Chris Uggen's Blog: ex-felon employment and expungement

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

ex-felon employment and expungement

The crimprof blog cites the LA Times on ex-offender job fairs. Such fairs are being organized all over the country, with mixed results. In this case and in some others I've seen, few employers or ex-offenders even showed up. Those who did attend, got good news (employers could get tax credits for hiring someone with a criminal record) and bad (many ex-offenders are ineligible for expungement). Such job fairs seem to be most successful in tight labor markets (e.g., 1999-2000 in most areas). On the employee side, turnout might improve by targeting current probationers or parolees, rather than former offenders who are "off-paper" and more difficult to mobilize. Mobilizing employers is more difficult, unless they face a labor shortage or former felons (potential "sponsors") have a good track record in the firm or establishment. There are books and videos available for ex-offenders and organizations such as Chicago's Safer Foundation have a long history of successful job development and placement for this group. Still, I tend to agree with Richard Freeman -- the best jobs program is probably a full-employment economy.


At 1:01 PM, Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Uggen: I am a 48 yr old with a felony conviction (escape) in GA. I have a substantial criminal record (drug and property crimes) dating back to the 1970's due to a drug addiction that began as a teenager. Despite my addiction I was able to complete undergraduate school and attended law school before my disease overtook my life entirely. I entered treatment at age 30 and, with the help of support groups, was able to earn an MBA by age 32. I was able to find a good job at IBM but was laid off due to corporate down-sizing in 1998. I was convicted of felony escape in GA as a result of leaving a half-way house type of institution. I was sentenced to this institution for a misdemeanor theft conviction resulting from my having relapsed into my addiction. I served 20 months in a GA prison and have not been able to find sustainable (above-poverty level) employment since my release. In many ways my sentence (5 yrs.) has become a de facto "life sentence" due to the stigma of my conviction. It will probably shorten my life due to the fact that I cannot obtain affordable health insurance from an employer. One could even say that, in that respect, I have been given a "death sentence" of sorts. I have tried in vain to secure employment here in Augusta, GA but even the most menial positions in the labor market have rejected me. It is a very difficult existence... Pete C.

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pete C:
I understand your position you are not alone. I face the same fate. I'm on the grind seeking employment. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that I served my country in the Gulf War. I have tried to lie about my past and I have also tried to be truthful but to no avail. It has been 8 years since this "F" has been on my record. I can't offer you any help only support. Keep your head up and I hope you have some good people in your corner.

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a professional architect. I am also a convicted felon. Although my crime was committed almost twenty years ago I will bear the stigma of a lifetime sentence. Once potential employers learn of my single conviction (via instant background checks thanks to the internet) they do not even offer the courtesy of a personal letter or notification of denial for employment.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Other Convicted Felons,
I am at the end of my rope. I have a non-violent, class D Felony for Burglary that was committed 2 yrs ago. I have a College Degree in Marketing Mgmt. & great work experience. I have endorsements from Probation for successfully meeting the terms & conditions of probation.
I applied to Owens-Corning for a job in Construction Sales & I lied about my Felony. I passed all of their requirements (phone & interview screenings, drug test, online psychological test) and beat out 2 other candidates for consideration. They sent me to Toledo, OH for 1 week of training. I truly believed that they would do the background check first. When they didn't, I thought maybe God heard my prayers. Upon my first day of work, the Boss says a background check revealed my record. I pleaded with him to give me a shot as that was an isolated incident. I told him that the guy he nterviewed & liked was the guy that I am.
All to no avail. I left humiliated & ashamed. I see no worthwhile job opportunities & am contemplating suicide. Please don't say this is crazy, I already know that. I just can't face the future with this amount of Hopelessness. Please say a prayer for me, I just can't deal with this.

At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Candi said...

Please don't take a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I am also a convicted felon. My charge? Being a prostitute who also worked for the government. I am also a 20-year retired veteran. And regardless of how I explain my reason for prostitution (single mother of 2), it doesn't matter. They just see "felony for computer usage to promote prostitution" and it's done. However, I have found gainful employment with The Salvation Army, and you might try there as well. You can start by going to one of their service centers, and explaining your situation. The pay is low, but your rewards are high. They are good people. Also, get involved with other hurting folks via volunteerism. Help someone else with a broken heart. It's what I do because I know that broken hearts lead to broken rules. Finally, I got into counseling to deal with the issues that led to my poor choices. Most people who commit crimes are doing so because they won't face their pain. Someday the justice system will realize that crime is the symptom--not the problem. When you start addressing the heart of the matter--which is addictive behavior used to avoid pain--then you prevent the symptoms from occuring. I entered a 12-step program called Celebrate Recovery to deal with my sexual issues. I've been sexually sober for 19 months and am finally dealing with my childhood sexual abuse. So, whatever your crime, seek its source. Focus on the cause, not the outcome.

God bless you all as your continue your journey toward healing.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger truth said...

Felon employment is definitely a serious issue! Whoever chose to make laws which will punish people for the rest of their lives for a single offense is over doing it!

On the other hand, there is a way to find employment. I have worked for a few of the major corporations in America with a felony. When an employer knows that you have the God given talent for a position, they are aware of the procedures to take in order to get you in! The key is turning your negative into a positive. Also, networking and excellent communication skills can do the trick.

Also it's illegal to have an all out no felony policy go to eeoc website and search conviction, felony, and arrest record.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger T.C. said...

Convicted felons in Minnesota, like myself are generally on parole for a number of yrs.after release.We are still serving our sentences as wards of the state of Minnesota DOC.Aside from remaining law abiding,we are mandated to securing employment.One would think that felons, who are still legally serving out their sentences,and can be sent back into prison for the slightest rule infractions, would recieve assistance from the state to secure employment.
I worked a 40hr. week for 7 yrs. while in prison at wages averaging 25 cents an hr.My work in there as a educational tutor was of great benifit to the state. I am not eligible for any type of unemployment.I have not been able to find work in the 16 months I've been out.
Minnesota DOC benifits from felons in many ways such as the Minncor organization.
Prisons in Minnesota could not survive without their inmate workforce.
Yet,DOC wants nothing to do with assisting felons aquire work after their release.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger John said...

Dr. Uggen & fellow ex-felons:

I imagine the political status, specifically relating to occupational licensure, will endure for decades for the following reason: our society lacks a mechanism to ascertain actual reform in offenders.

This mechanism would be similar to discerning what is in a persons mind - the last refuge of privacy.

To this day I do not understand why I committed my crime; when asked at my parole hearings to say something in my behalf for their consideration, I said, "I can not find any reason for your votes." Why? Because my time spend in prison seemed trivial to the offense - and to have some answer would have been like making sense out of non-sense... So, what does it take to prove good character? Well this would require knowing the minds of each state licensure board because having a good philosophy on life isn't enough.

To date this is the social rule in place:

Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, 523 F.2d 1290 (8th Cir. 1975), appeal after remand, 549 F.2d 1158 (8th Cir. 1977).

Apparently society has a great need to eliminate risks for greater rewards.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger John said...

Dr. Uggen & fellow ex-felons:

I imagine the political status, specifically relating to occupational licensure,

will endure for decades for the following reason: our society lacks a mechanism to

ascertain actual reform in offenders.

This mechanism would be similar to discerning what is in a persons mind - the last

refuge of privacy.

To this day I do not understand why I committed my crime; when asked at my parole

hearings to say something in my behalf for their consideration, I said, "I can not

find any reason for your votes." Why? Because my time spend in prison seemed

trivial to the offense - and to have some answer would have been like making sense

out of non-sense... So, what does it take to prove good character? Well this

would require knowing the minds of each state licensure board because having a

good philosophy on life isn't enough.

To date this is the social rule in place:

Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, 523 F.2d 1290 (8th Cir. 1975), appeal

after remand, 549 F.2d 1158 (8th Cir. 1977).

Apparently society has a greater need to eliminate risks for greater rewards.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger John said...

Dr. Uggen & fellow ex-felons:

I imagine the political status, specifically relating to occupational licensure,

will endure for decades for the following reason: our society lacks a mechanism to

ascertain actual reform in offenders.

This mechanism would be similar to discerning what is in a persons mind - the last

refuge of privacy.

To this day I do not understand why I committed my crime; when asked at my parole

hearings to say something in my behalf for their consideration, I said, "I can not

find any reason for your votes." Why? Because my time spend in prison seemed

trivial to the offense - and to have some answer would have been like making sense

out of non-sense... So, what does it take to prove good character? Well this

would require knowing the minds of each state licensure board because having a

good philosophy on life isn't enough.

To date this is the social rule in place:

Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, 523 F.2d 1290 (8th Cir. 1975), appeal

after remand, 549 F.2d 1158 (8th Cir. 1977).

Apparently society has a great need to eliminate risks for greater rewards.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger ladywarrior0505 said...

hi all, I'm just home from work and crying once again, I'm so depressed. My conviction is battery against my last documented abuser, and I served all my time and am now off paper. I got a job with the govenment, but I think it is because they didn't do a background check. Now I have the job, but I'm treated like dirt. I tried to contact an employment office in Colorado but I was told that they will NOT place anyone with any kind of felony conviction. In addition, most of the apartments won't even rent to anyone with a felony conviction of any kind. This leaves people no choice but to try to live in low rent districts which often have more crime....and as others on here have said, less than adequate jobs to support them. Now, my supervisors demean me, talk to me with disrespect,and then tell me that I'm over exaggerating or over sensitive if I complain. I'm in tears almost every day. I have been told many times over that I should have let my husband kill me, because then life would be better for my children who I'm trying to support. At my trial, years ago, I was compared to Nicole Simpson, and what would someone say if she had fought back and won. I don't know, I'm so depressed, like some others, I'm back to just wishing I could die and put all this behind me. I also feel like I was given a life sentence for trying to protect myself.

I would like more information on the fact that it is illegal to have a "no felony" conviction policy on hiring. Can you give us more direction on that?

also a Gulf War vet

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Uggen and others, I am a 33 year-old African-American female who is at the end of her rope. I pled gulity to an offense in April 1996. Since then, I served my sentence and looked forward to going on with my life. The problem? You guessed it:people who look at the past and use that to determine my future. Short of prostitution and dealing drugs, I don't know what's out there for me. I have applied witih so many companies ( some more than once, and these were restaurants) that I have developed writers' cramp. The majority of people in authority positions call themselves Christians (at least I see their cars parked at the church when I'm on my way to my home church), so they have the power to be of help in the community. I can't speak for others, but I just want to work a job that pays an above-poverty wage so I can support myself and have enough to put away for a rainy day, because rainy days WILL come. That's not a lot to ask, especially from someone who has paid their debt to society and not re-offended. Natalie

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello My boyfriend is a felon I met him after he had already been in for three years been with him two he's going to be getting off work release soon but I can't find a place that will allow him to live there he's charged with 1st degree assult and we live in minnesota so if any of you know of a place that allow felons please let me know!!! thank you. I kind of know about all this my dad is also a felon and my mom and him lived in my grandparents house til they could buy a place and I don't want that to happen with us. So any help would be appreciated. Thanks again.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the chick that needs a place for her and her man. Get the place under your name alone.

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To my fellow felons especially those who have earned degrees, have solid work history and have stayed out of trouble, there maybe hope. First thing first, stop being all depressed and suicidal. It is frustrating, I know, Im a felon too. My charge was phone harrassment, imagine that! In the state of Illinois there is something called executive clemency. This is a way to possibly get felonies expunged. You can petition once a year. So its not like its a one shot deal. Im sure most states have something similar. We all have made mistakes. Besides do you really think that a system designed by some of the biggest criminals would not have a loophole. Keep trying and keep hope no one will give you a second chance if you dont think you deserve one. Good Luck and Ill be praying for all of you.

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in minnesota all you need are too many misdeameanors. I have 8. with the last one coming in 1999. i filled out over 100 job applications. i cant even get a temp job. anyway there are other ways to make money i guess. gone

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Knikitta said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Dead Soon said...

Hello. I've got convictions a-plenty (five I believe at this point). All over a decade old and all centering around writing bad checks. I've worked in tech all my career and can't get a job. I had one at HP and was hired through a temp agency that was not required to run background checks at the time. I doubt that situation exists anywhere in America any more. If you lie about your record you will be found out and probably get fired if not worse. If you tell the truth, well you don't get hired to begin with. My advice? Stay in crime and as often as possible perpitrait those crimes against companies that have turned you down for honest work. What else have you got? See you in the grave as this is my last log on anywhere. I don't want to be a criminal and since losing my last job to a coworker that used my record to get me fired (she was promoted to my job)I give up. I'd say that a full year of no work due to a fifteen year old bad check conviction is enough. Tonight it's a drug smoothy that should end this existence and if it doesn't it's a bullett at 6am sharp as I have my alarm set. I served my time and didn't owe the interest society demanded. My kids couldn't afford it either but at least now they get the insurance. Can't look them in the eye anymore when I can't even get a job that pays the bills. Bye.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

damn. try to hang on a little longer, friend -- sometimes you'll see something in the sunrise that wasn't there the night before. i can't know what you've gone through, but some of us have held on by our fingernails through tough nights. thinking about your kids ten years from now sometimes helps, as does the promise of strong coffee and an apple fritter in the morning sun (or maybe a heineken and an egg mcmuffin in the parking lot) -- rewards large and small for making it through the night.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger T. A. said...

Does anyone have a success story? I have a felony and all of this makes me depressed before I even had my first interview. I also have a college degree. I just don't want to think that life is totally hopeless. Anyone have a good story?

At 9:02 AM, Blogger sccac said...

ok i will leave my 2 cents worth. i have been denied numerous jobs. why? well i pimp slapped my ex-wife and screamed on her. anyway i got a 5th degree assault out of it. why was i mad at her? well.. she was boinking one of her co-workers. i still dont feel i did anything wrong. the guy wouldnt fight me and he called the cops too. anyway if your girl pisses you off just leave her. in minnesota a women can be scared of you and call the cops. get kicked out and hit with 5th degree assault. in other words a man cannot stand up for himself. its really not worth all the b.s. i guess thats it. i did get an expungement ....but what about the 10 years off my life?? oh yeah even with the expungement i cannot be a police officer in minnesota. i have a degree in law enforcement. in other words women have all the power. men cant do s**t. my opinion still remains the same if a women or whoever disrespects me..i refuse to sit there and take it. but the lady who wants to kill herself that i read about in here..i have been there ..i guess i just refused to die. so for me its prolly gonna be thug life even though thats not what i want. also wanna send a shot out to all the covicts...stay up and lastly let the haters hate there just wasting there time

At 1:27 AM, Blogger KATRA617 said...


At 4:01 PM, Blogger nvc4justice said...

It is refreshing to see such an open dialogue discussing the real issues with what are sometimes called collateral consequences. I am not an ex-felon but have spent that last four or five years studying the barriers of felon reentry and have become quite frustrated with this archaic practice. I constantly ponder the question of what can be done to limit the barriers put in place which prevent ex-felons from resuming their lives. With the laws and policies in place as they are now you would think they are there to deliberately force an ex-felon to reenter the system. What is the motivation for barring ex-felons from being "productive members of society" by engaging in employment, voting for a candidate of their choosing, receiving public assistance, etc.?

At 4:40 AM, Blogger CongressFull_ofWorking_Felons said...

I wouldnt have beleived it myself, But I broke up 2 Brothers about to Kill each other, I had to Defend myself from getting Smaked in the Face, As a Result? Battery III, Reduced to Harrassment, But the Battery III is showing up on Job, Apartment, Background Checks?? THe Brothers didnt even want to Prosecute. THey were told to show up or risk going to jail from our Freindly Prosecutor. Never Dreamed my Life would turn Upside Down, I cannot even find a place to Live, I thought of Ending this Madness with a letter posted to my freaking body when the Corner came to get me. I am not going to give the Bastards that kinda satisfaction! Screw them! THe real criminals are at work as we speak, Raping our Kids, Teachers, Robbing us Blind, Congress, and screwing us up oneside and down the other! How do Senators and Congressmen and Women get their Jobs? THey somehow have had their Child Porn Incidents Removed from Public View. AMERICA, Their is NO JUSTICE!

Good Luck to my Fellow Brethren in the same boat as I. In the End, God will see our Hearts, and that is what really Matters! The CHild F$%^&*ing Molestors loose teaching, and Preaching our Kids will pay in the Depths of HELL!
Good Luck Fella's, and Gal's!

At 3:20 PM, Blogger D1&Only said...

Well, it is amazing what u can find on the internet...To ALL My ex-felon friends who are not "on paper"...I can not find a descent job to take care of my two kids over crimes of integrity...Forgery and Theft...No one thinks I am trustworthy..It is so hurtfull, a thing I can be to the fullest...I am homeless and looking for work having to let my kids live at my moms house and it does seem like a hopeless situation not being able to take care of my kids and not being able to feed my kids look nice or anything u want to do..Just keep your head up..Don't commit suicide....You may think it just don't fall victim to it....

God Bless....Jennifer D1& Only

At 1:01 PM, Blogger BC said...

I am a felon that committed my crime over 10 years ago. Since then I have earned my associates degree & bachelors’ degree. I sincerely feel all of your pain with finding gainful employment. I have been successful getting employment through a temp agency at a top 4 accounting firm. I was hired full time after proving myself through tax season, I fully disclosed my record to them at the time of hire, and they fought for me. Unfortunately I was let go. However, they will let me work there as a temp, but b/c of laws governing accounting firms I can't be employed there. I was then fortunate enough to work for a rental car company for almost three years. Had success there and then went to work where I'm currently employed. In both situations I did not tell them about my record in the beginning. I eventually disclosed it to the acct'ing firm, but not the rental car company. The advise is lie, some companies will ask about the record, but don't do the background checks. Especially small companies, b/c background checks cost money. On the application, leave that part blank. With my record, I've worked at the YMCA running childrens programs, working at summer camps, Abercrombie & Fitch, Enterprise rentacar, and KPMG. At no time did I tell any of them about my record. If I did, they would never hire me. Not b/c I'm a bad person, but b/c of the stigma of being a felon. What can you do to better yourself, several things? Believe in yourself. Make yourself a desirable candidate to be hired. Educate yourself using all states resources you have available. Contact your state governors’ office; they will point you in the right direction. VOTE, in the states where you can vote, VOTE. Find out what elected officials will support your cause and support them by voting. Write a letter to your Governor explaining your situation. Then address that letter to the Attorney General and send it to him/her. Then send it to every congressman, senator, and state rep you find on your states government website. Contact DARE, they can give you ideas to better yourself. There are state bonding programs out there that will give a potential employer insurance to hire individuals like us. Contact you state bonding coordinator. Think of being a felon/ex-con like being part of a union, its POWER IN NUMBERS. Recently in RI, & FL 30k felons were given their right to vote back. That's plenty of votes to elect a rep, senator, or congressman who cares about your issues of employment. Never give up! LOL, I even tried to join the military and the Navy, army, air force etc.., they wouldn't even take me. I laugh because you'd think I killed someone. No, I sold a 1/4 ounce of pot to a cop. If you guys know of any programs out there, companies, resources, etc... Share it on here, we can help each other. Good Luck everyone and believe in yourself!!!

At 12:12 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

I gotta tell you... I just spent the past half hour reading most of the current posts to this and I feel everyone of the pains expressed here. I have been free since November 04 after serving time for a BAD CHECK in Virginia. My family helped me relocate to FL upon my release. After losing 2 seemingly good jobs with benefits and a livable wage, both due to my felony record, I started my own business. It had been relatively successful but the urge to come back home to Indiana to be a father to my son was too great. Now that I am here in Indiana life is HELL again. I went through 42 different apartment communities before I found one that would accept a FELON. Even it required 3 months worth of rent for a "security" deposit. Now finding a job is another story all together. In Florida I was a fairly well respected Handyman. Won awards from Nationwide Companies, (Angie's List) and was involved in the communities I lived and worked in. Up here, I get hung up on, literally when I answer truthfully to the FELON question as I call it. What is a person supposed to think? I read time and again that even though my time is completed I still have a LIFE SENTENCE for a trivial crime. I usually do not agree with much of anything that ACLU or NAACP attorneys have to say, but saw a blurb from an attorney or spokesperson the other day referring to the Mike Vick ordeal and he stated that for the NFL to take any action to preclude him from playing again would be wrong. By doing so it was punishing him a second time for a crime that is paid in full according to the laws of the land. I had to agree whole-heartedly with that. What more does "society" want from us? If our debt to society has been fulfilled then why are there so many barriers in the way? One post said go back to your criminal ways and offend against the companies that won't hire you. But that does not make US better and only feels good for a moment until such time as we are away from our loved ones and are not free.

I could go on, but I really just want some tangible answers. There are lots of ex-offenders, if we could band together to effect change then maybe we wouldn't have to suffer and hopefully we could post POSITIVE thoughts and not the downtrodden and weary thoughts we all seem to have here.....


At 11:24 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

I think we should all fight back. We had more spunk "back in the day" than we have now. Now all we do is sit around and cry.

We should be pulling together to have laws passed that close criminal records after a certain amount of time. My record is over 32 years ago and I have been recently turned down for jobs.

I say lobby.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger HMJ said...

I am a 36 single mother with a daughter, age 12, that has cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, seizure disrdr, and is dvlmnty delayed. I was convicted of 4th felony DUI! I am was unable to fight my case as it would have been $20,000 for a decent lawyer. I had my blood drawen & it came back 0.00. When you have it done yourself, it's unmissable in court. So I took the latter,& plead guilty. I have been sobor for 4 years, and now can't find my degree job, am going thru custody with the father whom HASN'T been there for 11 1/2 years. THERE ISN'T HOPE!Society won't let us move forward!

At 2:55 PM, Blogger HMJ said...

Hi I also am sitting here reading this, and wondering the same thing! I am a single mother, with a daughter w/ cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and is developmentally delayed. I live in MN and was convicted of a fourth DUI, which in MN is a felon. I was wrongfully accused, had a blood test done, and it was 0.00. I didn't have the money for a lawyer, and a public defender was just working out as the min sentence. Now I am going to loose my daughter to the Father that hasn't been around for 11 years. I can't finish my degree as a medical student and now living in poverty! THIS IS WRONG!!!

At 9:54 PM, Blogger c said...

Good Afternoon,
Dr. Uggen I came across you blog while trying to find employment as a convicted felon. In the state of Minnesota I was a single parent of 3 minors in the year of 2000 I was convicted of using corporal punishment which I did not know was a crime. "They" the state made sure that I didn't get my children back all resulting from only one incident which led to a slew of charges ranging from 3rd degree assault for disciplining my children, child neglect from working two jobs to take care of them instead of being on welfare, and malicious punishment of a child. I am an African American woman. "Systematic Slavery" exisits in the state of Minnesota. They did not care if I was struggling but making ends meet without a man running in and out of my household, they did not care if I did not want my children wearing earings excluding my daughters in their ears nor having my son wear his pants to his knees and there for being stereotyped as a thug.. I watched as my lawyer who I found out later was a public defender aka "pretender" did nothing to help my case I went to the Legal Aid Clinic and retained his services for 1500.00 dollars. During my trial I had fired him twice and was forced to rehire him under durest and also taking anti-depressants as I could not believe that this was happening to me and very real. I can remember during recess for my trial I walked in on my lawyer James Lewis to the prosecuter I wish I could remember her name but I walked in the court room and over her this prosecuter tell my lawyer that and I quote" "Why is it that Miss so and so thinks that she can prevail in her case"? Mr. Lewis says that my client believes that she has done nothing wrong and then he stops talking and turns around and acknowleges my presence and asks me what what I needed and I just knew that I was seriously "DOOMED"... He even had the audasity to tell the judge Isabel Gomez- Edwards that I was not cooperating with him at one point during I thought that was funny because I said to myself I am getting screwed literally am I supposed to take this lying down? There were so many things wrong in my case from the state of Minnesota taking my youngest daughter from another state "INDIANA" and placing her in "FOSTER CARE" in the state of Minnesota. Later she wasn't returned to Indiana to her grandmother as promised but adopted by a foster parent who also changed her name and refused to let her have "ANY" kind of contact with her other two siblings.. I was told by my lawyer to stop calling the prosecuter's Maya Tester and I can't think of the other prosecuter's name she was an older lady but they and these case workers were flat out lying about alot of things one example well two... Angela Lamboneaga I think I spelled it right,James Lahowsky, the kinship worker Andrea Lazo-Rice.. and I had told my lawyer how and why they lied and had tapes but he said that I could not use them. They were trying to say that I had a dirty house, I didn't feed my children and that I was refusing to give them their clothes and toys and let me tell you something all of those things... toys and clothes were stolen from them "my children" while they were in the system called foster care. As I thought about it they needed something as I wasn't lazy because I had 2 jobs, I wasn't on welfare,I wasn't on drugs, I didn't have this man and that man running in and out of the house, I wasn't an angry person because I went to the bible before I disciplined my children and waited the next day to do so for this incident, I called all of the case workers supervisor's because my children's hair was nappy and unkept and there clothes were too tight and I was paying child support for my children looking like that in foster care? They said that my children's hair was nappy and unkept while in my care in trial when the facts clearly showed that my children were in foster care and I reported this to the case worker's supervisors.. They all lied on the witness stand.. But hey who would believe me... When my trial started I noticed that the state had witnesses and I had asked my lawyer "where are my witnesses" for my case and he told me that witnesses cost money and that I didn't have any so why couldn't I have someone to testify in my behalf? Hmmm...... During my civil trial.. yes it got this deep because my parental rights were being terminated Angela Lamboneaga was asked by the judge why she was crying and I flat out said in front of everyone... because she knows that she is "LYING" and the court room got so quiet... One thing you need to understand is that some black people know what it means to be poor and to have no justice so if it meant them going to jail they will cry and or lie But those tears of hers quickly stopped when I told her that to her face in my civil trial... Today while browsing through hennepin county's website I saw my daughter's picture as someone needing to be adopted and I cried because all of this should not have happened.. But I need closure because for one i'm not on anti-depressants anymore and two I have no where to go but up. I will write and fight until I recieve justice for what happened to me I just found out recently that I can't work certain jobs because I have a felony.. yeah the 3rd degree assualt... There were so many people that told me that my culture was used against me in my case not to mention interstate kidnapping of my youngest child. Did I mention that I was forced to pay child support while my children were in foster care and also while my parental rights were being terminated to the tune of 500.00 dollars per child.. Yep I had 3 children and that was yep you guessed it 1500.00 dollars per month for almost 2 years or so... They didn't care where I was supposed to sleep, how I would eat, pay rent, buy food for myself, toiletries, medicines, keep a job from all the stress etc., Lastly I have read this blog in it's intirety and was deeply sadden by all this hopelessness because of the system.. Do you not know that my lawyer told me that the prosecuters were more concerned about how attractive and well dressed I was thoughout my trial? In closing of my trial I begged for mercy because I had excepted FULL responsibility for everything right and wrong and I even showed the judge Isabel Gomez- Edwards pictures of how well dressed my children were because they said that I didn't dress my children and I had maltreated them and the judge said and I quote "Oh Miss so and so I don't think that you are a threat to society maybe your children were misbehaving but you are a bad parent and I asked her why are you sentencing me as a criminal.. how am I supposed to take care of my children if I get them back and get housing and a good job with a felony on my record? Hmmm... she knew that I wasn't getting my children back but she did say and I quote..."You are an attractive woman Miss so and so you'll figure it out", those famous words of hers will ring in my ear forever... Well I had a chance to to plead to a lesser charge and not waste the taxpayers money by exercising my rights to a fair trial to a group of Caucasians that didn't have the foggyest about African American culture (please know that I am not a prejudiced person).. and not one African American in the group of jurors a frightful ending with them asking what will happen to the children or her... Well in a book near you they will soon find out what really happened... Hmmm... that wasn't explained to me in detail by the public pretender because I've never been in trouble before except with my parents not even a dang gum parking ticket... I did 20 days in jail and was released from probation months early from one incident that made me a felon.. When I tell people my story they think that I am seriously leaving out stuff or are in utter disbelief.. So now I have nothing to lose because I have absolutely nothing but I am not depressed anymore... I woke up today and said that I am tired I am alive and can fight till I have no breathe left in me to the powers that be... Systematic Slavery for African American's in the state of Minnesota is so real I have studied and read articles... For African American children it is big money in foster care and because there are so many cases that never see the light of day in this society it is terrible that some African Americans can't even stand up for what is right even in this system because they are afraid and they know that it is biased and flawed... They know that they sentenced me wrong but they do not care because I am just another African American trying to live life honestly because if I work hard enough I will achieve my goals and dreams just like them and this to shall pass... They proably thought that I would crawl under a rock and dissappear or maybe Miss Isabel Gomez- Edwards comment meant that I should well just read it again you know what she But see this is the kind of stuff that never see's the light of day... Until now... I think that the system should be exposed for what it really is and if I made a mistake in judgemnent it could've been handled differently in my case because I am not a bad person I have had to many commendations written to my previous employer from complete strangers just based on my interaction to different situations with customers... I am willing to share my story to an listening ear and also help other people in like situations because this should not be happening at an alarming rate and to see so many people with no where to go or no one to turn to just tells me that if no one else will.. then I have to make that difference somehow or some way but I know that from this day on my path in life will be forever changed for the better and for my children where ever they are because you can "NEVER" take away a mother's love for her children...
Ms. C.C

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Pebbles1 said...

fmzdeHi im Pam and am also like most of you a convicted FELON > this one thing has literally destroyed my life>I am a certified drug counselor and until 7 years ago had 10 years clean from drug addiction > A vey ugly divorce and custody battle ( I lost custody of my kids before I even relapsed - I had a boyfriend who had a drinking problem - I dont and never have been a drinker) So after losing my kids I relapsed and lost everything including a 50,000 dollar a year job > I have been struugling with my addiction for 7 Yrs now - During this time (1999) I was arrested for possesion of narcotics-this was nollied I was arrested again (2000) I was convicted. So now at 42 yrs old I am a convicted felon -I lost 1 job and not hired for countless others due to this/ Today I was offered a job at a national insurance co. thru a temp agency _ Iwas soooo excited until she said the dreaded words "I'll need you to sign for a background check" I felt like i would faint-sick to my stomach-So i managed to get thru the rest of the coversation and here I sit and now I found so many others just like me-It is somehow comforting to know that others know and understand my pain and suffering-thanks to all who took the time towrite in. I think somehow we need to stand up to this practice of background checks and limit it to crimes that may directly affect the safety of other workers and the company-not just someone who has one arrest one conviction in their entire life-How does my relapse prevent me from being a good person, qualified to do a job now that I am clean from drugs-they obviously liked what they saw on my resume and how I presened myself in the interview it kills me to think i may not be able to keep this job when the background check comes back.It no wonder why so many felons re offend we dont stand a chance to put our past behind us -we are forever branded as not suitable before we can prove ourself to others - thats the real injustice from our wonderful "Justice System"
I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. ---Pam

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Pebbles1 said...

Hi This is Pebbles1 again - I wrote in yesterday about a job offer with the stipulation of a background check -- Well I got the phone call this morning and my background check came in and of course my felony posession of narcotics was clearly there. The temp agency sent it to Aetna (Employer)and they said I can start my new Job on Monday at 8:00 am !!!! I am still in shock, my hands are still trembling and i just dried the tears (happy ones) off my face. I just had to share this because my heart was and still is with all of those who didnt get that phone call this morning. I want you to know there is hope. I have been trying to get a job for the past 2 1/2 years and if I gave up this would have never happened for me. Please keep up the fight you are all worth it we just need to find that one person who can see our worth through a cloudy past. Dont stop trying if it can happen for me it can happen for any of us. Just 3 months ago I was living at my moms house to avoid being homeless I am now able to start over to rebuild a broken life. I hope my story can pass along some hope to all of us who really know how it feels to feel HOPELESS. I want to share my e mail address for anyone who wants to talk. Hope to hear from you if you need some support , hope or inspiration. I am so glad i found this web site it came as a comfort to me when i almost gave up for good. Pam

At 6:15 PM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

thanks for the inspiration, pam!

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Does anyone know of felon-friendly employers in VA? My email is Butterkup91783 at yahoo dot com.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

Unfortunately, being an ex-felon stops a person from reaching their God-given potential for gainful employment. In some instances an expungementmay help, and in other cases an expungement is not available. Given the latter, I have found entrepreneurship as a way for some. In most instance, a contractor in a needed field is not asked about a felony conviction but are gauged on if they have the experience, have the equipment, and can they do the job. I would urge people to look into finding a niche and starting a business. Additionally, apprenticeships may be a good avenue to get the skills one needs to obtain gainful employment in high growth fields. Your Workforce Center should have staff that can help in this area to identify programs. Business loan applications don't ask about felony convictions. EXAMPLE; we helped a guy get his CDL under federally funded training, provided him entrepreneurial training and development, helped him secure a loan for a dump truck, and now he hauls dirt and gravel for construction projects. He makes good money and is home for dinner.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Christina said...

Hello, I am 30 years old and was convicted 12 years ago when I was 17 as a adult in the state of Missouri. I have 2 class c felonies for stealing of an automobile. I am looking for any way to get an expungment as looking for a job has become exausting,frustrating and degrading. I am a married mom of 2 boys and have not been in any other trouble since then. I was released in 1998 and its now 2007 and people still look at me like I am going to steal from them. How do I do something to help myself when noone else will help me?Please someone have an answer.
Christina W.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Lisamree said...

Each of you in in a unique position. You know what obstacles that felons face. You know what doesn't work, and what will. How many ex-felons are there in the States, how many family members, etc does that equate to? How many vote?

Some of you must have ideas for programs that could be created due to your experineces...what can you contribute, what can YOU CREATE in order to help yourself and others?

If it is impossible to get civilians to help then it is time to help yourselves.

Start a business, a franchise, fill a need, charge for it, hire ex-felons. Sell your business to other people wanting to begin the same.

It is said that all that is necessary for evil to flourish in the world, is for good "men" to do nothing...

Any "good" people willing to do something about it?

May the windows of heaven open and pour upon each of you in abundance.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

I fully agree with Lisamree. There's a saying that when life gives you lemon, make and sell lemonade.

There are enough ex-felons in the U.S. that they could have a viable company of thier own. Like the Delancy Street Project; which was created by an ex-offender, to hire ex-offenders. Entrepreneurship is an avenue that ex-felons must consider in all earnest. First, one must obtain a skill in an in-demand field, feel confident in their competence in this skill, and go into business. Everyone who is an ex-felon are entitled to federally-funded training under the workforce Investment Act (WIA) which is funded by the Dept. of Labor. You need to seek out an entrepreneurial training course, enroll and study and pass like your life depends on it. In many instances it might. In America it is easier to get a contract than a job if you have a past felony convction. I am mentioning all of this because it is the path I had to take being an ex-felon. Now the business I started contracts with the state to assist people get jobs and/or start a viable business. My company is 15 yrs old and we have an office in three cities. With a staff of 6. I have few answers for those who want to work for someone else, as I had tried and failed at every turn (with a college degree and graduating at the top of my class). On this blog is a network to CREATE something as big and as real as Con-Air. We are who we have been waiting for.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger BC said...

For those of you in states that allow ex-offenders/felons to vote let's band together and make some changes. We have a year until next november, seek out the legislators in your respective states that will support your (our) cause of changing laws/legislative. Go to your states websites and start writing every senator, and state rep regarding your record and challenges you face in employment. It's going to take some research, but it'll pay off. WE ARE NOT ALONE, this country's foundaton was built on people/citizens banding together. We can do the same. Example, Rep. Danny Davis IL. Democrat, proposed the second chance act that was passed through congress on Tuesday, 11/13/07. This expanded programs and spending to help ex-offenders. He and others like him realize the need for reform. We need to identify others like him and make sure through voting, they are elected. I am an ex-felon and am dedicated to changing my life and the way we are all perceived.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Lisamree said...

Here is a website that lists your candidates voting records on issues. It is a start. We can demand for legislation that allows an ex-felon with 2 or less non-repeating felonies to be excluded from listing his/her past record when applying for appropriate employment/housing/etc.

I understand the public's fears, though they are hugely unfair and inaccurate. But WE can change this.

I've already written to Missouri's Atty-General, Senator Bond, and Govenor Blunt. Any Missourians out there who'd care to help?

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Lisamree said...

Oops...forgot to post this one. It will allow you to see your state's statutes on voting for felons/ex-felons.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger bc said...

Voting is essential to getting what "WE" want! There are 14 million felons living in this country, and I'm pretty sure if a fraction of us vote we can move mountains with our voting power. Using Lisa's link go and find out who's trying to help us! I know Obama signed off on the Second Chance Legislation, as well as many others.
Good Luck, and
Until WE can change some of laws prohibiting us from gainfull employment, here are some ideas.
Go to:
Goodwill Industries: They assist in training and placement.
Your State Probation officer and ask for a list of COMPANIES that have jobs available to ex-offenders. Even if the job you want isn't there, at least you know what COMPANIES are willing to hire us.
H.I.R.E network: They help train and assit with resume writing.
Write you local state senators, reps, and governor about your difficulties. I'm writing mine several times a week.
Good Luck!

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Lucan179 said...

I am a 41 year old covicted felon from drug possesssion in 1993 in Denver Colorado now living in Florida. And its hard here I been working for a company here in florida that has discriminated me calling me scarface, harrassed me about my name since its biblical and my race is hispanic and they have even told me hispanics dont name there kids jesus (pronounced in english) it has to be pronounced in spanish. Ihave reported it to Human Resources and nothing has been done. I have been seeing a therapist for 1 1/2 years and i was even hopspitaLized due to anxiety attack that felt like i was having a heart attack. I dont know what to do or who to talk to. I am going crazy. I need the job to provide for my family and I am feeling like i have not right or should be working. I have been off paper since 2001 been clean not other offenses been going to church and being a role model to my kids. And I still cant be treated equal. Now i see why felons end up back in the system. Does anyone out there know what i can do any contacts. Please I need help.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger winorlose said...

I am also a convicted felon education nor experience either seem to be appiled in consideration for employment. I strongly agree that are civil rights are being violated and ex-felons need to band together if we desire change. There are power in numbers and unity. Its not a race, age, gender, nor economical factor in our struggle. The one thing we do share is being outcasted for life. Our advantange is there are a lot of felons in the US who can pursuade the polictial agenda. Not only on our on behalf but for the behalf of our families who suffer with us. Its time to come together for a positive transistion.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger jamie said...

I was convicted of 1st degree forgery at age 17 in 2000 in GA. I was young and dumb and forged someone elses name to a check as part of a high school prank. The check was for $30 for pizza. Anyway now I am also branded a felon for life. I have always lied about my felony on applications because I have always just been a server or bartender in restaurants which do not do background checks for these low level positions. However, recently I left the bar where I had been for 5 years to go to another place in a neighboring county. To pour alcohol in most GA counties you have to go to the police dept and pay a small fee and have your record checked and get a liquor licence. In the county where I had worked for 7 years(Clayton Co.) my record did not matter. In the county where my new job was (henry co.) I was denied a licence!! I am so stunned by this!! I always figured I had closed many doors for myself, but for basically the lowest job available in a restaurant to be denied to me..somethings got to give. Now my old job doesn't want me back because they think I'm going to leave again.

I also spent the last year going to cosmetology school. I completed the training and I'm taking the state board test tomorrow. In light of my recent denial of a county liquor licence, I was on the internet trying to research weather or not I am elidgeable to get a cosmetology licence. That is how I found this blog. All of these stories are very discouraging.
I feel so trapped by my history.
DEFEATED is the best word to describe this feeling.
It does feel good however to know I am not alone. I am, good looking, a "people person". All I feel I am lacking is a chance. A chance to thrive.

If anyone happens to have dealt with getting state licensure as a felon, please respond with your experience.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Lisamree said...

While I will admit, reading a majority of these blogs can be depressing. Why don't we see it as a call to arms?

Felons rights, considering the numbers that will be represented, should be on every politician's agenda.

If you don't like how you are treated you can either accept it, or change it.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger bc said...

Pay real close attention to this year's elections. Tonight is the republican debate, watch it. See which candidates are looking out for our interests. It's going to take effort but "WE" can get this done. Again, there are 14 million felons out there and many of which can vote. Let's be heard! Go to your respective states website and find out who your representatives and senators are, reach out to them and let them know how important of an issue this is and how it effects you and society. There are ELECTED officials out there that care about OUR interests, let's keep them in office and put more like them in office. Start by watching the debate tonight. Get involved in politices, volunteer on campaigns. That's how I got involved. I found candidate for governor that cared about my interests and volunteered on the campaign. Bottom line, there are 14 MILLION of us out there, let's spread the word to vote for the candidates who care about US! Start by continuing to talk about the candidates that care on here. I'll help to compile a list.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger babygirlforreal1 said...

i have a felony conviction, i am a former correction officer who was charged with sexual misconduct with an inmate in the first degree. even though their was no proof of the fact, i did in fact lose my job. and now i can't find employment any where. i been to temp agencies who wont place me because of my background, i filled out numerous applications no call backs. i can get a job in schools, daycares, nursing homes, etc. i've even applied for housekeeping positions and clerical positions, but cant get pass the felony conviction question on my application. now what should i do.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Run with Pure Desire said...

Ok, I have read the comments good and bad. First for the people that do not have a record. You do not understand and that is ok. My comments will be for you as well.
Now, for my brothers and sisters that are ex felons. We are part of an elite group that can and will over come anything. Think about it, you are still standing and life has knocked you down.
Your desire will move you ahead of your record of being a ex felon.Your life and your family depends on you desire to overcome anything. Listen, you can over come anythng when you have a plan.The fact that I am writing these words it is not an accident. I do not know how I stumbled across this page. But there is Power in My Words and it will Free you from your record of an ex felon. No, I am not a Preacher. I will not tell you just to pray and it will be ok. I will tell you to pray and then follow through with the plan that Freed me. I will tell you the plan after I see that you are listening.
I do not want weak people that will give up because of what they said or what they did. It is over, Now let's go and put your Game Face On. Take no prisoners leave the past and your record behind. Make money legally and take care of you families. Please reply by saying " I am ready to Run with Pure Desire".

At 1:18 PM, Blogger AC said...

I am a Business Services Specialist for the County of Los Angeles with some good information. Blue collar, union apprenticeships accept felons and no experience is necessary. Get paid training as a union apprentice. These jobs require various degrees of physical ability but they are steady and always in demand.

California, union apprenticeships are from one to five years in duration and you get paid half the union rate(around $15/hour)to learn one of the following trades: Asbestos Workers, Barber, Boilermaker, Bricklayer, Carpentry, Carpet Linoleum, Cement Masons, Cosmetology, Drywall/Lathers, Electrical & Electric, Elevator Mechanic, Operating Engineer, Glazier & Glass Workers, Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning, Iron & Steel Workers, Laborers, Linemen, Machinist, Millwright, Painting & Decoration, Plasterer, Plumbing & Pipefitting, Roofer, Sheet Metal, Surveyor or Tile Layer/Setter.

Each year your pay goes up about $5 until you end up a union Journeyman earning the full rate depending on the trade(around $30/hour). Most do not even require a high school diploma or GED. None require a college education but to be an electrician, for example, you will need to have passed Algebra I in high school. One requirement is that you must have a valid, CA driver's license. I was told that another requirement is the use of any vehicle, whether owned or borrowed, with liability insurance under your name but it turns out that all you have to do is show up for a job and work it out with the crew about carpooling, if necessary.

Good tip:

We had a Participant(felon) come in to the office a few days ago who told us about how he followed our advice and applied to be an apprentice for the Pipefitting union. He started as #33 on the list and was told how it works. The union calls in chronological order the apprentices on the list many times daily depending upon how many Journeymen/employers call their office looking for apprentices. If no one responds then they keep going down the list until they find someone who is available. He said that he went to the union office every day for two weeks until one day they called on him because supposedly all the other 32 apprentices in the list above him never called back.

The tip is to do what Woody Allen states, “90% of success is just showing up.” As a felon, you should know that you will never be treated fairly in any society. That is another form of prejudice that you cannot escape from. What you can do is be the one who is always there with a smile on his face, ready to take the job and do that job well. Once you prove that you are willing to do what it takes to do a better job than the other guy and you do it, people will respect you.

The website for union apprenticeships in California is:

Any feedback and/or further tips on finding felons jobs would be appreciated. My name is Anthony Carregal and I can be reached at

At 11:42 AM, Blogger ya boy jay said...

Im a recent college grad with a degree in marketing and you guessed it, a convicted felon. I was convicted of selling a quater pound of marijuana almost 7 years ago, I only served 21 days in the county jail! These evil, heartless fools won't give me the time of day. I've lied, I've told the truth, it dosen't work! Im depressed and stressed, sometimes I don't even wanna get up in the morning, and sometimes I can't get to sleep at night. They have taken the one thing away from a human being that I think everyone is entitled too, and thats the opportunity to work and make a living for yourself. Now its time for some tough love to my follow non-violent felons in this situation that are on this site, all that suicide talk is wack! You aint hurting nobody but yourself and the love ones around you! That is the most selfish and cowardly act any human being can commit. I know its foul how they doing us, but that aint the solution. Trust in the lord, and stay on your grind! I know this is not what god has planned for me, and Im not gonna let this label determine my life. I own a rental property, and have sold two houses in the past year, and Im gonna keep looking for a job, and if I can't find one then Im gonna make my own job, be my own boss! I love everyone on this site, and let's stay focused! God Bless.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger N4life said...

I agree bc, we as ex-felons should take more of an active role in the politics of our fates. I know of a few politicians in my state that have introduced or supported bills that would give more rights to felons within the job market. Unfortunately one of these advocates recently passed away.
I have a B.S. in science, was a National Guard accountan, had an excellent job and was fast climbing the "ladder". One felony as the result of a night of drinking and some overzealous cops and prosecutor now I work as a pizza delivery driver. Which is kind of funny since call centers will not hire me because I would deal with customers over the phone but it is OK for me to go into a customers home to give him his/her pizza. Anyway I know there are plenty of felons out there who would work harder and be better employees than any non-felon; many of us who made one mistake, were railroaded, or those who are legitimately reformed who need a opportunity. My wife and I have several business ideas we are kicking around for the immediate future and are working on a long term business goal. I have done quite a bit of research about the law (expungement, appeals, labor law etc.) since my conviction and there is literally no incintive other than token tax breaks for employers to hire ex-felons. WE NEED TO ORGANIZE!. I know there are some groups and websites that have and are making such attempts but it seems they don't get far. It is difficult to get anyone on the side of a "felon", though I think there are some approaches we could take to get something done.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

Self-employment is gaining considerable recognition in Kansas City KS and it is also something I continue to press as an alternative. We live in a country that in many states are not going to expunge felony's, therefore keeping a good man/woman down. I ran across an article where ex-offenders started and ran a credit union. The Delancy Street Projects shows what can be done when we think outside the box. I firmly believe in entrepreneurism as a key to building a better mouse-trap that can help those of us who truly want to move forward with our lives.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger bc said...

Ex-offenders, their families and friends, please vote to make a difference. We need to vote for the right candidate that will make changes that will improve our lives! And that candidate is Barack Obama, below is an excerpt from his website on key issues he CARES about!

Please reference your states sites on guidelines for felon voting, most of US are able to vote. There's about 14 million convicted felons in the US, and that's A LOT OF VOTING POWER!!!

Obama will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.

Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support
Obama will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society. Obama will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates.

Eliminate Sentencing Disparities
Obama believes the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.

Expand Use of Drug Courts
Obama will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.

Please get out and VOTE!!!

At 10:11 PM, Blogger ECANO said...


At 2:42 PM, Blogger inj07 said...

Dear Others,

After reading this I am saddened, deeply. I am one of you, and I am also not. I was forced into a probation plea deal 7 years ago by the judge....My case was absurd, I was charged on a statement, with no evidence, which took almost two years to get to trial...and was heavily charged. I was the victim of injustice, and my lawyer convinced me that a plea was the best way out because I was staring 15yrs in the face, on heresay. Cops lie, DA's dont care about justice as much as winning, and judges care about retention. On top of it all, who you know does count against/for you....So, when I wake up each morning, I am pissed....because now I have a felony on my record, cant get a job, and dont know how to make things right again. I am sure most of you feel this: "No matter how much people say it will be better tomorrow...u know it wont"....I dont want to die of a broken spirit...I literally feel ashamed for not fighting like a madman agaisnt a corrupt system....what can we do.? What is the right thing here?

At 10:57 AM, Blogger brianskroski said...

Hi all my fellow "losers". I grew up traveling the world and excelling in school. My dad worked for USAid. I graduated HS 8th in my class and had many honors. Then I got arrested for a resinated bong that I bought 2 hours prior and barely used it. I got charged with poss cds. I did the first time offender thing and got it erased. A year later I got arrested for possession of an empty 1 gram vial that happened to have had pharmeceutical coke in it. I didnt know this and did happen to find it at a house. I was going to trade it for a joint that night at the local party. Anyways, I got charged with poss cds. Then 2 years later, after a Dead show I got caught with 100 hits of mescaline. They said it was LSD but I assure you it wasnt. I got a 1st degree charge with poss and intent that is with me for life. Thats it.. no more to tell save that I went to college and graduated 4th at Johnson and Whales Univ with a bachelors degree that I paid 45,000 for and cant get any job with it. I have tried everything for 7 years and cant get anything better then taxis. I owe an arm and leg and will remain forever in debt and poor. This is what the government wants, especially in these recessionary days. Keep the creme de la creme at the top and let all the others sink. I am not hopeful nor positive and 20 years has past since any problems with the law. I do not do drugs nor drink any alcohol, although I am not an addict. I was just a kid doing kid stuff but always got caught. What a wonderful country we live in when the real crooks; Enron Worldcom, industrial polluters, bilk our country for its blood and they get fined or a raise. Think about it!

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Shelli said...

Whew! I am the wife of a man with a criminal past. I have stood by his side and believed in him throughout our near ten year marriage.. He was released for thanksgiving 2007. He cannot come home because I live in an apartment that discriminates against those who have done their time.. Double punishment. Not only that but since we paid for the background check he is now not allowed on our property to even help me move. He cant get financial aid to go to school, no jobs yet, so we are looking into starting a business and hiring people who desire a crime free life yet have a history. I really am behind restorative Justice and getting out there with votes and letters. The Safety and Justice program in Oregon is hiring for an organizer to mobilize voters and legislation for these causes. United we can stand. Celebrate Recovery has been an incredible help to my husband and I also. Please take care and know my prayers are with all of you. Prison Fellowship also has some aftercare helps with mentors for those seeking life change and a Christian walk.. With all my love~ Shell

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Moderator said...

Shelli, I have long promoted entrepreneurship for those who have felony convictions. Until laws are changed to give back the basic rights for tohoce convicted in states that do not allow expungments, then one must do what they gotta do to keep a sense of pride. As for financial aid, in many instances there are federal funds to pay for training opportunities. The Workforce Investment Act is the first to come to mind. Every state has offices that receives funds to pay for job training (specialy those that can lead to certifications) and when necessary, an ex-con may need to start the program themself. Our country will always need plumbers, carpenters, electricians. People can maintain their frustration 'trying to get a job', but the fact is, there a fewer opportunities for us. I started my own business facilitating training under the federal funded agency and work to help people (some whom are ex-offenders) start or expand a business) I know what I'm talking about as I too did time.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Yolanda said...

I have just read alot of the comments here and I feel for each of you. I am not a felon, but my spouse is. It is hard to watch him struggle. Here is a college educated, highly intellegent man who made some mistakes in his past. What I don't understand is that once a person has served their time, and probation and fines are levied, how do they expect them to pay that back if there are no job opportunities? He has been blessed in the fact that he is a very skilled framer. Since that seems to be an uncommon skill in our area, he has been able to find some work, but if he couldn't work for himself, what would he do? I like the idea of having a company that only employs felons. My husband as well as everyone here deserves a chance to be productive. My prayers are with all of you.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Shelli said...

Thanks for your insights Yolanda! I wish you and your husband the very best! I am trying to get involved in groups like Safety and Justice, Cure, and prison fellowship to work on meeting re entry needs of families. Our family is so on the edge right now and so in the middle of the struggle but once we reach the other side I want to be there to lift others up who are where we have been... Right now I write to my state representative and senators and I look at presidential intentions and history in voting and I write letters of support when positive re entry measures are supported. Obama has a plan to help. I plan to vote for him. With 650,000 new inmates released a year that could be a lot of votes... yet some states don't allow the vote.. Perhaps they want to keep people in their place.. But I don't care to be a victim any longer. I want to make a positive change. I want to be victorious in this community, nation and world at spreading love, healing and peace. I want to help provide an avenue through which those who once did wrong are free to go on and do what is right... I am praying for all of us in this struggle called life.. I am praying for restorative Justice, love, healing and peace.. Take care! Love Pearl

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Shelli said...

Also thank you to the Moderator comments. Those were helpful and I responded not knowing i needed to post here to let you know my appreciation. I passed the info on to my husband but he is feeling very deflated and on the edge right now. We are hoping for a miracle this week! A spring break :) Thanks~ Shell=Pearl

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Yolie said...

Shelli, I wish you and your husband the best as well. Tell your husband to hold on things will get better. Keep up the letter writing too. My husband does the same thing and he actually got an invitation to speak with our congressman. Hopefully he make some progress here in Georgia. This state needs all the help it can get. Y

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

It's hard to watch anyone stuggle in life and so ironic for that person to be living in the 'Land of Opportunity'. When we see chidren stuggle, we get them additional help, send them to resources that have the ability to help, but we don't throw up our hands as if nothing can be done.

The same should go for those with felony convictions in their past.
"Once a person has served their time, and probation and fines are levied, how do they expect them to pay that back if there are no job opportunities?"

Well, this country hasn't figured that one out yet, but some examples of how others overcame can be insoiring. Some have gone on to college and gotten the right degree, at the right place, at the right time. Even more have done better than college graduates by starting their own business in a field they already have skills for. For those in the middle, 'doing nothing is not an option'.

I know from researching industries that 'framers' are in need. Even though the home buying bubble is here, there is still a lot of growth in the area. Finding a location where growth is immenent (due to the building of a new complex, stadium, resort,,,) is a good indicator that new homes are being built. Areas around military bases that will get more troops from the reduction of forces overseas is another opportunity.
Job applications will always ask the question on if a person has been convicted of a felony, but a Request for Proposal or Bid will not.

Besides the effort to lobby legislators, we need to also encourage and support our ex-offender friends and family to create companies to compete for contracts, and to then hire those like us who want to fill those skilled positions. We need to create organizations that can provide small business training and services, and go after the re-entry money available at the federal and state level. We have to be proactive in not just the clarion call, but on the solutions as well.

but if he couldn't work for himself, what would he do?

Sometimes we create a question looking for an answer prematurely. Sort of like spending more tiime looking for a flaw whereas none may exist. In many instances 'we can work for ourselves' unless we have a bonafide disability. Don't ask questions that needs no answer and you have just answered the question. We are conditioned to think like that and when we acknowledge the real barriers and dismiss the presumed ones we are dealing with the facts and not the fictions.

Changing or mindsets and therefore outlook, is an important process to begin seeking new activities and solutions.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger marcus said...

"Easier said than done"...We have all said this many of times being in our situation. Whether in your head or out loud...Who am I? I was an upcoming all star athlete. Football&Track Phenom in '93 competing against Mo Greene...I unfortunately lost all chances of scholarships due to being a "High Risk" from a low class felony that was handed to me prior to college offers...You already know the deal...lost all that i had worked HARD for in life up to that point. I was doing odd jobs of service...General Labor, Moving&Delivery, Irrigation, Lawn Care to construction. However, with labor intensive jobs being the only source of work that I had been able to land...I used it to my advantage. I took everything I learned over the years and I started my own business. Since i had learned from my experiences with prior jobs...I took what i knew/know and flipped it. You aren't gonna get rich immediately, but you have a better chance going the right path and learning the "in's and out's" about being a business owner. You are only gonna get taxed on what money you have yourself a wage and put as much back into your company. Once you have significantly grown...Start another simple business. Stay Provocative with business. Recession is big now, but change your business to suite the slumping economy; what is a needed service that is low overhead, but can bring in enough to cover "Myself and overhead; i.e. (cost of gas,insurance, vehicle maintainance,?employee wages?etc... DO YOUR RESEARCH it isn't going to be HANDED to YOU...YOU are gonna have to do some work, but the time it takes you to moap around the house and feel sorry for yourself, you can be doing something creative/constructive with the stress and turn it around. It has taken my 5 years to make a decent living, but stick with it...Find a job to support your interest/passion. You might not get paid like you want, but it is well worth sticking it thru...Quiting or Committing suicide is Failure! You are worth more than giving up...Fight for what you want, then you children will learn that characteristic to be "mentally tough" and they will be better than you...don't give them a reason to not PUSH HARD FOR WHAT THEY WANT...sorry go caught up in one of the other post...god bless you my man! Back to mission at hand. POSITIVE reading I RECOMMEND..."The Millionaire Mind" by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., "The Millionaire Next Door" by TJ.Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D., Entrepreneur Magazine's "START YOUR OWN BUSINESS" The only start up book you'll need. by Rieva Lesonsky, "The One Minute Manager" by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, "The Robert Half Way to Get Hired in Today's Job Market" by Robert Half, THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "QUIET STRENGTH" The Principles, Practices and Priorities of a Winning Life by TONY DUNGY. I hope that some of this may influence and motivate some to do for self, cause the VIOLENCE AND CRIME has to stop. Losing people we love and will NEVER see again because of wrong decisions. Make a difference for yourself...Others around will admire you and YOU may make a difference for them. NO EXCUSES! STOP GIVING EXCUSES! EXCUSES ARE YOUR FIRST STEPS TO FAILURE. GOD BLESS! MB

At 2:12 AM, Blogger tonynca said...

I recommend all of you guys to write your congressmen and ask them to take more effort into getting "H.R. 623: Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act of 2007" bill passed.

Here's more info:

It will expunge your record in certain circumstances. You guys have shown me how hard life can be and I'm truly appreciative for my life but I may be facing the same life style as some of you. Hopefully God will give me the strength to proceed. Just pray with all your heart that things will get better, God will answer your prayers.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Jdream said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Chris said...

for those who live in minneapolis, mn. try st. stevens 612-874-0311 for employment and housing assistance. they work with landlords and have found me some leads for housing.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Amanda Byrd said...

Hello Mr.Uggen.
My name is Amanda Byrd and I was convicted in Sept, 2000 and it was "Trafficing a controlled substance within a 1000yrds of a school". The town I lived in eveything was within 1000yrds of a school. I just can't seem to get a job unless I lie on my application and even then they do background checks and I end up getting fired for it anyhow. How do they expect me to get my charge expunged if I am unable to work to pay for an expungement??? Do you have any advice???

At 1:07 PM, Blogger dioncristo said...

Dr. Uggen,

Thank you for putting this website together. It's helped me to see what I am faced with. I now know what to expect as a felon. I am 33 year man from California. I was convicted of US code 18,875c which is the posting of a threatening communication over the interstate commerce (internet). I posted a dark and sarcastic joke on my blog a few days after the VA shooting. It said that I would "Save 50 Pathetic Souls at my school". I wasn't even going to school. Somebody commented that even though they knew it was a joke, that they would call the FBI which they did. In all honesty I think a part of me wanted to draw some attention to my blog but I never imagined any of this would happen. I signed a confession within 1 hour and never denied it but tried to explain that I didn't mean it. They let me go and then the media picked up and all hell broke loose. My Federal attorney told me to take the plea and I did. They gave me 6 months and 3 years Supervised Release. I could live with all that. What really gets me is how horrible it feels to have this negative stigma. Everything from friends to the community. I just found out that I will never be able to expunge it because I was convicted in California and did serve time. I know that employers are not going want to hear an explanation. They will only see "threatening communication". I'm not ready to throw in the towel, reading the stories here has helped me get perspective. I will do my best to reconstitute myself and move forward despite all the negative feeling associated with being a felon.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger dioncristo said...

Dr. Uggen,

Thank you for putting this website together. It's helped me to see what I am faced with. I now know what to expect as a felon. I am 33 year man from California. I was convicted of US code 18,875c which is the posting of a threatening communication over the interstate commerce (internet). I posted a dark and sarcastic joke on my blog a few days after the VA shooting. It said that I would "Save 50 Pathetic Souls at my school". I wasn't even going to school. Somebody commented that even though they knew it was a joke, that they would call the FBI which they did. In all honesty I think a part of me wanted to draw some attention to my blog but I never imagined any of this would happen. I signed a confession within 1 hour and never denied it but tried to explain that I didn't mean it. They let me go and then the media picked up and all hell broke loose. My Federal attorney told me to take the plea and I did. They gave me 6 months and 3 years Supervised Release. I could live with all that. What really gets me is how horrible it feels to have this negative stigma. Everything from friends to the community. I just found out that I will never be able to expunge it because I was convicted in California and did serve time. I know that employers are not going want to hear an explanation. They will only see "threatening communication". I'm not ready to throw in the towel, reading the stories here has helped me get perspective. I will do my best to reconstitute myself and move forward despite all the negative feeling associated with being a felon.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Lisamree said...

Each of you has a special gift, talent, ability to endure, that you can market. The trick is to have a skill that others HAVE to come to you for. That may mean specializing your skills sets, starting your own business, finding a niche in your community. But the truth is this, you will have to find it. There are few people willing to look at helping ex-felons, although that list is getting longer everyday.

If you don't know what your gifts are, go to your local community college and ask for testing that shows your strengths. Go to your friends and ask them what they see in you...explore!

If others will not help us, we have to help us.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger omacane2 said...

It is sad to read all of your statements‘. I to am a (F)“Grand larceny” I am 31 it has been 12 years. I to have had a hard time finding work BUT I have solved MY prob I opened a locksmiths shop. so I would say find what you can do and work for your self. It is the only way we can get by. To many people judge us by ours past
I worked for a store and was fired I lied on my application and when they promoted me to manager they ran a back round check that was the end of that. At that point I gave up and decided I need to work for my self I know have 6 trucks and 7 people that work for me here is the kicker I only hire EX felons

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Moderator said...

Omacane2, great example of self-employment as your choice of solution. And kudos to hiring ex-felons. Of those who may have something they can do profitably, I suggest they look seriously into having their own business. That in itself will fix some of the problems. As these businesses are successful; while also hiring exfelons, other problems the equally impact all felons will begin to be resolved.

I find that there must be a concerted effort to push for all states to have some sort of right to expungment on its books. States like Kansas does whereas border state Missouri does not. Having helped others in Kansas get records expunged, I can't help a person moved to Kansas with a prior Missouri felony. Which sucks, because I know how a person feels when given a good paying job.

You should check with your local workforce center to see if there are any entrepreneurial training classes you can signup for.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

OK. Well. I guess I'll be the one of the positive stories here. Couple of years ago I was convicted of a bullshit felony and a strike for breaking into my parents house. Nonetheless, I was convicted and in the eys of the "law" I am now an ex-felon. Fuck the US Justice System. However, I am now the VP of Sales/Marketing for a company in CA. Listen, if you're a felon and you want to make money get your ass into sales and do so quickly. Companies rely heaviliy on talented sales professionals and WILL make exceptions. I have worked for three major corporations as a felon and have made more money with a felony and no degree, i might add, than without. Quit fucking wining and do something for God sake!

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Charita said...


I to am a Felon the name that society gave me. Fortunate for me my name is a Charita, a Army Veteran, and never been in trouble before. My story is no different from any-one else's we are all FELONIES according to society

It is just another name that has been given to separate the good and the bad. That is not who I am.

I'm a African American Women, that made one mistake. However, like the judge told me that sentenced me. You made more good choices in your life, than you EVER! made bad ones. Walk away with this as a mistake.

Yes, I know in my heart that I'm a child of God! I made a mistake. Poor Judgement.

I'm prosecuted every time I apply for a job over, and over, and over, again.

Brothers and Sisters please Seal Your Records if time as passed don't let them continue to have that noose around your neck. You can Free yourselves. It have been 3 years for me and I'm trying to get my sealed now.

We need to take a stand to find out how to bring this to Legistration that is what I'm looking for.

Does any know how we can get his on the ballot. It conflicts with the most applications states. If it has been 7years you don't have to expose it.

However, the background check contradicts it. I'm looking for an answer to that question why is that! What can I do you get that corrected.

For even stating you wanted to die brother please as my brother of the ARMED services. God brought you home.

This is a TEST. Go and look into programs that help Felons they may work for you. It hasn't for me in Nevada.

God has my back, believe and trust in him. Share your testimonies with the young sisters and brothers.

Reach out and go talk to your youths it may be a calling. Look into going back to school. Try to find out how you can open a non-profit organization, to help felons find a job..

God Bless All OF YOU!!!!

Working on a Nursing Degree.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Charita said...


I to am a Felon the name that society gave me. Fortunate for me my name is a Charita, a Army Veteran, and never been in trouble before. My story is no different from any-one else's we are all FELONIES according to society

It is just another name that has been given to separate the good and the bad. That is not who I am.

I'm a African American Women, that made one mistake. However, like the judge told me that sentenced me. You made more good choices in your life, than you EVER! made bad ones. Walk away with this as a mistake.

Yes, I know in my heart that I'm a child of God! I made a mistake. Poor Judgement.

I'm prosecuted every time I apply for a job over, and over, and over, again.

Brothers and Sisters please Seal Your Records if time as passed don't let them continue to have that noose around your neck. You can Free yourselves. It have been 3 years for me and I'm trying to get my sealed now.

We need to take a stand to find out how to bring this to Legistration that is what I'm looking for.

Does any know how we can get his on the ballot. It conflicts with most applications. If it has been 7years you don't have to expose it.

However, the background check contradicts it. I'm looking for an answer to that question why is that! What can I do you get that corrected.

For even stating you wanted to die brother please as my brother of the ARMED services. God brought you home.

This is a TEST. Go and look into programs that help Felons they may work for you. It hasn't for me in Nevada.

God has my back, believe and trust in him. Share your testimonies with the young sisters and brothers.

Reach out and go talk to your youths it may be a calling. Look into going back to school. Try to find out how you can open a non-profit organization, to help felons find a job..

God Bless All OF YOU!!!!

Working on a Nursing Degree.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger gary said...

look some of us get lucky and get a job. I worked for ten years when I first got out of prison, New management came in and let me go but now its been three years, 6 months ago I was arrested for trying to change my name at DMV for perjury can you believe that to was a felony, I am lucky I haven't gone back to prison, I find out that if you do a google search on my name I have case law pop up where when I appealed my case. so it explains what happened in the rubbery I did with a gun and how violent It was. now I feel like I am criminally disable, so I wrote to the ACLU asking for a class action for all ex felons to be able to get disability like any handicap person, I haven't receive an answer yet from the ACLU but I think the longer it is the more they are considering it. I will let you know I might need afue ex felons to sign on for the class action. IF that was to happen their would be public pressure to let ex felons work because tax payers would be piss't off that they would have to support us.expungement don't work like you may think because their is alot of information on you in data base systems and news paper clipings that pops up on you. So all I can say is, its a hard knock life for us!

At 4:27 AM, Blogger gary said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Chris said...

gary, sounds like an interesting idea. many of us end up back in prison trying to make it out here. 65,000 a year is spent in there. they could do some sort of employment program requiring us to apply for 5 jobs a week. when we are working the payments stop, we keep reporting our income and when it stops our payments start back us as does the requirement to do job search. i will sign if it comes to that.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger freeman said...

I'm also a convicted felon. That conviction was over 20 years ago. I'm tired of complaining about who want hire me. I survived 15 years in prison because I refused to lay down and die. I paroled a life sentence becasue I believed in the impossible while all those around me wrote me off for dead. I am here. I am free. And I will not settle for less than all I believe.
If they won't hire us, then let us join together our resources, talent, and education and start our own companies and communities. If there are thousands of us out there, and each contribute ten dollars a month, then state by state we build a community of hope and economic independence.

Signed: No longer on the inside looking out--but now on the outside looking in.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger freeman said...

Imagine thousands of ex-felon, pooling their resources, education, and talents to realize their dreams and claim back their lives. Imagine housing communities established by us for us. together is where our voice is heard. together is how we overcome the looks of accusation and fear and even reflexions of shame. I love each and every one of you because you have stood your ground and kept your humanity inspite of it all. But we must stand again once more together for an idea greater than anyone one of us individually. We are here. alive. in this short brief period of life to live. just live. without the continues judgement and without the shame. But with hope and real opportunity for a life as full as anyone else.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

I always enjoy forward talk, than looking back. If we could change our actions, we might not have gotten in the trouble we did and I know some who would probably do something else if they would have gotten away with what they were convicted of.

The point is, we must be creative to establish our place in America. Some states are cruel and doesn't allow those convicted of a felony to vote, own land, run for any public office, or to obtain an expungment. On the expungment piece, I think because it isn't a uniform right in all states; it a little cruel and unusual and is one instance where state supremacy of legislation is a failure.

Nevertheless, learning the business game to take control of ones destiny is not an impossible feat. Of all those things I listed one can't do, going into business is one we can. It may require one to get out of; or think outside their comfort-zone, but consider the options?

I ran across a credit union established by ex-convicts. After reading the article it made perfect sense; which is why it worked. Cooperatives, corporations, LLCs,,, none of these applications ask the ominous question of 'have you been convicted of a felony offense?'

Get a skill that is either in demand or in an area where mother nature always creates work. Get a CDL, get some entrepreneurial training and secure a dump truck, and pursue contracts hauling dirt to/from a major construction project. Do your homework downtown at city hall and ask you can get a contract doing XYZ. Seek answers and ye shall find.

Some of the strangest small businesses do well. An example is a guy I know and all he does is lease traffic cones, signs, etc. In any city or state it is a requirement that when street, road and bridge work is being done, these cones, signs are to be on the project until completion. The city doesn't own them, does a lot of street work and therefore must contract that out. I still don't think this guy has any competition.

Now, that is the type of enterprise we can enter whether we actually do the work or not. We can form companies that just go after these contracts in cities where its favorable to do so. i.e. drivers, dispatchers, workers, contract preparers, business developers, office clerical. This is an industry that is big business; even for those that don't even get their hands dirty!

Then we hire ourselves and get a bunch of PR for doing it....

'you have to have a dream to have a dream come true'

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Shelli said...


At 5:01 PM, Blogger Martez said...

Hey you can find jobs just for felons on

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Figaro said...

It is about time that attention is given to ex-felons. I think our society talk from both sides of their mouth when they are talking about rehabilitation. Specially people who are going through great efforts trying to get on with thier lives. Society creats artificials barriers and double jepordy. I think no other country but the USA go out of their way to creat problems with people who want to work and the mediawar created to make it worse for exfelons........... Who are the worse offenders of the barrier creations? Who else, but the "do gooders" in the Social Sciences. They make arbitrary desicions and choose not to hire exfelons while at the same time claiming to want to help them. Then they worry when the crime rate goes up.
Many people (even ExFelons) do not know that there is a Federal Bonding (insurance) Program that will insuare Employers from $5000, up to $25000 if they hire an ex Felon. If by any reason one was to do a crime on the employer (not recommended). Then the employer will be compensated. I believe that the Insurance Company will then go after the theaf. I suspect that not many employers get callect on the money (I should research it). I think that we need to get organized. Just to support each other and request more programas like this that keep us from the STIGMA and creat more opportunities. And demand less arbitrary desicions. There is a media war against us. It is prejudicial, arbitrary and non sensical. POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
WE all loose because we can be the most competent person for the position, but employers loose their integraty when they hire he less able and capable of preforming he jobs. I THINK hat I am appropriely and POSITIVELY ANGRY. I am no going to hurt anyone because I am angry. But, I am surely doing my bes to reduce the harm that SOCIETY IS CAUSING US. MY CRIME OF DRUG POSSESSION ARE VICTIM LESS CRIMES, SO I AM NOT GOING O GO AROUND CREATING MORE VICTIMS. But I am trully sick and tire of being victamist by a society that make arbitrary desicions. I already paid my dues, I do no see why I need o continue to pay a debt, that has already been paid.
We do no need to commit suicide, and I cann' tell you to no feel hopelessness. But we need to get angry enough to get organize and make a difference in each other lives.
Be AWARE of do gooders that talk from both sides of their mouth. The Salvation Army was started to help convicted felons , but their missions have change to help he homeless (not a bad mission), but they have ignore us to a greater degree. Apparently, they do not get paid for helping exfelons anymore Candi I agree with you that these crimes are the symptoms not the problem. But the SALLY in Miami on 36 Street is acting wiard. I like you, I see it in your writing.

We are EX Felons, meaning that is in the past. We are not FELONS ANY MORE. MOST of our lives is about living it and trying o get on wih it. WORK IS A GREAT part of it. Do not be a problem, but part of the solution.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger jupiter said...

It's time to unite as the afro-americans united in the civil rights movement.To all Ex-Felons, from this day forth we will no longer complain, we will change. We cannot change what we are willing to tolerate. Our mission-----Operation Restoration

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Shelli said...

Unity is a beautiful thing.. especially when based on the content of ones character rather than skin tone. I appreciate cultural origins.. but I thank God that my connections are not limited to vikings... I thank God for my heroes and pastors and dearest beloved friends and family of African American descent. I guess that I am hoping we ALL can unite, lift each other up and rise beyond the forces that keep people down. The bible says we war not against flesh and blood but powers and principalities... and the power of oppression and hatred are the things I would like to unite to oppose. May we all find meaningful work that we enjoy and be set free from the labels that keep us down.. May we live together in unity on this planet and love one another while we are here! I love you Martin Luther King Jr.. I wish you were here to guide us... I loved all that you did and all you were up to for the good of mankind.. love Shell

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Chris said...

alright, lets use this blog as a sounding board for what we figure out about starting and running a business. i am in minneapolis, mn. here we have a business library called the james j hill library. the librarians are bored and will go out of their way to help learn. i incorporated in MN as a "s" type corporation. that gives me legal protection. if i screw up this one short of irs issues or bank issues, i can go and incorporate another one without effecting me. i filed the articles of incorporation using the form they had and paid the filing fee. then i filled out an ss-4 form to get my employer identification number (EIN) and used that to open a bank account. then i went through the phone book and called all of the general contractors, roofing contractors, and real estate companies. i am a painting contractor, almost. still trying to get some call backs. i send them a price sheet and some information i made up about my company. i will let you all know if this works.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

Chris, be sure to get your DUNS number, to register with the Central Contractor Registry (; which will place you in position to seek out federal contracts. Once you do these, find a PTAC (Procurement & technical assistance center) whose job is to help businesses secure government contracts. If you have these other things completed, it will speed up the process for them to help.

Call your city and county to see what it takes to get on the bid list, and focus on the department that receives the HUD dollars. HUD Regulation: Section 3 requires they seek out and contract with individuals with low and moderate incomes.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Chris said...

i have worked for a minority owned business before and have helped them to become certified from county all the way to DOD. i wasn't sure how it would work for a a white male. i did put the business in my wifes name since she helps on the job and does the bookkeeping. i don't want to take advantage of that option until i can hire people. then i will most likely hire a good percentage of "minorities." providing there are plenty of qualified candidates which there will be. if i remember right there is CERT which is a central certification program for all 37 counties in MN. then there is a state certification, MMSDC minnesota minority supplier development network which is a part of NMSDC national minority supplier development network, then we have section 8a which is an SBA cert that gives you federal jobs that have been kicked down to a state level such as jobs on native american reservations, CCR, Army core of engineers, and ??? i forget it has been a while. i really appreciate the idea of Duns number and hud. isn't hud section 3 or something. regardless i will update you all when i get my duns and such. thanks again...

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

Obtaining either DBE Certification or SDB Federal Certification is based on being social and economically disadvantaged. It is based on what your personal net worth, number of employees and gross revenue. Small Disadvantage Business (SDB) is a must in order to position on to compete for federal contracts and local funded projects with federal funds attached.

HUD Section 3 regulations require HUD funded projects and administrative offices to seek out and hire/procure from individuals who are low to moderate income. I'm sure they have some units needing painting every now and then? There are also privately-owned housing units receiving HUD money as rent subsidies whom also have to follow Section 3.

You have to be in business for at least 2 years to obtain 8(a) cert, but it should be a goal to shoot for. Having a low income, being a small business and having a distinct disadvantage to compete provides you just as much ability than those who are women and minorities. Without being aggressive with the certifications, there just pieces of paper, but using them wisely can possibly keep a person busy working, making decent money and being in charge and in control.

Minnesota Unified Certification Program

At 5:15 AM, Blogger YvonneB said...

I've been up with a horrible tootache... was researching home remedies to help me make it until my oral surgery appointment next week and came across this site... how? because I was researching "progress of expungement"/ and why would an attractive, married, mother of three living in the suburbs and a Christian looking up something like that at three o clock in the morning? Because I just filed for expungement of my criminal record last month.

I was arrested, and fingerprinted, and thrown in jail over ten years ago for stealing a pair of stockings for prom.

This offense got me booted out of several GOOD jobs including Sprint and Bank One before. I have been a stay at home mom, since 2001 but decided to go back to school last year and will be graduating from college in spring of 2010 with a bachelor's in speech communications and will be returning to the workforce. I KNOW FOR A FACT that for the type of professional postions I will be seeking, background checks will be performed.

This is why I will be pursuing grants to open a not-for-profit agency to help ex-offenders find employment. I know what it is like to fill out a job application that you know you are qualified for, and have to skip the "ever been convicted of a felony" question. Because the truth is, you dont even have to be convicted, just let something be on your record PERIOD- and its enough to get you OUT of a job.

My husband used to work in social services, and it was his job to help ex-offenders, AIDS sufferers, and disable people find employment. And he did an excellent job... until like most social service agencies, the folks running it became interested in getting more money for themselves and the program's funding was cut.

I know that by God's grace, I will open up a real agency that will focus on helping people get back on their feet.

Until then, DON'T GIVE UP YA'LL! Hook up with as many social service agencies as you can... go to the resale store and get a couple interview outfits, put God before you and walk out on faith. Apply for jobs and DONT STOP. Before I got married, I had a criminal record that I COULDNT GET EXPUNGED becuase there was a five year waiting period on the charge....yeah, for stealing stockings. So, I had no other choice with a sick sister at the apartment I lived in, rent that needed to be paid, groceries that needed to be purchased, I had to get a job, and I did.

God is with you! Don't give up! Put Him before you, and He WILL NOT FAIL.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Transfermycar said...

You can also try for networking for jobs and other felon-related issues.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

I am not a felon, but my brother is. He broke into a small convience store 4 years back with some friends (young people in numbers...)

He currently is living in southern Va but there aren't any opportunities for him down there. I am hoping to move him up here with me and we are looking to get him employment as a UPS driver. UPS has a history employing people with felonies in their past.

I am hoping this works out for him in the short run as we look at options for the long term.

My landlord doesn't care about his record I guess it's a part of living in the country.

To those of you who are having a horrible time finding employment. Don't give up there are people across the US who don't care where you came from, just where you are going.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger pauline said...

hi all, I'm just home from work and crying once again, I'm so depressed. My conviction is battery against my last documented abuser, and I served all my time and am now off paper. I got a job with the govenment, but I think it is because they didn't do a background check. Now I have the job, but I'm treated like dirt. I tried to contact an employment office in Colorado but I was told that they will NOT place anyone with any kind of felony conviction. In addition, most of the apartments won't even rent to anyone with a felony conviction of any kind. This leaves people no choice but to try to live in low rent districts which often have more crime....and as others on here have said, less than adequate jobs to support them. Now, my supervisors demean me, talk to me with disrespect,and then tell me that I'm over exaggerating or over sensitive if I complain. I'm in tears almost every day. I have been told many times over that I should have let my husband kill me, because then life would be better for my children who I'm trying to support. At my trial, years ago, I was compared to Nicole Simpson, and what would someone say if she had fought back and won. I don't know, I'm so depressed, like some others, I'm back to just wishing I could die and put all this behind me. I also feel like I was given a life sentence for trying to protect myself.

California DUI

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Lisamree said...


I know it's very hard, in the face of discrimination to stand up for yourself.

But you have paid your dues, in more than one way it seems, and you owe them NOTHING!

You do not need to punish yourself further. You have rights as an employee, if they are discriminating against you then take action. Take action before you do something to harm yourself.

No one knows how they would react in your shoes, so their advice as to what you should have done is useless after the fact. It is what it is.

I'll pray for your strength.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger bechem said...

To my fellow felons especially those who have earned degrees, have solid work history and have stayed out of trouble, there maybe hope. First thing first, stop being all depressed and suicidal. It is frustrating, I know, Im a felon too. My charge was phone harrassment, imagine that! In the state of Illinois there is something called executive clemency.

California Dui

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Shelli said...

My heart goes out to you Pauline. I am wondering if you might keep a journal or tape recording of things said and done and dates and times and how often they occur. It might help you in a legal case regarding your employers. I am very sensitive also and it is both a gift and a curse. I try to find strength through my faith because people always seem to let me down. Also I found I was deficient in vitamin D and that leads to depression. It also helps to get counseling and a compassionate ear... I wish you well in your situation. ~ Shell

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Second Chances said...

We need to hear from success stories. We need to hear from those who want to form an organization to stop the discrimination against ex-felons. Who is willing to take a step? Who is willing to take a chance?

At 8:02 PM, Blogger champscorner said...

Firstly, thank you chris uggen for starting this blog. As I read through every single posting for the first time I realized that there is a lot more people out there like me wich in some ways can make one feel just a little better because I have always felt isolated. There was enough conviction(no pun intended)on this blog to make me want to post which usually I'm ashamed of. i am also a felon of the 4th degree, assualt on a police officer. I could sit here and type the whole story on how I was unjustly convicted blah, blah, blah but that is the past(most don't believe you anyway). What I will comment about is my future and it isn't looking good as of late. My offense occured 10+ yrs ago and I haven't had problems since.I attended a Technical College for CAD-CAM(9yrs ago)and was lucky enough to land a great job for a private company that didn't have interest in doing background checks(really lucky).I was at this company for about 7yrs and just recently they were bought out by a large corparation. During the buy out all the employees had to re-fillout all the paperwork to be considered for employment for this new corporation. Well, as all of us could guess I wasn't there even 3mons and things changed and I was ran out. Now I can't prove that I was ran out for this reason but I(and they)know that's why. I was a great worker who went above and beyond many of the company standards but that is all for not now. So now I've been on the job hunt for a few weeks again and am finding increasingly difficult to even land an interview(surprise, huh). So just today I started looking for information on getting my conviction expunged and things started lining up; expungement is allowed in ohio(check), felony conviction has to have been at least 7yrs ago(check), pulled out the phone book, found a lawer, explained my interest(check), got a call back from lawyer saying can't expunge because it is stated in Ohio revised code that assualt on a police officer is un-expungable offense(big show stopper). So even though I made a mistake when I was 20yrs old, have a family with a child, have a solid work history, education, pay taxes, contribute to society, and am a morally good person I still will continue to pay because of 1 line in 1 states code. I am stuck with this for the rest of my life. Something should be done and I am willing to get involved if anyone out there can point me in the right direction(any info, websites, state bills, petitions, organization...ect). Also, does anyone have any updated info on Ohio State Sen Shirley Smith's proposed "2nd chance bill" as I am having trouble finding up to date info on this.

At 12:17 AM, Blogger Pearl said...

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 9, 2008

President Bush Signs H.R. 1593, the Second Chance Act of 2007
Room 350
Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Video (Windows)
Presidential Remarks

Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs Second Chance Act of 2007

10:31 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. I'm about to sign a piece of legislation that will help give prisoners across America a second chance for a better life. This bill is going to support the caring men and women who help America's prisoners find renewal and hope.

I can't thank the folks who care enough about a fellow citizen to offer their love and compassion. It's through the acts of mercy that compassionate Americans are making the nation a more hopeful place, and I want to thank you all for joining us today.

And I thank the members of Congress who have joined us as well: Senator Arlen Specter, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee; Chairman Joe Biden -- not of the Judiciary Committee --

SENATOR BIDEN: Thank God. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: -- but of Foreign Relations; but a key member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Sam Brownback, as well. So we've got three United States senators here and I'm honored they are here. Members of the United States Congress: Chairman of the House Judiciary, John Conyers, and ranking member Lamar Smith. I want to thank you all for coming.

I appreciate very much Danny Davis joining us, as well -- bill sponsor. I want to thank Jim Sensenbrenner and Bobby Scott and Howard Coble and Chris Cannon. All good members and all members who worked hard to get this piece of legislation here in a timely fashion.

I thank the Attorney General, Judge Michael Mukasey, for joining us, as well; Elaine Chao, thank you for coming, Madam Secretary; Rob Portman, former Director of the OMB; and all the supporters of the Second Chance legislation. Thanks for caring about your country, thanks for working on this piece of legislation.

The country was built on the belief that each human being has limitless potential and worth. Everybody matters. We believe that even those who have struggled with a dark past can find brighter days ahead. One way we act on that belief is by helping former prisoners who've paid for their crimes -- we help them build new lives as productive members of our society.

The work of redemption reflects our values. It also reflects our national interests. Each year, approximately 650,000 prisoners are released from jail. Unfortunately, an estimated two-thirds of them are rearrested within three years. The high recidivism rate places a huge financial burden on taxpayers, it deprives our labor force of productive workers, and it deprives families of their daughters and sons, and husbands and wives, and moms and dads.

Our government has a responsibility to help prisoners to return as contributing members of their community. But this does not mean that the government has all the answers. Some of the most important work to help ex-convicts is done outside of Washington, D.C., in faith-based communities and community-based groups. It's done on streets and small town community centers. It's done in churches and synagogues and temples and mosques.

I like to call the folks who are engaged in this compassionate work, "members of the armies of compassion." They help addicts and users break the chains of addiction. They help former prisoners find a ride to work and a meal to eat and place to stay. These men and women are answering the call to love their neighbors as they'd like to be loved themselves. And in the process, they're helping prisoners replace anger and suffering and despair with faith and hope and love.

The bill I'm signing today, the Second Chance Act of 2007, will build on work to help prisoners reclaim their lives. In other words, it basically says: We're standing with you, not against you.

First, the act will authorize important parts of the administration's Prison Re-entry Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to help America's prisoners by expanding job training and placement services, improving their ability to find transitional housing, and helping newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups.

The past three years, congressional appropriations have supported the work in 20 states through a series of pilot programs awarded to community and faith-based organizations by the U.S. Department of Labor. The early efforts have fielded promising results. In the first two years of the program, more than 12,800 offenders have enrolled in the prisoner re-entry program. More 7,900 have been placed in jobs. Only 18 percent of those enrolled in the program have been arrested again within a year -- that's less than half the national average. We like to measure results, and the results of these pilot programs are very encouraging.

With the legislation I'll sign today, Congress has recognized the success of this good policy, and I thank them for their good work. Secondly, the act will support the Justice Department's ongoing work to help our nation's prisoners. This bill will help state and local governments, and Indian tribes, and non-profit groups implement programs that will improve the prisoner re-entry process.

These programs will provide further -- former prisoners with essential services, like housing and medical care. It will help develop prisoner drug treatment programs; support prisoner mentoring initiatives. It will support family counseling and other services to help prisoners re-establish their place in the community.

In both these ways, the Second Chance Act will live up to its name; will help ensure that where the prisoner's spirit is willing, the community's resources are available. It will help our armies of compassion use their healing touch so lost souls can rediscover their dignity and sense of purpose.

I recently went to a program in Baltimore, Maryland, called Jericho. I met a man there who has kindly joined us today named Thomas Boyd. He's 53 years old. He spent more than 20 years of his life using drugs and going back and forth to jail. He remembers the day when his daughter sat down, looked him in the eye and said, "Daddy, I think it's time for you to start doing something with your life."

He took his daughter's advice. He sought out the Jericho re-entry program, which is supported by the Re-entry Initiative. When I visited the program, I tried to remind them that the least shall be first. I also reminded him I was a product of a faith-based program. I quit drinking -- and it wasn't because of a government program. It required a little more powerful force than a government program in my case.

And he told me that he appreciates the love and compassion he felt -- feels on a regular basis. He's working, back with his family; he's a good guy. And I want to thank you for coming, Thomas. (Applause.)

I want to thank you for coming, Thomas. There's a lot of other Thomases out there that we're going to help with this bill. And so I thank the members of Congress for joining us. Thanks for your hard work. I thank the members of my administration who are going to see to it that the bill is implemented properly.

And now it is my honor to sign this important piece of legislation. May God bless the country, and may God bless those who are trying to help. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

(The bill is signed.) (Applause.)

END 10:38 A.M. EDT

Return to this article at:

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Lisamree said...


Thank you for that. I am sitting at my desk weeping for the compassion of others. I believe in Matthew 25: 41-46, I believe we are called to lend a hand, to comfort, and to encourage.

It's wonderful to see it put into action.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger cornpuffsuncle said...

All I did was drop two brothers off in front of a driveway 26 years ago in 1982 (I was 18) and they stole a jeep. Yes I was guilty. Yes I did my time-no jail, just probation, but I can't buy a gun nor get a good job. Thank God for my Job I got because they never asked that dreaded question (have you ever committed a crime,if yes please explain) when they hireed me. It makes me angry that me and people like all of you have to be branded as a criminal for the rest of our lives because one stupid mistake. This is a bunch of crap and needs to be stopped. If felons are so bad why isn't half of congress rotting in prison? How does one rehbilitate themself if they can't even be allowed to work? Also my wife was told we couldn't adopt (I live in PA) In other words a crack whore can give birth to a child,but I can't adopt him/her because I was bad in 1982. Even though I'm a law abiding citizen. Work a job and also a minister and help others. I tried to get it expunged-but was turned down. I have 3 things. A DUI,Theft by unlawful taking/conspircy-both from 1982 and a disorderly conduct in 1995. My life overall is good but it is discouraging to not be able to do better. The only thing I can suggest is maybe start you own business if you can.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger cornpuffsuncle said...

All I did was drop two brothers off in front of a driveway 26 years ago in 1982 (I was 18) and they stole a jeep. Yes I was guilty. Yes I did my time-no jail, just probation, but I can't buy a gun nor get a good job. Thank God for my Job I got because they never asked that dreaded question (have you ever committed a crime,if yes please explain) when they hireed me. It makes me angry that me and people like all of you have to be branded as a criminal for the rest of our lives because one stupid mistake. This is a bunch of crap and needs to be stopped. If felons are so bad why isn't half of congress rotting in prison? How does one rehbilitate themself if they can't even be allowed to work? Also my wife was told we couldn't adopt (I live in PA) In other words a crack whore can give birth to a child,but I can't adopt him/her because I was bad in 1982. Even though I'm a law abiding citizen. Work a job and also a minister and help others. I tried to get it expunged-but was turned down. I have 3 things. A DUI,Theft by unlawful taking/conspircy-both from 1982 and a disorderly conduct in 1995. My life overall is good but it is discouraging to not be able to do better. The only thing I can suggest is maybe start you own business if you can.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Moderator said...


Have you been racking your brains out for a part time lucrative business venture that you can build on?

Then, these 10 brilliant business ideas could just be what you are looking for.
1. Produce Christmas cards which are printed on the front with, for example, "Happy Christmas from the Smith Family". Or, instead of the name 'Smith', pick one of the dozens of other popular surnames. Sell packs of these cards by direct mail to people listed in telephone directories.

2. Establish a directory of products no longer made. This directory might include sections on toys, novelties and household goods. Design the directory for business people and inventors who want to know both what has been made before and what ideas might be revived and/or modified.

3. Make cotton gloves especially designed for coin collectors. The gloves prevent the grease and moisture from fingers getting onto coins. Package the gloves and sell them from ads in coin collecting magazines or distribute to shops which sell collectible coins.

4. Begin a business which rents out large and expensive astronomical telescopes to householders who want to develop their interest in astronomy. Publicise your service at the local astronomy society and use local advertising to attract clients.

5. Start a venture which promotes the art and hobby of window painting. On coloured acetate paper have outlines printed for painting pictures by numbers. These acetate sheets are stuck to one side of a window and anyone can paint a picture on the other side of the glass.

6. Make an income by selling lucky charms at car booth sales or door-to-door. Sell, for example: Rabbits feet, horseshoes and four-leaf clovers. Start by tracking down trade sources of lucky charms.

7. Decorate everyday objects with pressed flowers. Add an inlaid design of pressed flowers to trays, coasters, jewellery boxes, paperweights, picture frames, wall-hangings, desk sets and table tops.

8. Make money from renting out expensive children's toys. The toys you rent out will include remote controlled models and computerised games. Use a little van to deliver the toys to customers. Paint in toy town colour scheme. Call the van a toy mobile or similar suitable name.

9. Bring out a regular publication for ambitious amateur musicians. This publication might include ads from : 1) Employers seeking musicians. 2) Retailers selling equipment accessories and supplies. 3) People selling used equipment. 4) Musicians seeking to make contact with other musicians. Also publish interesting editorials and letters.

10. Design and manufacture kits for making models with cocktail sticks, for example: model churches, castles, windmills, houses, etc. Buy the cocktail sticks in their unpacked state from the manufacturer. Sell your kits by mail order from ads in craft magazines or distribute to model shops.

The world economy is under-going a time of uncertainties. There is no such thing as job security anymore nowadays. It gets even tougher for those reaching 40 and having school-going kids and many bills to pay.

With the knowledge of some feasible business ideas that can be operated from home in your spare time, give you a back-up plan in case you lose your job, it's like having an insurance against career disaster.

About the Author:

Yukitee is a staunch believer in the power of positive thinking. As an avid reader of self-improvement books since young, she has successfully practised many of the principles employed by mental warriors - constantly fighting off negative thoughts.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

champscorner said...

[got a call back from lawyer saying can't expunge because it is stated in Ohio revised code that assualt on a police officer is un-expungable offense(big show stopper).]

You may want to get a second-opinion on this. If what you were convicted of was expungeable at the time of the new law revision, that does not make your case non-expungeable, only those that happen on or after the date the law went into effect.

Check out 'ex-post-facto' law:

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

I was watching the news tonight and they were doing a story on the fallout from the housing forclosure crisis. It was much about a guy that started with a few employees and now having over 70. What do he do???

He brings in work crews that enter abandoned homes where the owners have left furniture, appliances, etc... and they take it to the landfill. They can't find agencies to give it away to because they have agreement to complete clean out houses by banks and mortgage companies looking to get the home ready for resell.

This is seizing opportunity out of tragedy. Not like an ex-thief would be stealing anything;-)

I saw good computers, furniture, appliance,,, people just packed up what they could and abandoned the rest. Even their childs teddy bear. Times must have been real tough. A business like this that is started by an ex-felon, employing ex-felons to ensure they have paying work could work?

It can be done, but you have to put in effort to make it happen though.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Ziquor said...

In this society, extreme criminals and lifetime criminals many times stem from good people who resort to illegal activities simply because they have no other choice. I feel all the pain here. I had a perfect record my entire life until 5 years ago. I went to a great college for 2 years for business. My work record and resume are pretty outstanding. 5-9 years ago I was going through a severe addiction to pain killers. I was in a severe car accident roughly 10 years ago and my doctor had me on narcotics for 5 years straight. He also kept raising my doses, changing to stronger meds, etc. Thanks to him it became a full blown addiction. Once he seen this getting worse, he decided to try and stop me cold turkey - which I obviously couldn't do. I couldn't do ANYTHING without my meds, not even get out of bed most of the time, because my body was so dependent upon the meds. After my doc stopped me cold turkey and seen what pure hell I was in, he decided to write me a small script for more narcotics. All I could think about was how I'd rather die than to run out of the meds again as my body and mind were both so highly dependant on the meds. So I decided to alter the prescription my doc gave me to get a larger quantity of meds. It worked and I was ecstatic, I figured out a way to continuously have my meds. I was so high 24/7 I never even considered the consequences, in actuality I didn't really care because at that point I would have rather died than go through withdrawal again. Well, I got caught altering a prescription 5 years ago and now I'm a convicted felon. I entered myself into a rehab facility at the time as I knew it was either that or death - and I am proud to say I've been clean for 4.5 years now. They say if you do the right thing in life, good things will happen. Well I've been doing the right thing for 4.5 years now. I've tried to no avail to get a decent job. It seems for every 100 places I apply for a job to, maybe 1 or 2 even get back to me, typically to say they're sorry but I don't fit the requirements of what they're looking for. I once had a job making roughly $80,000 per year and was in charge of 30 people. I also worked for one of the largest companies in the world for 8 years in which I was promoted 3 times at. However none of my excellent work record or education seems to matter though. I'm a great worker and any company who got me would be getting a 'steal' - but nobody wants to give me a chance. I can understand why people say there's no point to live anymore. I've always been extremely optimistic, but optimism can only get you so far when your rejected over and over for jobs you easily qualify for. After 4+ years of living with this hell because of a huge, stupid, non-violent mistake I made when I was an addict, I almost feel like giving up. My family has been great support throughout this and they have been telling me 'things have to get better soon'. But I've been hearing this for over 4 years. When's enough, just enough? For now I just keep fighting the good fight. Bless all of you and the best of luck to you all.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

I know people aren't posting here for sympathy. We need to vent, learn and then it's up to us to take the information and do something with it. Back in the day my dad thought he would teach me lesson the hard way. I had to make mistakes, suffer the consequences, and hear the lesson I was supposed to have learned. It was up to me to either make the mistake again; or remember the consequences as a deterrent to doing it again.

I truly feel no one here is looking to get in trouble again. Our collective problem is that we have been in trouble before and it is creating barriers for us to be the best we can be, regardless of what that means to us as individuals. Some may be happy just to get a job at Wal-mart or McDonalds, some want jobs that pay gainful wages with benefits, some of us still want to be rich and/or financially independent.

Whatever your personal desire, the fact is there are consequences that have dealt us a tough hand. Today the college grad is looking for work; thanks to a market that has failed Americans who never even got a parking ticket. In some instances, there problems are worse than ours. They played by the rules and now are in no better shape as it relates to employment than many of us here on this blog.

A lot of good ideas have flowed on this blog and I hope some take what has been said to heart. Thanks to an education system that dumbs us down more than expanding our creativity, we have come to think it is someone else who will provide for us. It is 'they' who must find and give us a job. It is 'they' who must make sure economies stay fit so we can get a retirement pension. In the end, it is us that got hoodwinked.

In the vessels of our mnds lay creativity. We are born with it. The mind has gone from wheels carved from rocks to Goodyear tires. We have gone from crank-up cars to mini's that do 80mph. More power is in a watch than was on the Mars lander. We have innovations made by everyday people, coming from all walks of life. The only difference is that some dare to dream and others dare to implement them.

I don't have all the answers but one things I truly believe is that one can make their own lemonaide in life; when society is only giving up lemons. We have over a million others in our same condition and the inability to organize will keep up yelling at the wall. Boards don't hit back, and walls won't hold a conversation. Let us explore that creative part of our lobes and come up with something we can do as one. It ain't hard, but if you continue the conditional thinking you will only keep yourself frustrated and others empathetic.

At 12:16 AM, Blogger pearlinprogress said...

Celebrate Recovery meetings have been very uplifting to us.. Warm human connections and job leads from getting to know the people there!! Take care and keep the faith.. Love Shell

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Moderator said...


I wanted to see if I could get your quick help. I'm not sure if you've heard, but there's a movement of citizens inspired by the presidential campaign who are now submitting ideas for how they think the Obama Administration should change America. It's called "Ideas for Change in America."

I've submitted an idea and wanted to see if you could quickly vote for it. The title is: Uniform Justice. You can read and vote for the idea by clicking on the following link:

The top 10 ideas are going to be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day and will be supported by a national lobbying campaign run by, MySpace, and more than a dozen leading nonprofits after the Inauguration. So each idea has a real chance at becoming policy.

Thanks for the support and let's get this to the top of the agenda.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Analie said...

Good Evening, I am a student observing the experiences and feelings that exoffenders face when trying to obtain a job.I was wondering if you or someone you know would be willing to share your story. You can answers the questions via email and all infromation is kept confidential and free of any names. It would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested please email me at Thank you

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Lisamree said...

In response to Analie-

You may want to verify your credentials Analie. You are asking for very sensitive information.

While any additional spotlight on the "life sentences" felons now endure while on the outside would be helpful, I would encourage anyone replying to your post to be wary without further assurances of your credibility and security procedures to safeguard their information.

You may say their information is protected, but the internet, your email, and certainly IM are easily hacked.

Take care,


At 2:40 PM, Blogger tiredofcjs said...

Ex-Offenders UNITE
Attention: All ex-offenders, this is the beginning of a movement to demand fair consideration for employment.

Are you tired of feeling like a victim of your past? Are you tired of pleading with employers to give you a chance to prove you are worthy of a living wage? Are you an ex-offender trapped in a nowhere job because you feel that--once again-- your past will victimize you? Are you a parent who has lost quality time with your child while in confinement and now your your child is at risk of becomming a statistic of the criminal justice system, and a future victim of their past?

Are you serious about change?

There is a solution.

The solution is in unity. It has always been the same: Divided we fall and will remain victims of our past. United we will stand --and revolutionize the corporate perceptions that ex-offenders are anti-social and cannot be trusted.

The answer does not lie within government. As the recently established Second Chance Act is a step in the right direction by creating opportunities for expungement for many offenders--it does nothing for the offender the public perceives as having already had a "second chance", without the rehabilitative and housing services the Second Chance Act mandates. As policies regarding consideration have long existed, employers are required to consider 1). The nature of the offense, 2) the time between conviction and application (the Federal Fair Credit Report Act goes back seven years), and 3). any rehabilitation that ocurred to promote a lifestyle change. Trouble is, these policies have no bite. They are vague and supported by the U.S. Supreme Court in Green. v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company; therefore, there is nothing the government can do to compel employers to abide by fairness in consideration.

The answer is not in pleading. The answer is not in government. The solution is within us! United we are empowered to communicate with for profit-organizations in the only language they understand, and correct the misperceptions of the corporate community . Through unity we are empowered to demand fair consideration and secure gainful employment to support our selves, our families and enjoy the pursuit of happiness.

To find out how--through unity--ex-offenders are empowered to DEMAND fair consideration (and get it), change popular perception in the corporate community, and revolutionize the stigma regarding ex-offenders and employment, please reply to

***If you have been rejected by an employer as a result of a criminal background check, please reply with name of employer, date of application and date of conviction.

Please remember, this is the beginning of a movement DEMANDING fair consideration for employment. President Obama did not run a campaign for presidency. He headed a movement. He won; and united, so shall we.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger tiredofcjs said...

Chris, should the Ready For Work movement be as successful as I know the power of numbers can be when the method of communication is that which the ccorporate community understands, would you be willing to participate? Please reply to I am also enquiring into the willingness of Il Congressman Danny Davis and newly elected Senator Roland Burris

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Dr_Plankenstein said...

One very interesting thing about Nancy Grace and Beathany Marshall is that they both seem to think that the world is filled with two kinds of people. The inherently good, and the inherently bad. Its a very backward way of thinking. Bernie Madoff was able to thrive, in part because he was considered to be an "inherently good person", and when he was hiring staff he would certainly conduct very expensive ane exhaustive BACKGROUND CHECKS on all prospective employees. It seems that the VIA is also hiring, and they do BACKGROUND CHECKS too, and if hired they may ask you to torture and kill people. Isnt it strange that this process of selectively weeding out people from the job market does precisely nothing to better our world ? That we can discriminate against people with criminal records and deprive them all of jobs, and you would think that Darwinism would imply that the result would be a bettered world, but it is only worsened. Isnt that a giggle ? Id be willing to bet that Bernie Madoff spent many thousands of dollars on background checks, and as it turns out he appears to be one of the biggest criminals in US history. Fascinating !!

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Lisamree said...

The Doctor is correct. We are not solving the problem of recidivism or rehabilitation failure in our current judicial and prison system.

If we know that lack of education, mental disorder, learning disability, and so on can be a root cause for crime, why don't we educate, test, and identify prisoners and give them what they need to be successful on the outside? It seems the current system is very good at punishment, no doubt there, but in the end, we are all punished with a negative outcome, negative result.

The system is flawed, surely we are intelligent enough to come up with a tiered system based on testing, history, psychological data to tailor our response?

It can't be more expensive than repeat sentencing for a person who shouldn't be on the outside, or the savings to the state of keeping someone out of prison with training/education/medication..etc.

At 1:35 PM, Blogger WAHM Assistant said...

James Thomas Webb:

Help to rebuild America through WAHM by creating affordable housing and jobs, especially to ex felons who are trying to make a living in a positive way.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Allisio Rex said...

Brothers and Sister in pain, I understand what you're going through. This Country is a Dictatorship on the State and Federal Level.
We cannot allow any longer few politicians-skunks in the State and Federal Government to pass such inhumane legislation which keep on oppressing us even after the sentence is over and open to every eye, for anyone on the internet to see.
If what's happening to millions of us is not cruel and unusual punishment I don't know what it is. Taking away the ability to feed oneself and the family is a right which cannot be taken away by no government yet it is done with impunity.
Yes, there are those who commit hyneous crimes and it's just that they be restricted on which professions they may be engaged in but if the conviction is for a non-violent crime or has nothing to do with the job sought then there should be no restrictions/disenfranchisement by our evil State and Federal Government.
After all we,the people, are the government and those which supposedly are elected to represent us they'd better learn what means representative government,aka "Republic".
We don't elect people to represent their own agenda of oppression. We elect them to represent our will. But this is not the case in this Country and we have to alter and abolish this dictatorship by any peaceful means and to put this into action we have to come out of the closet and be vocal.
Writing letter don't help much,believe me. I've been doing it for thirty years and have encouraged others to do the same for as long as I have done it. with no result with the exception of a Federal Bill introduced and reintroduced by Congressman Charles Rangel in Congress for expungement of non-violent convictions.
For the past ten years Congressman Rangel has introduced this Second Chance bill and each time it has remained in the House Judiciary Committee without being considered and sent to the full Congress for consideration.
I just wrote to President Obama and asked him to please intervene and make possible the passage of this needed legislation.
If you have a federal conviction,write to the President and to Congressman John Conyers, who is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and tell him to move this bill from the Committee to the full Congress.
It's long,long overdue.
For those with State convictions, write to the Governor of the State where you were convicted.
Frankly, the time is come to start demonstrations all around the Country.
For State crimes, demonstration at the legislature's office. For Federal conviction demonstration in front of the United State Senate, House of Representatives and the Judiciary Committee.
Remember this Country belongs to us. We decide which the laws we want to regulate our civilized life and which people should be declared unfit to receive the benefits of our citizenship and not the politicians.
From what I see in this thread and many others, people are suffering for having made minor mistakes in life and not for being a menace to society.
These convictions should not even be classified as "crimes" and should not prevent anyone from getting any job if otherwise qualified and should not carry a lifetime of shame attached to them.
There is some hope though. Many people are fighting to have these laws overturned and or to have these convictions expunged and not visible to potential private employers.
Eventually, we have to get together, and raise a Hell publicly.
I want to give you an advice: as long as there is no expungement of the conviction, or having a Certificate of Relief from Criminal Disabilities from the State in which you were convicted,(not yet possible for Federal Convictions), please do not possess a firearm. Do not.
Because, if caught by the local Police you risk from 2 ti 5 years in Jail and no jury of your peers will give a damn about you. If caught by the Federal you'll risk between 5 and 15 years in Jail.
It's that baaaaaaaad!!!. Don't even possess ammunition alone. You'll get the same sentence as having a firearm in your possession.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

Good advice as the consequences for a gun possession is severe. I also suggest that everyone also visit the Whitehouse Website and find this link to 'constituent liaison' as well as writing a letter of speaking with your state congressperson requesting uniformity in expungement laws across the country.
It is inherently unequal punishment; which deprives a person of certain rights, liberties and freedoms. I think that the federal govt could provide grant incentives to states that currently do not allow expungments, to change their state laws whereas they are uniform with the states surrounding it.
These incentive grant dollars should be used to pay for increased workforce training programs in occupations that now in demand (energy efficiency, weatherization, rehabbing schools, CDL Drivers, etc.)
I again implore some of you on this weblog to give self-employment some serious consideration. Specially if you already have skills in construction-type trades. A lot of the dollars from Pres. Obama is to do work as small contractors. Weatherization, lead-paint abatement, windows, doors, painters, installing screens in windows and doors,,, There is an emphasis on giving these jobs and/or contracts to people who are low-income or having barriers to employment; prior felony convictions being one of them. Now is the time to 'stop' looking for a job and to 'start' working within a career!
For those who don't have a skill and are more interested in clerical work, find a small business that would like to get some of the contracts under these stimulus dollars and charge them for you getting them the work. If you can deliver, I could care less about your prior life. In my work, many who can do the work, could be doing so much more of it, if they only knew how to get more work?
If you want to get a 'job', you know how tough a market it is to do do. Now you are competing with high school dropouts and graduates, college students and graduates, and those being displaced because of outsourcing, importing of cheap labor, the exporting of jobs, and a global recession to-boot. Not a good mixture.
Over the next 7 years there will be federal dollars focused on these areas money is targeting now. Any training, certifications, or licenses a person can get in a specific trade skill will go along way and will pay off in the end.
Visit your local workforce center and ask about apprenticeships, on-the-job training programs or other training programs available. Because of your prior conviction, you're already eligible for Workforce Investment Act training vouchers to pay for your training. Without having a skill to bring to the table, even not having a felony conviction is not good enough!

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Schele K Scott said...

I am in the process of forming a non-profit for ex-cons or ex-felons who cannot find work who like to write, enjoy photography, are poets, artists, and for the sales, distribution and circulation departments. In order to get this off the ground, I need to know if there any ex-cons or ex-felons out there who are interested in becoming freelance writers and working in the news industry as reporters, journalists, photojournalists, etc.?

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Trash said...

I am so tired of the struggle. In Denver I have had 4 people even respond while I am looking for work in Denver. Greenpeace, no experience canvasing, not interested. Carpet cleaning, never called me back. Kirby sales crap and selling knives for Vector marketing/cutco fraud are the only 2 that even pretended to be interested.

Selling things on ebay and craigslist, odd jobs and being an unlicensed cab for my friends are all I have been able to land. Taco Bell won't even hire a felon. Even ebay has just stopped, nothing is selling. 113 items in my ebay store and haven't sold anything in a while.

I have managed to keep it together, but things are right on the edge of falling apart completely. My roommates screwed me good on top of it.

I went from being a successful drug dealer of many years, to my wife dying of asthma and getting busted when they came to investigate her death.

Especially in this crashed economy work is impossible to find. Friend's mother had a $10 secretary job on craiglist, 234 applications in 1 day. Like they or anyone else will hire a felon then.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Jacklyn said...

Wow is all I can say after stumbling across this blog. You guessed it I am a felon. Get this I have a charge and ruined my life over $180.00 trying to escape my abusive ex. I am a mom, college educated and cringe at every job application I have to fill out. To make it worse I live in Indiana ware getting an expungement is not an option due to extremely strict laws. I even volunteer and give back to my community. Its been 8 years now and the only thing I have done wrong sense then was a speeding ticket. So i wanted to share how I dealt with all the negative that has come from this in hopes that someone will see the silver lining. first thing that you cannot due is let your past define you. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES. I may have made a mistake and some employers would not give me the time of day, but those were jobs that I probably would of taken just out of desperation. Its taken me 30yrs to find my place in life. I don't make tons of money or drive the best car but I do lead my life is a positive lite. I do this for my children because they need an example to follow. As you can see by the many posts on this blog you are not alone is the pain and shame you have felt. It only take one person to start a revolution. Not to mention there is power is numbers. Laws can be changes and because this is a problem all over the country I think that it should be a Bill put into congress. I am not sure how to go about this but this has inspired me to look into it farther. I will post again with progress and with in the next month post a web site with a petition for any and all released felons to sign. In the mean time keep your heads up and remember YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES!

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

If you have been convicted of a felony in the past and cannot obtain an expungement due to state law, I want you to check out this link and lend you voice (vote) for something to be done about it.

While you're there:

Vote, Vote, Vote! Your votes are critical to ensuring that the best ideas "bubble up" to the top.

Spread the Word! E-mail a link to this website to your network, and invite them to get involved.


At 1:48 PM, Blogger Schele K Scott said...

I am still trying to find to find out if there is anyone in here interested in starting their own business. The start-up costs will be very low if we can get enough people, and you will never have to apply for employment again. If I can get 50 people who are interested in investing $25 each, we're on our way. I will send you the details when I find out how many want to participate first. Thanks!

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Jdream said...

I, like most of you, am a convicted felon. I went through nearly 2 years of feeling sorry for myself and struggling to make ends meet. My felony came right at the time I was graduating college with highest honors, had multiple job offers lined up, and all the right connections to get a head start in the corporate world. All of these advantages disappeared when my felony was pending and after my conviction. I often wondered how easy my life would have been if I hadn't ended up on the wrong side of the law. Fortunately, I came to realize that easy is not as rewarding as challenging, assuming you have at least some opportunity to succeed. It is a fact that having a felony closes the door on a LOT of opportunities. Few people will argue this point. However, I still feel that one of the greatest opportunities is still available to all of us. Let me be clear on one point - I am not pitching my business or trying to sell you something you don't need. I am simply sharing something that turned my life around. I am a real person, 25 years old, college-educated, and brutally honest. If you are looking to move forward, you need to listen to the short audio clip at If the information interests you, call me at 618-558-2558 so we can talk. My name is Josh, and I have been in this industry for several years. I have learned from multiple failures and know the ins and outs. You have nothing to lose, so listen to the audio clip (10 min.), then give me a call, and we'll go from there. I've been where you are, and I want to help you help yourself.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger freeman said...

Hello, my name is Randy Henderson. It's been a while since I've posted or visited this site. I guess, like many of you I found myself feeling discouraged about how my past was preventing me from realizing gainful employment. So, disconnected and engaged in some deep soul searching. First of all, I'm very thankful for this website because it was the seed that motivated me to create my own website that exist for the purpose of empowering ex-felons. Though I am still in the process of building this website, it is up and available for you to view and join. go to
please support this website because
the vision that I have to change our collective situation depends on your support. Again, join and create your profile. Thanks to you all, and God bless you chris uggen's

At 6:58 PM, Blogger freeman said...

Hey, hello eveyone. My name is Randy Henderson, and I'm posting today to tell everyone about the amazing work that taken place in oklahoma City for ex-felons. I created a website called the nature of change to unite ex-felon for positive economic and social change. I'm still in the process of creating this website because I want and need your imput. Its content will deal with matters that are relevant to you. Please go to
and create your profile---join and become part of this amazing movement.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Sheryar said...

Here s my story...

Got in a DUI causing serious injury felony conviction in my junior year at a university. Graduated with a double major in Finance and Accounting and could not find anything. Got some menial offers that would not pay the bills and dumb me down so I forgo all of them. Lived off of playing poker for close to 6 months and started trading currencies.

I already know and love finance and wanted to be a trader. No one would hire me so I opened my own small account with $250.00 and started trading. Learned the industry from the ground up myself. Started off averaging about $20-30.00 a day in profits and today I have enough of a bank roll that I stick around for a $100.00 day and call it a day.

It is risky and you can't do this without knowing what you are doing. However you dont need a college education to learn this stuff. I give an average person a couple of weeks to get this down if you put a couple hours in a day. I took risks in my life before and decided to take a risk on this. Most of us are smart people who have just made mistakes. If you can put 2 weeks in a job at min. wage than think of this as your training. You will do it yourself and make your own money.

There are many currency brokers who anyone can open an account with for as little as $25.00. But learn the market, learn the lingo and know as much as you can before you go in.

Most of us would read a book a day laying on that steel bunk. Read and learn. This is a way out, however it is risky even for the most experienced so learn to manage risk. If you are good at poker you understand risk.

If you want

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Wow, i don't feel so alone anymore. I stumbled upon this site accidentally....and am amazed that all of your are experiencing the same things and feeling that I am. I am 44 year old male with degrees in in Management and Marketing...had a great carreer in the high tech boom (working for Dell Computer), when i got a series of DUI's but remained employed there even though some were felonies. I was a chronic relapser and eventually left for bigger and better opportunities several years later I was arrested in my home for poss of wife was upset at me and invited the police over...nice, huh?...that was 10 years ago and I have had 1 job during this time and it lasted for 2 and a half years before my employer found out about my past ( guessed it my ex-wife)...I have not worked in 2 years and with my credentials and experience...most people are miffed. It's hard to get up every day and feel like I have been sentenced to Life....I will check in frequently to read this blog..Thanks BC from Texas

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

Brian, not knowing all you did at Dell it seems you have skills you should always consider using for your own selfish needs. People get the job for several reasons. They can know someone, bring the specific skill set to the table, they have a proven record of results,,, With the job market upside down; meaning people with degrees find getting a job harder, it still all boils down to what skills you bring to the table.

If you think you have some, then you can continue to apply for work, but you can also try your hand out as a business owner.

The 'Geek Squad' was a concept hook, not the actual work done to fix, repair, upgrade, or setup a PC. Dressing up a skill set and selling it as a package is not rocket science, but it does require a 'leap of faith'.

Right now the very people that use to give fish at the food bank are asking for it from there, so the proverb of teaching a person to fish rings true. Use your 'degrees' and make something happen!

'then you can give me a job'

At 11:19 AM, Blogger SmartGirls said...

To all the ex-felons commenting through this blog, there is hope. I see a professional architect, marketing professional, potential CEO or Internet Marketing Executive, and more. What I don't see is a group of ex-felons. I know its hard but it seems like your best bet is to start your own business. Find a partner that doesn't have a criminal background, get a mentor, and pray. No one wants to hire you and if your lucky enough to get a job making honest money, hang on to it until your business gets off the ground. For more information contact me and together we can get through this.


At 2:21 PM, Blogger supercilious said...

Michael Vick. convicted felon. hired immediately upon release from federal prison. now making millions of dollars.

At 8:50 AM, Blogger nativeplants said...

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At 8:33 AM, Blogger Evan said...

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At 6:50 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I am a drug felon E class, very low level, only marijuana posession not even attempt to distribute, this has plagued me since 2005. After finding no work in buffalo new york due to the terrible economy and my felon status, I moved here to Boulder with hopes they would be more open minded towards my offense. I have found only quite the opposite, after not hearing back from dozens of applications in which I mentioned the felony, I decided to no longer mention it, but to see if I could go over it with Human Resources if it came up. I have even receveived a Certficate of Relief of Disablities regarding the felony that barrs any employer from holding this against me. Again this has done nothing, after getting hired at 3 consecutive companies for marketing and finance I was promptly fired without reason at give or take 30 days from each job. Even when I asked if it was because of the background felony , they refused to answer and fired me for no specific reason. I imagine they didn't want to get into a legal battle. So yea I'm basically fucked, but don't feel alone, I did well at made lots of money for each company I worked for and tehy still told me to fuck off. I blame the government , they can fuck off, I thought this was a free country.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Trash said...

Matt who is in Boulder...
You are in a state that the legal medical marijuana industry is booming. They aren't going to care about your felony.

I am already trimming for a few people now, and 1 grower I will be a 7 days a week caretaker for his grow. Licensed and fully legal.

While I can't possess pot, or smoke it under my probation terms, there is nothing that says I cannot be paid for working in a legal grow.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

I concur, that opening your own business is one of the best options available for those that have been convicted of felonies. It's not impossible and there are several opportunities almost in every state. You will need to seek out a microenterprise program and complete it. Get a mentor and network within the industry you choose. I have helped felons get contracts making thousands of dollars so I know it can be done. Don't give up,,, get busy.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger tiredofcjs said... much as you would like, neither you nor I nor other felons can blame the government. For one, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has already mandated employers to take factors under consideration: 1) the nature of the offense, 2) the duration of time between offense and application, and 3) any rehabiloitation and/or behavior modification internalized since the offense. After I was last released I went back to school, and after conducting research learned that the US Department has been presented with evidentiary theory suggesting that after 7 years of living a crime free lifestyle, felons can be regarded as responsible and accountable as those that never stood before a judge. Here is the problem: FEAR. The people out there do not know this. The majority of violent offenses are not perpetrated by ex-offenders, but by those who still believe they can get away with it, or who have not experienced the legal consequences for offensive behaviors, in short, they are among those that the public has already deemed trustworthy. As true as this is, employers are concerned WE will 1) offrend their staff/clients, 2) waste resources by being trained, then go to jail; and the most stressing component of all is the HIGH COSTS employers must pay when insurance companies find out felons are on the pay roll. THIS IS WHERE THE CHANGE MUST BEGIN 1) Employers must be convinced ex-offenders are accountable and responsible....which means that although sociologist like Chris Uggins have a difficult job to do, they are not doing enough to get the information into the hands of Human Resource Professionals who need to review the facts within the UCR (Unified Crime Reports, the Sociological Perspective regarding ex-offenders and the economic value of employment.

Then there are the insurance companies that need their balls ripped off for penalizing employers that do complete the research and provide ex-offenders opportunities to live gainful lives without resorting to criminal behaviors.

--DJS, Chicago, IL

At 9:15 AM, Blogger J33PTH1NG99 said...

I also feel your pain. It is one of the hardest things to do. I wake up every day and I'm reminded of the past. I have more than paid for my lack of judgement in the past but yet keep paying for it. When I have a job, I cant keep it when they do a check. If I get a job, they go under or there's a lack of hours. Unemployment cant help me because of 1099. Welfare hasnt gotten back to me yet. $450 was due for January's Rent and $550 for February is coming in 10 days. It gets frustrating when you've exhausted all of your opportunities too. It also puts strains on any relationship..., friend, family or lover. You usualy cant do things with your friends because you dont have Money. Your Family wants you to suceed and do good but you feel that you cannot. And its hard to explain to your lover especially in the beginning. I've told my girl that we're meant to be together because she's seen me at my absolute worst. Anywho...sorry to just vent like that. I think what needs to be done is do-able. They need to pass a Second Chance Act or something of the like where ex-offenders are given employment without the past being an issue. Otherwise they need to start building prisons. Im sure I'm not the only one without health insurance. If some guy can get on television and do a song about pants being on the ground I'm sure we can remind everyone of our situation. Something like that could work also. Something viral like that. My only real advice is to go after old jobs you've had. That is what I'm currently doing. It sucks but I think it will work. If I was rich I'd hire everyone who had a blemish on their record, and we would be one awesome agency together.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Dale said...

My very first felony charge ever, stems from the lies of a bartender, and racist practices of Arizona. I've been a hard worker all my life. My last real job was for Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Bridgecity, LA. Hurricane Katrina changed all that. Now with this felony charge, and the PO telling me I can't have contact with outher felons. How do I survive on this new road. Need some advice on survival. And don't forget the cost they tag on you for PO services etc. I don't drink, never did drugs. After my drug tests, I seem to have my foot in the door, until they do a background check, that's what shoots it down for me. So much for the American Dream. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At 2:43 AM, Blogger Eric Mayo said...

I answer questions for ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs at my blog:

At 4:17 PM, Blogger star said...

What types of jobs and employment are available for people with a
felony conviction? Non-violent, white collar crime, minimal prison
time with Bachelors degree. (2-4 yrs).
I already know that mostly it's up to the individual company, but I
would like answers to my question as to what a lot of convicted felons
seek for employment based on the above. (non-violent, etc).

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At 8:27 PM, Blogger Moderator said...

While seeking employment, I think self-employment is an overlooked alternative. Many of today's unemployed without convictions; but losing their unemployment benefits are turning to busines ownership.

If you just got to work for someone, I'm sad to say the road will continue to an uphill battlr cause few at the top has compassion. We must start and grow viable businesses that need numerous employees and hire our own with the same circumstances. That is what I see missing in the equation!

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Oliver said...

No previous criminal record, not ever even stopped or questioned by police. I spent four years in the Air Force and was decorated with honors in every training I did from Basic to Electronic Maintenance. I got out and went to college where I graduated with a 4.0, and launched my career. I was quickly promoted through a major telecom company to a senior level, product management position. While at this job my dad decided to commit suicide, and it rocked my soul to the core. I grappled with it for a couple of years, and sought psychiatric help to deal with the grief, anger and eventual anxiety and depression. It began hurting my marriage, and after a work Christmas party in 2004 everything was changed in an instant. I was drunk and despondent about life, and began talking about taking my own life - I was wielding a little pistol we had bought for my wife. She was terrified I was going to hurt myself but talked me down. I laid the gun down and we went downstairs. I then began to argue and scream at her while our first child, 8 months old was sleeping. She referenced I might wake him, and in drunken stupidity to try and hurt her emotionally I went and woke the baby. I told her I was going to take the baby for a drive (Only an empty threat, though she didn't know it). She had no idea what else to do so she called the police. I became irate that she did this and actually began to get into my vehicle in our garage. When she physically attempted to pull our son from me, I for the first and last time ever hit her (with a closed fist). She let go and I got away. The police found me parked a block away and arrested me.
I was charged with a low level felony for aggravated assault with a gun, and a misdemeanor for domestic battery. The DA would not meet with me to discuss the entire circumstance, after I learned they wouldn't grant diversion. I can never feel redeemed about striking my wife, the love of my life, but I am very lucky to say she forgave me. In what the DA said was to help her, the victim of my 'crimes' they stripped me of the ability to provide for her when they refused to lessen the charges or consider any extenuating circumstances. I am not blaming them, I did the acts. I was just stunned at the lack of compassion or desire to know the whole picture. It turned out that the DA was running for state Attorney General, and my attorney was an ambitious young lawyer more interested in maintaining a good relationship with the future AG than advocating for my family's interests. He talked us out of taking the whole story before a jury, and when asking the DA for a deal produced an initial negotiation that asked for zilch. I was disgusted, but didn't want to anger the judge or make our situation worse - so I took his advice.
Here we are six years later, I've scraped and lied on applications (also tried telling the truth) and have been able to land two of the ten positions offered. These were limited in their timeframes and I'm running out of steam. I feel so defeated at times, that one mistake could tear down everything I spent so much time and energy to build.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Oliver said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Josh said...

I can fully sympathize with all of you. I have a Felony burglary conviction as a result of stumbling into the wrong house while drunk. I plead to the burglary charge to avoid prison time for the trespass charge and only served probation, but have a felony conviction on record. I understand your frustrations. I plead to a crime that didn't even happen (burglary). However, one common theme seems to stand out in most posts. People who have had the unfortunate fate of getting a felony conviction are still thinking the same as they did prior to their arrests. Think outside the box. I found the simplest way to wealth in America, yet I would have never even looked for it if all my plans had turned out as I had originally hoped. You have to be hungry, and really want success, otherwise your felony, or any excuse for that matter, will always stand in your way.

Joshua Rogers

At 3:48 PM, Blogger pierce79 said...

well i dont know why and exfelon have to suffer so much to get a job they are people just like us thanks

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At 1:06 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

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At 9:31 PM, Blogger A Janedoe said...

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At 9:47 PM, Blogger A Janedoe said...

I read most of these stories and I feel for you! I understand completely and give you my sympathies. I'm also a fellow felon. I put myself through college, despite coming from a broken home with both parents being abusive. My father was physically abusive and my mother is emotionally and verbally abusive. She's tiny, standing at only 4'10" (maybe shorter) but packs a punch with her sharp tongue. Anyhow, while in a university in California, I befriended a classmate who will soon be part of a horrible fate I would endure for the rest of my life. She took part in check scams but for only a particular bank where she worked. She asked me one day, while we're waiting to enter a lecture hall, if I had an account that this bank. I told her no but I think my sister did, not knowing what that would entail. Living with my sister and going to school with this girl, I became the medium in delivering things unknowingly to each party. The situation went from bad to worse with my sister wanting me to talk to the girl at school because she was avoiding her phone calls after she breached an agreement they had made. Somehow, I was THE PERSON who was the criminal for making these transactions more convenient for my sister. Years later, Secret Service agents contacted her to cut a deal with them to paint me as the perpetrator, a "recruiter" for the whole check fraud ring, in return for her "cooperation". And get this, my family members even called me to take the fall for my sister because somehow her existence was more precious than mine. So for years, the Secret Service would hound me any way they can. They had a hard time finding me since I move around quite a bit. I didn't live at home and my mom didn't know (and didn't care) where I was since we were not close. Instead, they flagged my ID at INS. I'm not a U.S. citizen so while I got my green card renewed, INS held my card hostage until I speak to the SS agent who was assigned to the case. To shorten this story, I ended up paying a very expensive Federal (due to the amount of the money embezzled by the ring leader) attorney $10K, only to end up signing a plea bargain in return for no jail time, 3 years of probation. I was applying for citizenship and was on the verge of getting naturalized pending this case that took over a decade to resolve. I was ready to go to trial to tell my story but ran out of money. My atty cost $1k per day. I hindsight, I should've found a way to take the case to trial. Consequently, my request for naturalization was denied, I can't ever get naturalization due to the federal felony, according to my attorney. I can only get jobs with small companies that go out of business in 2 years. I have 2 degrees in Psychology and Criminology (Oh the irony!) and great work history from before the indictment finalized but it's so difficult to find a worthwhile job with felony hindering the opportunities. I wish I either had never met that girl at school, or never had a sister so selfish. I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if I talked to the SS first. The law is a game. You snooze, you loose. My sister, who's 6 yrs older, was already a citizen when the incident occurred. She is also a practicing optometrist and just had her first child so her life is much better than mine in some aspects. Luckily I can rely on my resourcefulness to get me by. I've made good money and I've been broke. There's ways to make money in meaningful ways. What gets me is the unfairness of how things turned out. I don't feel sorry for myself but wished there was some retribution for the people in my life who put me in this position without a moments thought. It's not completely healthy and I know it will pass but I feel like this for the moment.

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At 3:57 PM, Blogger Erik Smalls said...

When Ricky Smalls was 12 years old, his father died of a heroin overdose, leaving the job of raising him to his overworked mother and the streets of NYC's toughest ghetto. Inspired by his illegitimate half-brother Devon, Ricky found himself engaged in petty crimes that soon grew more serious. As he grew, Ricky indulged in the riches and respect street life offered him-- and the women, cash, and expensive cars didn't hurt either. Known as Slick Rick, he rode a roller coaster of good times, big money, and tough choices. But no one can be on the top forever, and fate had other plans for Ricky. His teacher, brother, and best friend was gunned down by police on Jersey City's mean streets following a murder Ricky took part in. Ricky's life crumbled as he was sent to prison for his involvement, and he soon found out who his real friends were. Once freed, Ricky undertook the biggest challenge of his life-- trying to make his way in "square" society as a convicted felon. But would society ever let him forget who he'd been? Would he ever be allowed to have a second chance? Never Give Up is a success story to remember, equal parts pulse-pounding suspense novel, and one man's journey to discover who he is and how to live his best life despite the odds. It is sure to be an inspiration to anyone struggling to make their way, as well as a story that will have readers laughing, crying, and seeing an inside look at the consequences of racism, poverty, the criminal justice system-- and hope.


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