislation that will automatically seal or expunge records, to give people the chance to start over and strengthen their state and local economies. 

Our nation works only if we keep our promises. This is a chance for state legislators to lead the way for their federal counterparts by moving past the divisions that too often define our politics. It’s an opportunity to come together — to strengthen our communities, to support our neighbors, to give people the opportunity to succeed. When we say that everyone deserves another chance and a fair shot at the American dream, let’s make sure we mean it.


David Plouffe and Mark Holden, Opinion contributors
The original article can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2018/11/23/former-felons-being-pushed-out-workforce-hurting-our-economy/2016435002/


Shutting former felons out of opportunity is economically foolish



Eric Mayo

Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Resumes for Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job

Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job



Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job
Hello,

My name is Tim. I was reading the blogs on the web site. I have complete compassion in this matter as I am also a convicted felon. It's shameful just to say it aloud, but like the others I have accepted it and realized what I have done is wrong.  My convictions unfortunately were aimed mainly at my parents when I was younger do to an emotionally unstable home life. I have corrected my problems and own emotional bouts. I am a successful father of two beautiful little girls and engaged to the most wonderful woman on this planet. We are buying a house soon on her income....I feel less of a person not being able to provide for my family.

I was told last week by Kelly services after an interview that I had the job. It was the best news I heard since my lady said yes to that important question after we laid our baby girl down for the night. I went to work today, I loved it. I liked it so much I started to talking to the human resources person about retirement and shares in the biz. I received a phone call on the way home tonight which is what has sparked my efforts for finding an answer online. Kelly services was relaying a message that a background check had come back and they found a felony.

The conviction that was in question was a misdemeanor. I'm not even sure that will save me from what's ahead but I plan on taking immediate action in the morning. My hopes lie within the kind heart of the hr woman from the place I was employed. The conviction in '07 was not a felony, if there is any possible way to get that taken care of on a very bare income please let me know. Thank you for your time and have wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Tim


Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job



Hello Tim,

Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job
Two things come to mind. First, if the conviction was on the application, It wouldn't be a question. As I suggest to all ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs, be totally honest when completing employment applications. It would make no sense to leave convictions off when applying, get hired and than lose the job when background checks are done at a later time.

If your only situation is that your misdemeanor is listed as a felony, one option is to have the prosecutor associated with your case to correct the situation. Often the prosecutor has the power to downgrade a felony to a misdemeanor.  If there was an error, you should have no problem getting this done.  If you have no success there, I suggest contacting your local legal aid office. There you may be able to get low-cost or even no-cost assistance correcting your situation. Often ex-offenders and felons looking for employment require some legal assistance and that is a good place to start.

I hope this helps

Jobs for felons: Expungement - A Way to Erase Your Criminal Record



Jobs for felons: Expungement basics


Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job

Ex-offender may need legal help to get a job


Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Places That Hire Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record | Expungement | Pre-trial Intervention

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Out of Prison, Out of Work: A New Normal for Ex-Offenders in North Carolina?

From The North Carolina Dept. of Commerce

The share of former offenders finding work in North Carolina within a year after release from state prison declined from 62% in 1998 to 39% in 2014. This article explores some of the factors that may be responsible for this trend, including changes in the labor market that have made it harder to find a job—particularly for blue-collar workers, and especially for former offenders.

In previous articles, we reported that the employment prospects of ex-offenders improved following the end of the Great Recession as the economy grew and the labor market tightened. However, data from the North Carolina Common Follow-up System (CFS) reveal that the post-release employment rates of former prisoners remain much lower than in the late 1990s—a potentially worrying trend.[1]

Out of Prison, Out of Work: A New Normal for Ex-Offenders in North Carolina?


This article, while not exhaustive, offers some theories for why the fortunes of former offenders recently released from state prison have worsened since the late 1990s. Job-finding rates have declined among jobseekers in general (not just ex-offenders) in North Carolina and nationwide over the past two decades, reflecting underlying changes in the labor market that have made it more difficult to find work. One change in particular—a slump in goods-producing jobs—may be limiting the types of employment opportunities traditionally available to former offenders. In addition, the widespread practice of pre-employment background checks has placed further impediments to post-release job-finding.

The upshot: regardless of the cause, former state prisoners in North Carolina are experiencing worse employment outcomes now than they did during earlier periods of economic growth. Individuals tasked with helping ex-offenders obtain employment may find it more challenging to serve this population than in previous decades, despite the opportunities afforded by North Carolina’s red-hot labor market.

Before proceeding to our theories, we should first note that the composition of the inmate population has changed over time in ways that may have affected the employment outcomes of former prisoners. For example, North Carolina’s 2011 Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) redirected misdemeanants from state prisons to county jails, thus increasing the prevalence of felons in the prison population. Prisoners’ education levels have also decreased over time, including prior to the JRA, and as a result they may be finding fewer opportunities for gainful employment after release.[2]

Another possible explanation can be found in labor market trends occurring during this period. It has gotten progressively more difficult for unemployed jobseekers to find work since the late 1990s. The share of unemployment insurance (UI) claimants employed within a year after layoff declined from 89% in 2000 (the earliest year available) to 82% in 2014. Similar trends can be seen in survey data; the percent of unemployed workers in the Current Population Survey finding work the following month declined from 34% in 1998 to 20% in 2014.[3]

Out of Prison, Out of Work: A New Normal for Ex-Offenders in North Carolina?


These declines in job-finding, which mirror national trends, have occurred alongside “jobless recoveries” that feature persistently slow job growth, high unemployment rates, and pervasive long-term unemployment after the end of each recession. Economists have proposed a wide range of explanations for jobless recoveries, including the widespread slowdown in new business startups, which has cut off an important source of job growth; businesses taking advantage of recessions to streamline their operations; and structural changes in the labor market that have yielded permanent job losses in certain industries. These various forces have, individually or combined, helped create a less hospitable labor market for all jobseekers—not just former offenders.

The concentration of job losses in certain sectors—particularly “blue collar” industries—provides an additional clue in explaining the worsening employment outcomes of ex-offenders. North Carolina has followed the rest of the nation in seeing declining levels of employment in goods-producing sectors, particularly in Manufacturing and Construction. The Construction sector experienced steep job losses after the Great Recession, while Manufacturing employment fell continuously from the late 1990s through 2010. Our state had nearly 350,000 fewer Manufacturing jobs and 36,000 fewer Construction jobs in 2014 than it did in 1998.

Out of Prison, Out of Work: A New Normal for Ex-Offenders in North Carolina?


Indeed, most of the decline in ex-offenders’ employment rates can be accounted for by fewer finding work in Manufacturing and Construction. These sectors employ a disproportionate share of former offenders; in 1998, 12% of former offenders were primarily employed in Manufacturing within a year after release, while 11% were employed in Construction.[4] By 2014, the share primarily employed in Manufacturing and Construction had fallen to 6% and 4%, respectively. Employment in these two sectors fell by 13 percentage points, accounting for most of the 23-percentage point decrease in former offenders’ employment rates. 

Out of Prison, Out of Work: A New Normal for Ex-Offenders in North Carolina?



Finally, we note that employer hiring practices may have made it more difficult for former offenders to find work. The vast majority of employers now conduct criminal background checks on job candidates, a trend driven in part by post-September 11th security concerns and the greater availability of inexpensive background checks. The increased prevalence of background checks makes it more difficult for otherwise-qualified former offenders, particularly felons, to obtain employment; academic studies have found that employers are less likely to consider job applicants with criminal records. Among North Carolina employers surveyed by LEAD in 2018 who reported difficulty hiring, 23% reported that applicants’ criminal records were a reason for their hiring challenges. 

General disclaimers:

Data sources cited in this article are derived from surveys and administrative records and are subject to sampling and non-sampling error. Any mistakes in data management, analysis, or presentation are the author’s.


[1] The earliest data available in the Common Follow-up System for state prisoners covers the year 1997, and the latest data covers the year 2014. We calculate wages in the year after release from state prison, and treat any wage-earning during this year as an indication of employment. Around 3% of released prisoners are released from more than one period of incarceration in a given year; for these persons, we include only the last release of each year. Wage data in the CFS are based on state unemployment insurance (UI) tax records from employers, and thus may omit earnings from federal government employment, self-employment, “under-the-table” jobs, and other work not covered by state UI laws.

[2] In 2010, only 28% of exiting prisoners had completed the 12th grade or higher, compared to 43% in 1998. Source: NC Department of Public Safety, Automated System Query

[3] We use longitudinally-linked Current Population Survey microdata from IPUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org

[4] Here we define “primary employment” as the sector in which a worker earned the most wages in each year. In 1998, 37% of employed former offenders primarily worked in Manufacturing and Construction within a year after release, compared to 23% of all workers in the state.


Companies that hire felons


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Eric Mayo

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