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Monday, May 16, 2022

10 Tips on How to Get a Job With a Felony

Originally published on Money Inc. by  Dana Hanson

A felony is a serious offense that can stay on your record for life, and if you have a felony, it can be challenging to find a job. Many employers will not hire people with a felony. However, don’t despair; there are things you can do to get a job even if you have a felony on your record.

10. Be Realistic

If you have a felony, you need to be realistic about the types of jobs you can get. You will likely not be able to get a job in specific industries, such as healthcare or education. But there are still many other kinds of jobs that you may be able to get, such as customer service, retail, or food service. Don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you know you won’t get when looking for a job. It’s better to focus your efforts on assignments for which you are more qualified.

9. Ask for Help

One of the most important things you can do is ask for help. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to help you out if they know that you require a job. Many community groups, organizations, and businesses have programs for helping felons get back on their feet. The more people you contact, the better your chances are of finding a job. Some of the programs that you might want to look into include the following:

The Federal Bonding Program: This program offers bonding insurance to employers willing to give someone a second chance. It covers theft or other forms of dishonesty and provides the employer with insurance if things do not work out.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This program offers a tax incentive to employers willing to hire someone with a felony. It might not cover all costs, but it can help employers reduce their costs.

The Veterans Employment and Training Service: This service offers assistance to veterans, including those who have a felony on their record. It can help with federal career opportunities and other employment programs for veterans.

The Reentry One-Stop Career Center: These centers help ex-offenders find jobs. They provide job search assistance, job readiness training, and job placement services.

8. Look Out for Scams

There are a lot of job scams out there that target people with criminal records. Be very careful when looking for a job, and make sure you research any company or individual you’re thinking of working with. There are a few things to look out for:

Promises of easy money: Be wary of anyone who promises you a high-paying job with little or no experience.

Upfront fees: Be careful of anyone who asks you to pay a fee upfront, especially if they guarantee you a job.

Out-of-state offers: Be cautious of anyone who gives you a job that requires you to move out of state.

Unrealistic claims: Be wary of anyone who promises you a job without interviews or applications.

If you’re careful and do your research, you can avoid many scams that target people with criminal records.

7. Learn a New Skill

If your felony prevents you from getting the job you want, it may be time to learn a new skill. This can help you get a job in a different field or open up new opportunities. There are many ways to learn new skills, including online courses, community colleges, and vocational schools. To learn a new skill, start by considering your interests and strengths. Are you good at working with your hands? Do you enjoy working with computers? Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, research training programs that can help you get started.

6. Work with Your Hands

Appearance is a massive factor for employers, especially those looking to hire people with records. If you can’t afford to buy clothing that will make you look presentable, consider doing some manual labor. Please work with your hands to show that you’re not afraid of getting them dirty and willing to put in the effort. Many employers will respect this and see it as a good sign that you’re ready to work hard.

5. Secure References

You can not get a job with a felony conviction unless you have at least one reference. Yes, even if you work on the family farm with your dad, you still need references as they will ask for them if you are applying for a job. References can be anyone credible. You will often want to pick successful people, such as managers and supervisors from previous jobs. But other options include teachers or coaches from your past or community leaders. If you do not have a solid list, start by asking former employers for references. They may not have a reasonable opinion of you, but that may be your only option.

4. Join the Army

One option that many people with a felony conviction may not consider is joining the Army. Although this method involves an intense and lengthy application process, it is an excellent way to get your life back. The Army will provide you with a steady income, benefits, and structure to help you find your way after prison. Additionally, you may be able to use the Army as a stepping stone to finding other opportunities after you have served your time. To get started, speak to a recruiter in your area. They can help you understand the process and whether or not you are eligible to join.

3. Expunge Your Felony

Expunging your felony is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired. If your felony is deleted, it will not appear on your criminal record. This is important because many employers will not hire you if they see that you have a felony on your record. Plus, you will have a better chance of getting the job you want if it does not appear on your record. Below are steps to follow to expunge your record:

Step 1: Get a copy of your criminal record. You can do this by finding the courthouse with jurisdiction over where you were convicted.

Step 2: Complete the petition.

Step 3: File the petition and pay a filing fee.

Step 4: Go to court on your day in court.

2. Start Your Own Business

A business is a great way to keep your mind occupied, show off your skills, and make money. When done right, owning your own business can provide you with enough income to support yourself and your family. It can also help you avoid situations where you’re likely to get into trouble, such as living in a bad neighborhood. The best place to start is by looking online for business ideas. Many websites offer advice on starting your own business. You can also find books at the library or bookstore to provide you with valuable information. When deciding on a business idea, it’s important to consider your skills and interests. You should also think about the amount of time and money you’re willing to invest. Once you’ve settled on an idea, it’s important to create a business plan that outlines your ideas and strategies. Finally, you will need to get the necessary licenses and permits to set up your business. This will involve working with local authorities and ensuring that you comply with all regulations. With the right planning, hard work, and determination, you can start your own successful business.

1. Get a GED

Having a high school diploma or GED is a must if you want to get hired for most jobs. Education, including vocational training and college, can open up opportunities that might not be available to you otherwise. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire people with a GED over those without one, so having one can increase your chances of getting hired. If you do not have a GED, start by creating a study schedule that you can stick to and sign up for classes. Many resources are available to help you get a GED, so take advantage of them and see what steps you need to take to get yours.


Being convicted of a felony does not mean that you will never find a job again. With the right approach, you can get hired and start climbing your way back up the career ladder. To improve your chances of getting a job with a felony, focus on securing references, building relationships with potential employers, and working hard on your job search. With patience and persistence, you can get hired and rebuild your life after getting out of prison.

Eric Mayo

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Friday, February 11, 2022

Skilled felon is looking for jobs

 Skilled felon is looking for jobs

Skilled felon is looking for jobs
My son is 29 yrs old and has two theft felonies in his background. But thanks to a good woman and two wonderful sons age 7 and 4 he has turned his life around. For 2 1/2 yrs he has gone to the methadone clinic, no longer hangs with any of the drug friends, went to Kaplan college and got his electrical technician certificate, has 6 years experience   framing/roofing/plumbing/remodeling/tree trimming but just can't find work that lasts for more than a few days at a time. All he wants is a chance to earn enough money to feed his children and pay his electric bill. We have put out applications everywhere but the minute he is truthful and tells the employer of his criminal record (which is has a written copy he can show them) they just treat him like he is dirt.

Where can we turn? He is a hard worker.


 Skilled felon is looking for jobs

Hello Nancy,

Your son is ahead of most ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs. Even though things might seem tough, people with criminal record might have to thing outside-the-box when it comes to looking for work. He has skills in electrical work and carpentry. He could start a home handyman business the he can can use to build a good income. If he is willing to put in a little work, he could turn odd jobs into a full time home handyman business. You'd be amazed how many people can't put in a light switch or fix a leaky faucet. You could offer to do small jobs at a fraction of what big time contractors charge while guaranteeing quality work.

Skilled felon is looking for jobsStarting his own business will be a lot of work. He would have to be prepared to work long hours finding customers and promoting his business. The least costly way to start is to print up flyers with tear off tags, and post them on community bulletin boards. Post them in grocery stores, laundry rooms, community recreation centers, bus stops, and churches. Highlight the quality of his service and his dependability. He should always include phone number tear off tags on the flyer, so interested people can just take one phone number.

Another interesting option is to make a list of local contractors and offer to himself out as a day laborer. There are probably quite a few contractors in your area looking for day laborers as a way to keep their own costs down. He could get a list of contractors that have recently been issued building permits at your local municipal building. This is public record so he should have no trouble getting that information.

Still another option is to find landlord with multiple rental properties. Landlords need dependable people to keep the properties up and do repairs that tenants need done.  If he finds one with enough rentals, it could be a full time job that would pay well.  One great way to find a long list of property owners is contacting your local office of Housing and Urban Development.  HUD pays subsidies to landlords on behalf of tenants.  In order to get payments, the properties must meet HUD standards and are inspected frequently. 

If his dream is finding regular employment, he shouldn't give up and he could earn a living in the meantime.

I hope this helps.

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Monday, January 31, 2022

Wife of felon wants to help him get a job

Wife of felon wants to help him get a job

Wife of felon wants to help him get a job

My husband has been released from prison after ten years about 3 months ago. Since than time we're finding it very hard for him to find employment. I mean extremely hard and he has become very depressed. He has gone to target, walmart, meijers, home depot, best buy, Kroger's, McDonald's, kfc, you name it we have filled out applications. He has called them on several occasions to check back about employment. He has two violent felonies and has had many doors slammed in his face. He just feels like giving up. I don't want him to do anything drastic at this point. I really don't know how much more to help him. Is there any advice you can offer us? It would be greatly appreciated.


Concerned Wife

Wife of felon wants to help him get a job

I'm sorry your husband is having so much trouble. Having two violent felonies makes getting a job difficult. It's time for some out-of-the-box thinking.

My suggestion is for him to contact his parole or probation officer. Often they know of employers who hire felons. They also have felons on their caseloads who have gotten jobs. perhaps the officer can point him in the direction of these employers.

Another strategy that often works is to have your husband contact the judge who sentenced him. Judges are influential people with many contacts. He can express to the judge how important getting a job is and his desire to stay on the right side of the law. He should ask the judge for any assistance he can offer. You will be surprised at how effective this will be.

I hope this helps.

 Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Where can felons get Jobs

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

Wife of felon wants to help him get a job

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Wife of felon wants to help him get a job

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ex-offenders, Felons, Jobs and Drug Tests

Ex-offenders, Felons, Jobs and Drug Tests

Ex-offenders, Felons, Jobs and Drug TestsI have been helping Ex-offenders and Felons get jobs for many years and I have helped thousands get jobs. One of the biggest barriers that some ex-offenders place in front of themselves is not being able to pass drug tests.

Drug testing has become an important safety issue for many employers. Many companies now have some form of drug testing for prospective employees. Drug testing serves to lower the instance and issues associated with drug abuse in the workplace, including lateness, absenteeism, turnover rate, crime, violence, theft and other side effects.  Too many of my students believe  that they can use illegal drugs and still pass drug tests. With my experience in human resources, management and employment training, I will attempt to expose the myths and give the facts on drug tests.

The typical methods that employers use for detecting illegal drugs are:

Urine Testing:

Urine testing is the most common of the screenings used for illegal substances. Drug users would sometimes use outlandish methods like using fake urine that is sold in some places or using a sample taken from someone else in place of their own. To avoid the applicant using urine not his own, I would always have a sample given in the presence of a staff member. Others believe that drinking large amounts of water will dilute the sample and the drugs will not be detected. Water passes through the body much too quickly to be effective. I have even heard of using ridiculous home remedies to beat urine tests. These remedies include aspirin, eye drops, ammonia, vinegar, bleach and even commercial drain cleaners! There are commercial products that claim to mask the traces of drugs making them undetectable.  many of these products use nitrates which will mask the drug to an extent, but laboratories have gotten more savvy and also test for the nitrate compounds that these products contain. In many cases the presence of nitrates will result in a failed test.

A single use of marijuana can be detected up to seven days in the urine, while extended use can be detected up to 100 days

Amphetimines, cocaine, heroin, opiates and PCP can be detected accurately up to seven days after use.

Ex-offenders, Felons, Jobs and Drug Tests

Saliva Testing

Saliva tests are the least popular because it can only detect toxins used three or four days prior. Saliva tests can detect fresh elements of alcohol and drugs in the mouth.

Hair follicle Testing

My experience is that hair follicle testing is the most effective method of narcotics screening.  A hair test is an examination that uses a small sample of hair to identify specific drugs used by the person being tested. Typically, the sample is taken from the head, but can be collected from several other body locations such as arms, legs and back and may be combined to obtain the required amount of hair.  Drugs can be detected with high accuracy for a six month period after use. Chemical compounds of drugs are circulated in the blood stream and become part of the cells of the body including the hair root where they are easily detected.

There are hundreds of detoxifying products on the market that claim that with their use, drugs will not be able to be detected. There products that claim that they can wash toxins out of the hair. Most of these are absolute scams. The rest have a very low success rate. An experienced screener would pull the hair out intact, exposing the root where the compounds collect.

A one time use of marijuana will likely not show up in the hair while extended use can be detected for three to five months after use depending on the test used.

Amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, opiates and PCP can be detected accurately up to five months after use.

Certain non-prescription medications can interfere with accurate results. These common medications include ibuprofen and ephedrine-based products. Most drug testing companies will ask the applicant in advance if they have taken any prescription or non-prescription medication prior to the screen.

In most cases if any drugs are detected, the applicant will have the opportunity to provide a doctor's prescription or choose to be retested.

Jobs for felons and "ex-offenders" are hard enough to get, so why blow an opportunity to get hired by using drugs?

The facts about employee drug testing for ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs

Jobs for Felons: Hair Test, Saliva Test, Urine Test, Substance 

Jobs for Felons: How Drug Test Cheats get Caught


Companies that Hire Felons


Ex-offenders, Felons, Jobs and Drug Tests

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Formerly-Incarcerated People And The Employment Gap: Expanding Opportunities

Originally published at Jan 20, 2022 By Jackie Ferguson

Workplace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) often focuses too narrowly on issues of race and gender while neglecting other dimensions of diversity. My organization, The Diversity Movement, and other forward-thinkers in the industry are working to expand that definition by asking people to consider such dimensions as age, socioeconomic origin, religion, physicality and acquired or experiential diversity. Recently, I’ve been thinking about incarceration as one aspect of acquired diversity and wondering what it looks like to actively include formerly-incarcerated people in our hiring and employment processes.

As a society, we don’t always extend empathy to incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated people the way we do to other underserved groups. In fact, I’d say bias often leads us to believe their marginalization is somehow deserved or, at the very least, defensible. Yet if more people understood the reality of our criminal justice system — from wrongful convictions to the large number of people in prison because of small-time drug offenses — they might feel differently. They might even give formerly-incarcerated people a fresh chance at building a career and contributing positively to our workplaces and communities.

With almost 2.1 million people imprisoned as of July 2021, the U.S. houses about one fifth of the world’s prison population and the largest number of incarcerated people in any country. Nonviolent drug convictions account for a startling portion of the U.S. prison population. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, about 46% of all the people in federal prisons were convicted of a drug offense, while just 3.1% of the total population of imprisoned people were convicted of homicide, aggravated assault or kidnapping offenses. To restate, one in five incarcerated people in the United States are in jail for drug offenses, many related to marijuana possession, meaning those convicted wouldn’t be in prison if marijuana were legalized just a few years earlier, or legalized in all states.

Despite declining rates of imprisonment among Black Americans, the racial disparities that have long plagued our justice system persist today. Black people are still incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of white people in the U.S. — and that rate is higher in many individual states. Black Americans represent one third of incarcerated people nationwide, almost triple their share of the adult population (12%). And, although people of different races use and sell drugs at roughly the same rates, Black individuals are almost three times more likely to be arrested for drug-related offenses. 

Yet, even after these individuals — mothers, fathers, children, neighbors and former co-workers — have served their time, we’re quick to write them off as unworthy of another chance at employment. Conviction and incarceration carry a stigma long after someone’s sentence has been served and they’ve returned to civilian life. To that point, a report from the Prison Policy Initiative found that the unemployment rate of formerly-incarcerated people in 2008 was almost five times higher than that of the overall labor force at 27%. Also, according to several studies, serving time in prison reduces lifetime employment by as much as one third and hourly wages by 10% to 20%. Those who do manage to find employment are concentrated in low-wage jobs with little to no opportunity for advancement.

By giving formerly-incarcerated people a real shot at gainful employment, we unlock a pool of untapped talent with higher retention rates, lower turnover and more loyalty, in addition to the tax credits available for hiring formerly-incarcerated employees. 

Economic research has found that hiring formerly-incarcerated people is simply good business, given the high costs associated with turnover and recruitment. These employees are often highly loyal and determined, exemplified by the U.S. Army, where enlistees with criminal records are 33% more likely to be promoted to sergeant.

Many major corporations — such as Walmart, Starbucks, Home Depot and American Airlines, according to the ACLU report — have also enacted more inclusive hiring policies with regard to formerly-incarcerated individuals. By expanding the hiring pool to include people with criminal records, business leaders can improve their bottom line, provide necessary opportunities and make a positive impact on society as well, as the ACLU found employing more formerly-incarcerated people reduces recidivism and increases public safety.

These high-level benefits may sound great, but still, it’s common to have a knee-jerk reaction and wonder “Is it dangerous to bring someone with a criminal background into my office?” To counteract that bias, let’s talk about the stats regarding safety and employing formerly-incarcerated people. 

Far and away, employers who engage in this type of inclusive hiring describe it as a win-win. A 2009 report from Carnegie Mellon found that after five years of no new arrests, someone with a criminal record posed no greater risk of re-arrest than the general population. Additionally, a poll of U.S. employees showed that 74% of Americans feel comfortable interacting with coworkers who have a nonviolent criminal record.

To recruit more employees who have this particular dimension of acquired and experiential diversity:

• Get in touch with local community organizations. Across the country, there are hundreds of service providers who specialize in connecting formerly-incarcerated people with available jobs.

• Remove criminal record questions from your job application forms. Don’t ask about someone’s criminal background until the interview, and preferably not until you’ve made a conditional job offer. 

• Use inclusive language in your job postings. Avoid phrases like “convicted felon” and “ex-offender.” Instead, note that any applicants with criminal records will be evaluated on an individual basis and clearly note that cultivating experiential diversity in your team is part of your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Formerly-incarcerated people represent one of the next frontiers in workplace inclusion initiatives. As business leaders and DEI practitioners, we must extend to them the same compassion, understanding and opportunities that we afford others. The path forward begins with opening our hearts, minds and hiring processes to people who have criminal records. We can all benefit from living in a society that forgives people for their past mistakes and gives them another opportunity to affect positive change in the world.

Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons 

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Jobs for Felons

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