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Showing posts with label second chance jobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label second chance jobs. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

 Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities



The most overlooked and discriminated against segment of the American population is getting a well need boost.  More and more people are looking for ways to help ex-offenders and felons better re-integrate into society.  The closer we look at this, we find that the better we are able to help previously incarcerated individuals, the better off we all will be.


We will look at:


  • Incarceration in America
  • Fair Chance in Employment
  • Fair Chance in Education



Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities


Incarceration in America


The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. The International Centre for Prison Studies estimates that 724 out of every 100,000 American is in prison or jail.

CountryPrison populationPopulation per 100,000Jail occupancy level %Un-sentenced prisoners %Women prisoners %
US2,193,798737107.621.28.9
CHINA1,548,498118N/AN/A4.6
RUSSIA874,16161579.516.96.8
BRAZIL371,482193150.933.15.4
INDIA332,1123013970.13.7
MEXICO214,450196133.943.25
UKRAINE162,602350101.319.56.1
SOUTH AFRICA158,501334138.627.52.1
POLAND89,546235124.416.83
ENGLAND/WALES80,002148112.716.45.5
JAPAN79,05262105.914.75.9
KENYA47,036130284.345.642
TURKEY65,4589177.447.73.3
NIGERIA40,44430101.564.31.9
AUSTRALIA25,790125105.921.67.1
SCOTLAND6,872134107.5214.4
N IRELAND1,3757991.537.42.2
SOURCE: International Centre for Prison Studies

There are over 600,000 people released from American jails and prisons every year.  There are more than 70 million people in this country with some type of criminal record.  Many want desperately to put their pasts behind them but their records continue to haunt them and ruin their chances to get jobs.  The best and most important factor in the successful transition to society is that they find gainful employment.  For most, this is not easy.  In fact, some find it next to impossible.  Without employment, many with criminal records will find themselves once again on the wrong side of the law, while others will will become burdens on the economy.

In the past, it was believed that ex-offenders and felons being shutout of employment was part of their sentences.  It was almost guaranteed that people with criminal records would be routinely discriminated against when it came to employment and educational opportunities.

It cost about $40,000 to keep a person incarcerated.  With a job, instead of going back to prison or becoming a drain on social services resources, previously incarcerated people could become taxpaying, law abiding citizens.  This a win for society, the economy, families and individuals.  With unemployment rates being the lowest in decades, employers are in need of qualified applicants to fill open positions.  The Fair Chance initiative will be great for companies too.


Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities



Fair Chance in Employment


One of the most progressive initiatives of Barack Obama's administration was called the Fair Chance Pledge.  The President called on businesses and educational institutions to help make this country stronger by pledging to remove barriers to employment and education for people with criminal records.


Sen. Booker introduces the Fair Chance Act



Though President Obama is no longer in office, many more companies and educational institutions have accepted the challenge to help remove the barriers that having a criminal record has placed in front of so many people.  Four years ago, only 12 or so companies signed the pledge.  The list now numbers in the hundreds.  Large, mid-sized and small businesses all over the country have signed the pledge to help remove barriers to employment that ex-offenders and felons face.

These companies have pledged to:

Ban the Box

There are no questions on initial employment applications regarding criminal history.  This allows employers to establish potential employees' qualifications.  Background checks will only be done if the candidate is being seriously considered for employment.  Of course the nature of the applicant's conviction will be taken into account.

Fair Chance Job Fairs

These companies advertise that their job fairs offer fair chance opportunities

Train Human Resources Staff on Fair Chance Practices

Managers and human resources staff will be trained to make fair hiring decisions as they relate to people with criminal records.  They will keep accurate counts of those hired

Fair and Accurate Background Checks

They will use background check providers who provide current and accurate information.

Fair Chance Internships and Training

People with criminal records will have equal access to internships and training opportunities

The next step would to be to include Fair Chance for Occupational Licensing.  Currently many trades that require licensing or certification are closed to ex-offenders and felons.  Lawmakers and community action groups are pushing to make it easier for previously incarcerated people to obtain licenses.  This would make it easier for people with criminal records to have job opportunities in healthcare, trade unions and other occupations

The fair chance initiative can give both applicants and hiring companies a valuable opportunity. Employers will be able to meet qualified candidates they might otherwise have overlooked, and previously incarcerated people get a shot at the second chance they need to help turn their lives around.



Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities



Fair Chance In Education


An estimated 70 million Americans have had contact with the criminal justice system.  Statistics illustrate that non-whites are incarcerated at higher rates and face stiffer penalties than whites.  This is attributed to racial profiling by police, limited access to proper legal defense and other factors.  This disparity has a negative effect on families, communities and our society. 



Beyond the Box



There is an increasing understanding that education plays a huge part in successful transition from prison to the greater society.  Research shows employment and or education reduces the likely hood that individuals will re-offend by over 40 percent.  It makes sense that the best way to ensure that formerly incarcerated people do not go back to prison is to remove the barriers to not only employment, but to education.  This means that institutions of higher learning should have admissions practices that do not exclude those with criminal records.  Part of these practices is not using one's legal past as criteria for admission.  Also criminal records should not be used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid.



Educational institutions understand the value of classroom diversity and creating an atmosphere of inclusion on their campuses.  They understand that educational opportunities translate into employment opportunities which in turn means safer, more prosperous communities. There advantages to the schools too.  Schools that pledge fair admissions practices are eligible for grands and other federal funding for programs that help those with disabilities.  There are also correctional facilities that partnering with colleges to provide degree programs and vocational training that will translate into greater employment opportunities upon release.


You can get a list of companies and schools who have taken the Fair Chance Pledge as well as other companies that hire ex-offenders and felons   Click Here


 Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities



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 | Second Chance Jobs | Fair Chance Pledge


Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities


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Monday, January 21, 2019

Woman gets second chance with pardon


Woman gets second chance with pardon
Monica An­drade served 16 months in prison starting in 2002, fol­lowed by three years on parole.

Her crime? Man­u­fac­tur­ing a controlled sub­stance for sale, and child endangerment. More specifically, An­dra­de manufactured meth­am­phet­amine while her 13-year-old son was home.

Andrade completed her sentence and set out to change her life. She went to AV-East Kern Second Chance for help.

Michelle Egberts, an ex-felon herself, is founder and executive director of Sec­ond Chance. She ran “ex­pungement” workshops to help ex-felons clear their rec­ords. The two-hour work­shops are packed with information including the barriers people face as they work to clear their record.

“She educates on all the records that are out there,” Andrade said.

Expungement is a court-ordered process that allows an offender to seal or erase the legal record of an arrest or criminal conviction in the eyes of the law.

An individual is eligible for expungement if he or she committed a felony or misdemeanor and was not incarcerated in state prison, has fulfilled his or her probation, and was not convicted of an ineligible crime such as rape or child sexual abuse.

Andrade, 50, served time in prison, so she was not eligible to have her record expunged. But she was eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

A Certificate of Re­hab­il­itation is available only for people who have gone to prison. They can get it after a certain amount of time if they meet the criteria. If granted, the doc­ument restores some of the rights of citizenship that were forfeited as a result of a felony con­vic­tion. It also acts as an aut­o­matic application and rec­om­mendation for a pardon from the governor.

Andrade attended four or five of Egberts’ work­shops to begin work on get­ting her Certificate of Re­hab­ilitation. She re­ceived the document in December 2016.

“There is an 11-page ques­tionnaire just from the courts, from the DA’s office, that needs to be addressed, and if it’s not addressed cor­rect­ly you’re not going to get your COR,” Egberts said.

The application package includes character refer­en­ces from at least four peop­le who know you went to prison and have turned your life around. Andrade had at least 10 letters of rec­om­mendation. Andrade submitted her application for the pardon, including another seven pages of ques­tions, in August 2017.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown signed An­drade’s pardon on Nov. 21.

“She’s our first pardon,” Egberts said.

Egberts estimated Sec­ond Chance has helped more than 2,000 people ex­punge their records since 2012.

“Everybody is eligible so I don’t discriminate,” Eg­berts said

However, she noted in­div­iduals who committed crimes such as murder, rape, or kidnapping are not eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation.

Andrade visited Egberts’ Mojave home to talk about her pardon and how she is working toward creating a bet­ter life for herself and her family.

Andrade’s 13-year-old son, Carlos Boquin, is now 30.

“He is my idol because he never gave up on me,” An­drade said.

Boquin continues to help his mother and her two youngest children, his sis­ters, after Andrade’s hus­band was deported back to Guatemala six years ago. She lives with Boquin and his family.

“It was either fall back and go back to my bad ways and repeat history again, or this time, my son said, ‘Mom, I’ll watch the kids, you go to school,’ ” An­dra­de said.

Andrade went to school. She received an associate of arts degree in 2014. She received a bachelor’s de­gree in criminal justice from California State Uni­ver­sity, Bakersfield in 2017.

She is working on her master’s degree in crim­in­al justice at Grand Canyon University. Andrade hopes to become a probation officer in the juvenile div­is­ion for the Los Angeles De­partment of Probation some­day. Her ultimate goal is law school.

“I’ve been through it; I’ve experienced it. So that now I can understand and I can relate, so that if anyone wants to talk to me I can be there for them, “ Andrade said. “That’s my goal — is to be there for someone else, to help someone else.”

Andrade got involved with meth because of a weight problem.

She weighed nearly 300 pounds at one point and was in abusive marriage. She started losing weight with the assistance of a doc­tor who prescribed fen­flur­mine-phentermine, or fen-phen, an anti-obesity treat­ment later found to cause potential fatal heart prob­lems that led to its with­drawal from the mar­ket.

Andrade met drug traf­fick­ers through her for­mer sec­urity job. They in­tro­duced her to meth to help her lose weight. The meth gave Andrade energy that kept her busy cleaning her house and helped keep the weight off. Andrade said she had children and could not go to the gym.

One thing led to another and Andrade eventually start­ed to cook her own meth. That eventually led to prison.

Andrade has seven chil­dren, The two oldest are boys and the rest are girls. At one point her five old­est children were taken away from her. All are now adults. Andrade has seven grand­children.

Andrade did not expect to get her pardon as soon as she did.

“It couldn’t come at a bet­ter time,” Andrade said.

After five years renting the same home, Andrade and her family face evic­tion.

“I don’t make a whole lot of money; none of us do,” she said.

Andrade is concerned that although she has a gov­ernor’s pardon, po­ten­tial landlords might see her rec­ord after a background check and deny her.

The background check will show what Andrade was convicted her and her prison term, along with her Certificate of Re­hab­ilitation and her pardon.

Egberts started AV-East Kern Second Chance with her former partner, Rich­ard Macias, a retired law en­forcement officer with 25 years’ experience. Macias now serves as director em­er­itus.

“Everybody deserves to be rehabilitated,” Egberts said.

Egberts was convicted in 2004 for grand theft. Her case involved more than $100,000.

“I have not been able to fiscally pay off my res­tit­u­tion. But I have done it and more by giving back to my community.” Egberts said.

Egberts is not proud of her crimes. She spent al­most three years in prison. When she left prison, she had a four-year degree in bus­i­ness administration with an understudy in mar­keting.

“Couldn’t find a job for nothing,” Egberts said.

Egberts still has not found a job. She has not cleared her own record.

“I haven’t had time,” she said.

That is because she con­tin­ues to help other felons. She no longer has a place to conduct the workshops, so she works from home. She walked across the room and picked up a package she received in the mail re­cently.

“There’s 13 cases in it from Long Beach,” Egberts said.

They do not make any money from Second Chance. Any money they do get goes toward supplies such as postage and ink.

“We’re looking for a home,” Egberts said.


Woman gets second chance with pardon

Explained: Misdemeanors, Felonies, Pardons, and Expungements




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 | Pardons for Felons 

Eric Mayo

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