Eric Mayo Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs
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Showing posts with label job applications for felons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label job applications for felons. Show all posts

Friday, July 6, 2018

How legislation can help ex-prisoners find employment

How legislation can help ex-prisoners find employment

The upsurge in the ex-prisoner population, along with employment and economic output losses, overwhelmingly reflects changes that have taken place in the U.S. criminal justice system over the years, not changes in underlying criminal activity. 

Legislation like the Clean Slate bill keeps ex-prisoners out of the correctional system, minimizing costly recidivism rates and enhancing public safety

By Dr. Michael Pittaro, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

In 2008, I published an article, “Prisoner Reintegration Challenges of Assimilation and Crime Desistance,” that focused on the challenges ex-prisoners face after release. Unfortunately, what I stated in 2008 still holds true today. Confronted with uncertainty, animosity, and a multitude of personal, social and legal barriers, most prisoners reenter society with the lifelong stigma of being an ex-prisoner and cannot fully assimilate into society.
The process of “going straight,” which criminologists refer to as desistance from crime, is multifaceted, yet attainable. While it’s possible, it is often very difficult for ex-prisoners to obtain and maintain employment.  More needs to be done to help ex-offenders find work especially since gainful employment is critical for successful reintegration, reducing recidivism rates, and cultivating public safety.
The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that nearly 95 percent of all state prisoners will be released back into the community at some point, whether it is tomorrow or 40 years from today. This suggests that only a mere 5 percent of all state prisoners are serving death sentences or life without the possibility of parole, and an even smaller percentage will die in prison while serving out their respective sentences.
However, ex-offenders are likely to have a very difficult time finding employment. A 2010 Center for Economic and Policy Research report noted that a prison record greatly reduces an ex-prisoner’s prospect of garnering employment. Even at the relatively low productivity rates of ex-prisoners (they typically have less formal education than the average worker), the resulting loss of economic output in the United States is estimated to be between $57 and $65 billion.
The upsurge in the ex-prisoner population, along with employment and economic output losses, overwhelmingly reflects changes that have taken place in the U.S. criminal justice system over the years, not changes in underlying criminal activity. The dramatic increases in sentencing time, especially for drug-related offenses, partly accounts for the spike in the ex-prisoner population. Therefore, changes in both employment and sentencing laws can have a positive impact on the U.S. economy while simultaneously reducing overall recidivism rates and improving public safety. These changes are of significant importance for African Americans. The NAACP reports that African Americans comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population, but disproportionately represent 40 percent of the nation’s prison population.


One promising legislative initiative that is gaining in popularity is referred to as the "Clean Slate" bill. The intent of the legislation is to seal the criminal records of low-level, non-violent ex-offenders who go 10 consecutive years without another criminal conviction. The legislation will also seal the records of arrests that did not result in convictions.
The Clean Slate bill has received widespread bipartisan support. In early June 2018, it passed the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously after receiving House approval with only two "no" votes. On June 28, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law. In addition to increasing employment prospects, the law will also improve and increase housing and educational opportunities for ex-offenders.
Another initiative gaining momentum with the blessing of bipartisan support is known as “ban the box” or “fair chance policy.” This particular initiative affords applicants a fair chance at employment by removing the conviction history question from job applications and delaying background checks until later in the hiring process.
A 2018 National Employment Law Project publication reported that, as of June 2018, 31 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities and counties have adopted “ban the box” policies in which employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction or an arrest record.
The report also noted that delaying records-related inquiries until after a conditional offer of employment ensures a fairer decision-making process. It requires employers to consider the job-relatedness of a conviction, time passed, and mitigating circumstances or rehabilitation evidence. Granted, in some cases, it might just simply delay the inevitable in the form of a rejection letter, but remember that this policy is primarily intended to assist low-level, non-violent ex-offenders (namely drug offenders) in obtaining employment, a key protective factor in combating recidivism.
Other promising initiatives include the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, which allows a company to claim a tax credit of up to $2,400 for hiring an employee with a felony conviction within one year of the date of his or her conviction or release from incarceration. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor offers a free bonding program for “at-risk” job applicants, including people with criminal records, indemnifying employees for loss of money or property due to an employee’s dishonesty or theft.
Such laws are beneficial for ex-offenders and the community. Not only do they help ex-offenders obtain gainful employment to help them successfully reintegrate into society, these measures also provide ex-offenders with a renewed sense of purpose and identity that many lack after their release. By keeping them out of the correctional system, these laws also help minimize costly recidivism rates and contribute to enhanced public safety.

companies that hire felons

Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)

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Eric Mayo

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Should a felon lie on applications to get jobs?

 Should a felon lie on applications to get jobs?

I have a friend who tells me all I have to do to get a job even with a record is lie. He said That an employer has to get written permission to legally run a background check on anyone. So according to him, if they don't ask for permission, just lie about my record. I want to do things the right way. What do you think?



 Should a felon lie on applications to get jobs

Hello Ricky

Should a felon lie on applications to get jobs
A lot of employment applications have a Certification/Release Statement that the applicant must sign before the application is considered. This statement may also be called an Authorization. The employer is asking you to certify with your signature that all of the information you have given is correct. Part of this certification is a release that gives the employer access to information provided by past employers, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and other organizations that may have information about you. This is usually in fine print at the very end of the application.

Some believe by being honest on applications they don’t have a chance at getting a job. The fact is an employer cannot legally refuse to hire you because you have a criminal record unless the conviction is directly related to the job for which you are applying. I have spoken with former inmates who have lied on applications and gotten jobs, only to lose them later when background checks were done. Some have been encouraged to use the response “Will discuss at interview.” In my opinion, these are not good practices. The best advice I can give is BE HONEST! Employers have a responsibility to know as much as possible about prospective employees. There have been employers who have been found guilty of negligent hiring when employees who have criminal pasts committed acts that resulted in harm to others. Those situations could have been avoided by careful screening through background checks. Employers will ask directly on applications about criminal convictions as a means to protect himself, his business, and others.

Should a felon lie on applications to get jobs
Most employers are concerned with convictions. Pay careful attention to the wording of this question. It may vary from application to application. Typically the question will ask about convictions of crimes and/or felonies and not so much misdemeanors.

There is one exception to this. Before you answer the question "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" look for the certification/release statement. If there is none, I would leave the space blank. It is often overlooked by being left blank and you won’t have to address the question at all. If it is noticed, and you are questioned, always answer truthfully.

Larger companies will almost always have a release to sign. Ex-offenders and felons stand a better chance of being hired by small companies rather than larger ones. Smaller companies usually won't spend money on expensive background checks. Also the owners or managers of smaller companies usually make the hiring decisions. Jobs for felons and ex-offenders will depend on being honest on employment applications.

I hope this helps.

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Should a felon lie on applications to get jobs

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Friday, October 17, 2014

No Jobs for a Veteran who is a Felon

 No Jobs for a Veteran who is a Felon

No Jobs for a Veteran who is a Felon
I used to think being a veteran meant something. I used to think it stood for something concrete and was valued by our country. Like a sentry standing guard, all hours of the night, ready and waiting to defend at any moment. I was ready and willing to do my part in whatever my state or country asked of me during my eleven year service time. I value that feeling deep inside and recognize it as something positive and tangible to hold on to. However, two and a half years later, I cold-heartedly am bitter and frustrated. Bitter that it means nothing to anyone else. At least not in the ways where it actually benefits me. You know what does matter? The one and only time I was ever caught in the web of the legal system. That web chewed me up and spit me out, not as a honorable veteran, but as a shamed former soldier now turned convicted felon. How did I go from the top Washington Army National Guard Recruiter in 2011, excellent PT and review ratings to, ostracized and vanquished to the badlands of our culture and society?  That has a very simple answer. Assault of child in the 3rd degree, AKA a Class C Felony! I unfortunately allowed myself to sink extremely low during my final year as a recruiter and in the Army. I sunk so low, masking all of it in depression meds and alcohol, I spanked a one year child to a point where I left a terrible bruise on their bottom. Assault of a child in the 3rd, is what now defines all of me.

You probably won't believe this, as I've read in a few of your articles about this specific topic. Companies can and ALWAYS do discriminate against any and all criminal convictions. You personally said that companies won't hire you based solely on your criminal past. Maybe you were referring to lesser charges or convictions. I call foul on you here Eric, as that, at least in my latest experience is absolutely false. Starting with two years ago, shortly after I was released from jail(I had a two month sentence, no prison) I applied for position at a large, well-known electronics company. I was offered an interview and found out three people were interviewing for the same position. Two internal employees and myself. I nailed the interview. I was sincere and honest. I had all the tools and command they were looking for. So much so, they wasted no time in offering me the position. This was a managerial position which equated to around $60k a year. Naturally, I was excited and full of elation as I thought to myself "Ok, you messed up, you've payed your debts back to society and the legal system. You're getting another chance here. Thank you." I had a brand new wife and a baby on the way. The chaos and shame that fell upon me the prior six months was slowly lifting. I had been offered a great job and felt proud I had made it through all I had, with the ability to support my young family. This was very short lived and what later came to be called the "let down" over the next two years, began. Of course they ran a background check and of course I was honest with them every step of the way. Once my background came back, the offer was rescinded and I was kicked to the curb as a rotten piece of trash. Fast forward to the last five months. I've applied to roughly a hundred open positions. Some employers ask right away about your criminal history, some don't. Each and every one that did not ask up front, gave me an interview. All but one offered me a job with them. This was roughly 15 to 20 employers. Each and every single one of them ran a background. Each and every single of them rescinded their offer to me.

I am no longer labeled a vet, I am labeled as a down-trodden felon. If you were to look at my life prior to my conviction, there is no criminal history. The same applies to my post-conviction life. Crime and all its inhabitants weren't apart of my life prior and have no understanding of how to operate within the criminal world.

My question to you, what in the world do I do? I have enough moxie and resolve to keep fighting, but I quiver with giving up sometimes. I served just over eleven years in the army. Held a top secret clearance working with automation and radio communication security equipment. I was trusted in many ways through the automation work I did, to the recruiting for four years I did. I've been a crew lead of a large sport fishing boat company. Achieved great success in any arena I venture into. However, my anger and disgust towards all employers has increased dramatically.  My skills do not matter, my education does not matter, my personality and what I obtained while serving in the army does not matter. I am currently a Junior, trying to earn my computer science degree in college. Every avenue, regardless of education or experience seems to suddenly and violently throw up a triple reinforced concrete wall, whenever I approach.

No Jobs for a Veteran who is a FelonI look appetizing and employers have argued over stealing me from the other. However, I can only imagine their frustration and disgust when I hear or read the all to common words, "We are sorry, due to issues we found within your background we are rescinding our offer of employment and cannot hire you at this time." Awww what a disappointment I become. Does anyone see the vicious cycle here?

My frustration mounts as I look at two things. One, our judicial system. I had a debt to our judicial system. Jail, probation, counseling, fine, ect. I paid back that debt. I took responsibility for my actions and worked extremely hard to have many rights of mine which were initially taken away from me, restored by the Superior court system. Two, I would take the justice system penalty over our social culture penalty any day. Society has punished me much harsher than our legal system ever could. Jail was awful yes, but I also wasn't worried about a job, bills, food, place to sleep or bathroom use. Society has cast me out like Mad Max. I cannot rent an apt, vote, own a weapon, volunteer, and I certainly am not worthy or capable of obtaining a job.

Eric, I've been following you for a few months now. I want to thank you for your never-ending support. I've been extremely reluctant to reach out to you and write. Had a bit a bad news today and felt compelled to at least say something to you. Forgive my ranting, all of that has been squashed under a ton of "put on a happy face for the world and myself" for quite sometime. My quest for employment certainly will not end, but I ask of you, opportunities! Opportunities to help, volunteer, assist others who may be going through a similar situation. I have little to offer other than my desire to remain positive, contrary to what you've read here, I have to remain neutral and upbeat, otherwise walking a path straight to prison I will go. My desire to better my life and most importantly, I have deep desire to help other people with criminal histories. I am one of those who seeks a way over, under, around or through those perviable concrete walls. I've yet to reach the top of the mountain, but I managed to navigate some emotional and physically taxing switchbacks along the way. If you have any advice or avenues to take, I am ready and willing to listen and execute.

Very Respectfully,

 No Jobs for a Veteran who is a Felon


Thank you for reaching out and thank you for reading my blog.  I get many letters and emails from veterans who happen to be ex-offenders or felons looking for jobs.  Many feel abandoned by the country they were willing to dire for.  I was at a symposium on the plight of the veteran in America, and I was surprised that so many were having the same problem.  

Regarding your personal situation, your conviction seems to be the stumbling block.  One thing that everyone must understand is that companies don't hire people - people hire people.  People don't hire people that they are personally offended by.  As nice a person as you may be, an assault conviction looks pretty bad to someone looking add to their team.  Assault against a child, in the eyes of some puts you in the monster category.  You may want to see if expungement is a viable option in your state.  Check with your local legal aid office for assistance getting this legal process done.  

You may also contact your local United Way office.  The United Way may be able to guide you to local veteran's advocacy groups that could help you in your job search efforts or put you in touch with volunteer 
opportunities that could lead to possible employment opportunities.

Here is a link to a long list of veteran aid groups.  Hopefully you will find some resources that will be helpful in overcoming your situation.

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Expungement may help felons get jobs

Jobs for Felons: Five Things that get Ex-offenders and Felons Jobs

This Book Has Helped Thousands of Felons Get Jobs ! You can get a copy of this book for as little as $5.00 Click Here!

 No Jobs for a Veteran who is a Felon

Eric Mayo

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