Eric Mayo Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs ~ Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs | Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs | Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs

Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs

Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs
Hello Eric,

First and foremost, I want to thank you for taking your time to both run your very informational blog as well as to view my e-mail. Secondly, I apologize in advance for the multiple questions that I am asking. Now, for some insight...I met my boyfriend two years ago, just before he was going to jail in MD for a violation of probation. He also confided in me from the start that he was facing seven felony charges in PA. Caring deeply for him, I agreed that so long as he was a changed man and did not participate in the activity that landed him in trouble in the first place from there on out, that I would stay with him. I waited for him while he served his violation of probation sentence, and ever since a little over a year ago, we have been in a serious, committed relationship. He has been sober ever since we met...and you can ask anyone, his friends, family, teachers, old co-workers...he has certainly changed, for the better.

Of course, our lives together have been a roller coaster. His charges from PA loomed for the first nine or so months of our relationship. Every court date, I did not know if he was returning to jail, and if I would be left waiting again. In the meantime, he did everything that he needed to. He voluntarily participated in rehab, did volunteer work at a local non-profit organization, and stayed sober. When his sentencing date came around, the judge recognized all of his hard work and let him off with six years of probation instead of the two years in jail that he had agreed to in the plea agreement. Even his lawyer was shocked, and shook his head when my boyfriend thanked him, before saying, "I did nothing. You did all of the work." The downside was that he officially became a convicted felon, instead of having pending felonies. Thankfully, they were dropped from seven to three.

This was very exciting news, of course. Even more so exciting was that a couple of hours after we got home, he received a phone call for an interview. By the next week, he already had a part-time job. He held the job for a month without any problems until recently. Despite being a very hard worker and increasing sales by $5,000 single-handedly in the short amount of time that he worked there, corporate obtained his background check and the store let him go. This was very frustrating, especially seeing as when he was hired, his managers knew every single little thing on his record. He was never dishonest about anything. The local store wanted him, but corporate did not.

This leaves us in a pickle. We have bills to pay, bills that I cannot afford on my own. We realize how much of a struggle it was for the first nine months for him to even get an interview, and here he is, back at square one. Everything feels like it happened so quickly - he was given a second chance, and it was ripped away from him just as fast. He has a strong resume that we have sent to numerous employers, but he obviously cannot pass a background check. Even local laboring agencies will not accept people with so much as a misdemeanor, since they are specifically for "individuals with clean records who just cannot find jobs," as he was told on the phone. He is getting pretty discouraged...I can provide emotional support, no problem, but financially, I cannot hold us both up for too long. What would your best suggestion be? Should he even mention this latest job on his resume? He was a great worker - they just did not want him after the background check. How is he supposed to explain working for simply a month to the next person who offers him an interview?

To add to his woes and dreams getting crushed, he wants so desperately to join the Army...unfortunately, every recruiter that we have talked to laughs in his face and turns him away. One of our best friends is a Sgt. MP and he keeps giving my boyfriend hope, though that goes away when the actual recruiters say there is no chance. Considering that my boyfriend was represented by a public defender in his court case involving the felony charges, what course of action can we take? I have seen on your blog the mentioning of sending letters to lessen felonies to misdemeanors, etc to help with this problem. It is just very confusing when his public defender says that he has to wait seven years to have his felonies expunged before he can join the Army, the judge says he only needs to finish probation to join the Army, and the recruiters say no matter how old a charge is, he can never join the Army.

Being with this man whom I care so deeply for and yet feel like I can't help is a very overwhelming feeling. I have such a strong passion now to organize and rally, to contact my local government to encourage them to encourage employers to hold ex-offender friendly job fairs, etc. not just for my boyfriend, but for all reformed convicts who truly do want to change their lives. How would I go about doing that? Would a letter suffice? Who would I even write to in our local government? I want to advocate to help others get the second chances that they deserve, I just feel as though I need a bit of direction or encouragement to get me going.

Thank you so much for reading, and God bless your work and all that you do.

-Hoping to Help

Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs

Your boyfriend is lucky to have someone like you in his corner. Many ex-offenders and felons usually don't have as much support. As for listing such a short term job, I would not. It would simply raise more questions. I would apply at smaller companies that can hire at their own discretion. Your boyfriend may also consider temporary employment. Once again he may have success applying at small independent employment agencies who are free to hire anyone they please rather than national companies that have stiffer corporate hiring guidelines. Another option is contact your local United Way. The United Way financially supports social service agencies including some which help ex-offenders or may even employ them. Goodwill Industries also have programs which help and employ ex-offenders and felons.

Expungement is not an option when seeking to join the military. Expungement does not erase convictions. It makes them unavailable for view from the public. They will always be visible to law enforcement, the court system and government agencies. The Army will grant waivers for those convicted of certain felonies allowing them to join. If the recruiter tell you that you are ineligible, then you are.

In these tough economic times, there are so many unemployed people who do not have criminal backgrounds making jobs for ex-offenders and felons even more difficult. An out-of-the-box approach may be to contact elected officials in your area and ask for help. He can express his desire to be employed and once again become a productive member of society. Elected officials have staff members that answer letters and respond to inquiries from citizens. Officials that could offer assistance are: Mayors, Council Members, Commissioners, Aldermen, Board Members, Assemblymen, and Judges. Never ask for jobs, only suggestions. He may be surprised how well this works.

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Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs

Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs

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Hoping to help boyfriend and other felons get jobs

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