Restore rights to ex-felons

September 5, 2007
Blog Entry, Earth, Energy & Environment

Felon exclusion laws impact not only individuals, but also communities, according to a University of Missouri-Columbia law professor. By their suppressive nature, the legal statutes, which vary from state to state, have devastating socio-economic, political and legal effects on African-American communities nationwide, he contends.

“Most felons come from particular communities – lower socio-economic status communities and primarily communities of color,” said S. David Mitchell, associate professor of law. “The problem is that upon release, if you send that large percentage back into those communities, you’re adding an increased layer of problems to a community that’s already suffering. What you’re sending back are voiceless and powerless individuals. Thus, the economic and political power of the community is limited.”

In his article, “Undermining Individual and Collective Citizenship: The Impact of Exclusion Laws on the African-American Community,” to be published this month in the Fordham Urban Law Journal, Mitchell discussed exclusion laws that prohibit convicted felons from exercising a host of legal rights – most notably the opportunity to vote. In addition to suffrage, which is most commonly debated among scholars and legal experts, Mitchell advocates that upon completion of their sentences, ex-felons should have all of their rights restored – especially those associated with social services; public and private employment; the opportunity to serve on a jury; and privilege to hold public office. He said restoration should take place without requiring burdensome processes or financial restitution, which are required in some states.

“When ex-felons have finished their time, they should have all of their rights automatically restored,” Mitchell said. “Now, my detractors would say, ‘Does that mean if someone is convicted of a sex offense crime, they should be allowed to hold a job in an education-related field?’ No … there are conditions; however, a greater relationship between the nature of the offense and the restrictions being applied should exist.”

In examining the issue, Mitchell said his goal was to explore the “entire notion of citizenship and what it really means to be a United States citizen.” He concluded the restoration of a cadre of rights is just as important as the right to vote. Restrictions only limit the quality of life and impede the successful reentry of individuals attempting to re-establish themselves in their communities.

“Most people tend to focus solely on the denial of the right to vote, which is incredibly important. But I think it’s a narrow view, which is why I discuss what it means to be a citizen – particularly for African Americans and other underrepresented groups,” said Mitchell, who also is a sociologist. “Citizenship is more than just an opportunity to cast a ballot. Voting is important, but if I can’t have a home, can’t feed my family and don’t have a job, do I really feel like an American citizen? If an ex-felon can’t earn a living, then why would he or she adopt the values of society upon being released? If you’re not allowing them back into society fully, then why should they adopt our rules? They have no reason to uphold the laws, and there becomes a greater propensity to re-commit crimes.”

Restore rights to ex felons

118 Responses to Restore rights to ex-felons

  1. Christopher Russell June 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Let’s try this…truth in hiring….I want to see the background report of each and every other employed person at the company I’m applying for, as I wish to know what sort of persons I’ll be working with and if I can feel safe and trusting with these people as well….

  2. Karen Penry February 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    I am currently working on my Masters in Conflict Resolution. I am writing a paper on felons and their lives after conviction. I am a mother with two children (adult children) with drug felonies. For them just getting a job, their licenses back, and moving on successfully is very trying, disappointing, difficult, and much more. I feel compelled to help them and the hundreds of others I have come into contact with through watching my children go through the system. I feel once you have paid your debt to society and are released you should be able to go back into society with a clean slate being able to get education, job training, and peace of mind. We, as a society need to change our vision of what being a felon means to someone who wants to be better, to succeed in life. I understand the differences between violent felonies, child abuse felonies, and personal drug abuse felonies. Perhaps there could be a way of rating the intensity of a felony and working from there instead of lumping all felons into one category. People can change and I have been witness to that but the discouragements they face at every turn every day are not fair. You just can’t take all these people and keep them down for the rest of their lives. It affects all of society deep cast systems that grows every year. This has no benefit at all to the felons or the rest of society.

  3. Jerry February 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    I have recently thought of ways an individual with a felony could get a job and become a productive member of this society. I am having a hard time thinking of a job that does not continue to discriminate against the felon, and unfortunately the majority of these felons are African Americans, how odd when they only make up 13% of the total population. I have a solution to this problem. what to here it???? well I figured as much but here it goes anyway…..remove the question about felony convictions off all applications and make them individualize only if it pertains to the job such as a sex offender trying to get a job were children are, that company should be able to put on its application have you been convicted of a sex crime, BUT REMOVE THE BS FROM ALL APPLICATIONS AND GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE TO BE A MAN, IF YOU WONT ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL THE OPPORTUNITY AFTER HE HAS SERVED HIS TIME THE ABILITY TO FEED HIMSELF OR HIS FAMILY WHAT DO YOU THINK HE IS GOING TO DO….OH YEAH THEY HAVE ALL READY THOUGHT OF THIS AND ARE PERPETUATING THIS CYCLE OF MODERN DAY SLAVERY.

  4. m1brewer February 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    I have written a book titled Thinking Outside the Blox which is a book with 22 little known business options for people who cannot get employed due to a felony conviction. Each chapter spells the business out in a step by step format. Have you ever thought about being a mold inspector or starting a mold remediation business? Did you know the mold inspection course is just 2-3 days and about $300.00 dollars. After you take the course you can get started. Your first inspection will pay for the course. I spell how to get started in this business and 21 other businesses. please order the book from the website thinking outside the blox dot com. My hope is that you either start one of the businesses that i have listed or you start to at least think about your options differently and maybe start a business that i did not describe in the book. I pray that we can begin to think outside the city blocks, cell blocks and all that block felons from getting employed. We have to start thinking outside the 9-5 paradigm. This books makes no mention of job training, what to say as a felon on an interview or who commonly hires felons. Starting your own business is the only answer.

    Michael A. Brewer Author of Thinking Outside the Blox

  5. fred January 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    This really warms my heart to see people do care. I was convicted of criminal trespassing when i was 18 in Pennsylvania. I was only convicted because i didnt have money for a great lawyer n he advised me to take a plea. I was 18 n scared so i did. I am 25 now and looking back on the case a cop lied and said i had stolen property on my person while he was on the stand. To make a long story short i did not commit the crime but took a plea because of the fear of jail and still did 30 days in jail. Since then ive had two children how i cant support because i cant even get a job sorting packages for $7.75 an hour ax t ups. This country is suppost to be innocent until proven quilty but it is far from that. The court system ruined not only my life but my kids as well because they will never have what they deserve to have. Im a good dad but cant get a job which means i will never be a great dad. All because the the cop who lied and never got caught. I would do anything and give everything to go back and not accept that plea.

  6. Brad November 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Get your conviction expunged. Your case if true sounds like a pretty flaky case with a lot of cracks. Have your friends that are cops help you. Most teen boys get into some kind of trouble so dont let this take you down, rise above it.

  7. CHRYZTOF KNECHT October 19, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    society creates recidivism by enacting or supporting regulations which permit employers to deny an ex-felon employment. The second chance act is garbage; only catering to those with non violent offenses; what about us who were charged with violent offenses simply because they are categorized as such and no violence was committed?

  8. nic July 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    ok for one look at all the bullshit just to say something here. ur name, email with alot of ur info to track u down or virus something to ur contacts wich they’ll sure apreceate.
    look at the real. corporations give large companys insurance discounts not to hire us, no bull about u can’t work here because of what u where blackmaled into a gulty plea 10 years ago.
    thats the crime and they want to have more control on ur life not less!!
    all they got to do is ban enforce the laws they have now about treating people as numbers. like insurance getting away with treating every man harsh on auto insurance at 16 over numbers of other 16 and 17 year olds bad driving habbits, i’ve still never been in an acident that was my fault but they sure charged me an arm and a leg like i was going to for sure.
    same shit here now instead of doing what they are suppost to do(big brother) they have state by state so far 14 i think made laws using the race card kinda like the cival war all over agian dividing peacefull americans, but this time it’s strait new world order shit. Like I plead gulty to shit I didn’t do because lawyer said it would be cleared after probation yes not one day in prison for me no unrehabilitation here folks. but however it was a lie and I plead gulty to armed criminal action which was told to me would be lowered to assult 2 along with another felony that I didn’t do and finally the one I did which was property damage. Now they turned property damage into a nice package of violent felonys and lied to me about all of what I was pleady gulty to and it all being cleared upon successful completion of probation, which I was successful even though po tried to lie about my working just to get me jailed for a minute and try for the 5 year backup to get me off her caseload. alomst 5 years in prison for a not working violation when I was which even if I wasn’t comon 5 years!?!?!? wtf!! anyway me who has never hurt a fucking fly to say will always be bared from whatever work the government says employers are allowed to say no violent felons.
    Its gonna come off all good to most but the gov will now set the glass ceiling instead of breaking the one the insurance company has for us.
    their job is to investigate and punish those who hurt americans which some of us have. but once punished and debt is paid. The gov now wants global control to be their job. no more protection thats not profitable control is get a fucking clue before it’s to late.
    I’ve been kicked out of 2 public colleges over having these opinions with classmates before or after classes not during. only the college i’m in now did I go strat to the dean for a talk in which he agrees some with what I have to say but like we all know to be the real he advised me to not let others know how smart I am in these regards as the powers that be will always be there suppressing me but I let him know I can’t do that and I never will. I’m a free american citizen with a fucking brain and god given right and yes gun rights are a god given right same logic we use for gun ownership is the same as in the bible only a sword(guns of the times). Bet those scholars that wrote all about african american sufferage linkage and bs talking about all rights restored won’t agree whith that when in comes to guns. read there shit close the talk only about jobs and allowing controls on that so wow I can now get a job at ups easier big woup, not exacty presuing my happyness thank u very muck. also the talk of voting and guess what thats political all the way folk, can u say aggenda not that we shouldn’t be able to vote but they must have some knowlege of who they think we would vote for or they wouldn’t say boo about it. and the scholars never mention gun rights because they want to say all rights and get around the argument they have on wheather gun ownership is a right which I think I’ll go with to us constituion on this one than u very much not base my life on these kiss asses with a one agenda minds as in play into those before u’s agenda’s and the powers that be or get squashed like me now out of 2 public colleges over my political stance, no guns no knifes which I should be allowed everywhere I go but they just booted me out with there own rule not law, sp4:20 basically if the dean doesn’t like u and u have a violent record, arrest w/o convictions, fights in junior high all count, they can kick ur out for just for having a past and what the school thinks of ur personality now not anything u did at school or even a thing u did out of school while going to school. I’ve been in no trouble in 10 years from that night at 19 when someone pissed me off when I was drunk threatening my friends family and wouldn’t come out of a business to face me even though they had like 8 dudes with them and I fucked his shit up while drunk to get him to man up, antaginize him,ect… Ya maybe stupid but I don’t drink anymore I walked the line while on probation and for 7 years since in life and I get kicked out for my political opinion and having had that trouble that long ago from 2 public colleges in the last year. wake up re-read this I’m not a fucking author so if this doesn’t make compete sence to u its prob my poor writing skills so re-read because I’m not so bad u shouldn’t get and understand whey the shit I say is bogus is so bogus.
    Thanks Nic Roedel Wanna talk about standing up for your rights call me at 720-319-4451 working for a real better tomarrow for all free american citizens is half my lifes work as it pays no bills work is the other half LOL!! seriously though unlimited minutes here and class action lawsuits possible, protesting possible, lets wake up and do something that will straiten the crooked. Nic Roedel 720-319-4451

  9. Richard Smith June 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    i broke the law and now im a felon. i have paid for my crime. the American system though has many secret agenda’s which are twisted into laws that have nor had any intention on protecting her citizens.the only justic that is afforded by striping all rights away from a felon is that of the white aristocrat nazi philosphy. Men we revere for moral teaching, those of whom are often spoken of every sunday, preached by the very authors of these laws, were killers and often vile humans who changed their lives. am i to accept this fate? no right to vote for the best canidate i choose. no right to protect myself and family and bare arms if need. no right to a good paying job. this is segregation continuing at its finest, in the mask moral punishment.
    well let say this capital hill and her lawticks better get ready for another civil desobedience. we’re tired of compromise.

  10. tom burkef4c March 22, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    i was convicted of a crime that i did not comit 20 years ago and still have troublegetting thing i would like to get like a govmernt grant and my atterney said that i would have all of this taken of my record after 5 years if i keep my nose kleen and i have done that 4 times over and the prossiaquiding atterny said that i should have never been convicted of the crime and its not fare to people like myself i am 54 years old now and my helth is falling so whats a person to do

  11. bob kern January 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I believe if you can pay taxes, vote and be forced to be on jury duty your rights should not be limited into what you can can’t do. Because someone makes bad choices doesn’t mean they can’t make good choices. Forgiveness is hard to give apparently but if the shoe was on the other foot and laws were still on the books such as adultry alot of people would be locked up and have a felony. People need to learn to forgive and give people another chance and the ones that are non violent offenses.

  12. bob kern January 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    contact me 317-428-8681

  13. Bob Kern January 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    My name is Bob Kern I was the first felon from Indiana to win a Federal Election. Could you please contact me 317-428-8681

    Bob Kern

  14. MyRah November 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Time that people like you start speaking out about the injustice that occurs in our “justice system”.

    Stand strong and walk forward with college classes and look for ways to change the laws. You don’t need to be an attorney to develop ideas and programs that can help rehabilitate and teach others. I have been working on a program to change the civil family law system. I am focused on getting support from the local community and the local colleges to help introduce it in our state.

    Your situation is not unique unfortunately. So you may not be able to be a cop; instead learn how the justice system works and go to the high schools and college campuses and start teaching about “what could happen if….” and ways to stop kids from getting long term records that corrupt lives permanently. Kids (like when you were in the fight) don’t know what could happen. And they are all scared, like you, with no support to help them. And look at what not knowing can do! Communicate and teach the world around you. It won’t change until people in your situation stand up and start voicing it.

    Good luck.

  15. MyRah November 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    As someone that is married to a registered sex-offender, who committed a one time low level crime over 19 years ago (at newly 18 years of age), I am personally offended with the lack of justice in our society. His crime stemmed from a poor choice to act out from 15 years of severe abuse and he was charged incorrectly but had no attorney or family support. (I have read ALL the documents in this case) This man has better integrity and character than most people I have ever met.

    But due to his “Scarlet Letter A” we are unable to rent almost any place to live, he cannot obtain jobs that do background checks, his ex-wife harrasses and uses his title of “registered sex offender” as a way to prevent him from attending martial art classes, joining public gym clubs, obtaining business accounts, going to parent teacher conferences, etc.. since most people assume the worst and are afraid of him. Since businesses can’t “take the chance” of something happening.

    And my husband went to jail for 4 years and completed his probation. When is he ever to have his rights fully restored. At what point is he more than a sub-citizen? His ex-wife knew his background…just as I know his back ground. He is one of the mst wonderful men you would ever know. His friends include police officers, PSR workers, business owners etc.. and anyone that takes the time to know him is shocked to hear that he ever committed a crime and they are not afraid to have their children around him; even after knowing his crime.

    I watch all of the lack of justice and limited rights that happen to an ex-con and find it offensive beyond measure. It would have been better for my husband to be a drunk and kill someone in a hit-and-run than to be charged with exposing himself at the age of 18.

    I would like to see some real support and rehabilitation happen to ex-felons when they are released. Most of them have horrendous backgrounds that honestly, if most of us grew up the same way, we would probably do the same thing they did to survive.

    We need our society to stop forever condemming and focus on supporting ways to help felons overcome and respond different to their world. Teach them ways to be productive in society and give them the opportunities to learn and be that way. Obviously they didn’t learn how to be productive from home or they have mental/emotional issues that need to addressed or they wouldn’t have committed an offense in the first place.

  16. jackson October 26, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    yes we’ve all commited crimes no one is complely innocent but as people we deserve the rite to re-establish ourselves and be productive citizens. without proper employment and the right to vote and other things were restricted from felons end up back at ground zero trying to feed their familes and back into a life of crime. this is a path most of us want to put in the past……give us a chance thas all we ask

  17. Phoenix1 October 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I have founded an organization designed specifically to relieve white collar ex felons of many challenges presented them after incarceration. The right to vote is just one of many. There are many others that are not even intended by the judicial system. These are some of the most burdensome. If you would like to help and follow our cause, you can follow

  18. John g. October 1, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Amen! I got into a fight when i was17 in 1999 in fort worth Texas I couldn’t afford a lawyer had a court appointed attorney who scared the he’ll out of me it happened at a hotel where a party was and some friends started it and took a guys wallet long story short I got a felony of a burglary of habitation!!? I only signed for probation bcnu was scared not bc I was guilty I was 17 and no family was in orphanages since I was 5 and I was going to college and was afraid of going to jail. Now I’m a felon and can’t find work. I have friends that are cops and when they were younger were younger were in gangs and robbed people stole cars but since they were not caught that were able to turn thief lives around. It’s not fair!! I’d make a better cops then all of them bc I have a true desire to help others. Why can’t I be given that second chance?

  19. marcus September 17, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Same hear made a mistake at 17 b&e 2 felony’s now I’m 29 with my first child on the way I just don’t know what to do this is indeed a LIFE sentence this is the way they make money I am really ready just to lay down and give up but daddy’s little girl needs me what about the second chance act for ex- offenders

  20. Dan September 17, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    In Florida it is impossible to get gun rights restored. Forget about finding a decent job. The way I look at it is prisons are a industry in Florida. There are over eighty prisons here. If they taught everyone a trade while in prison that in itself would cut down on the people coming back. I have been out for six years next month. I will never be able to find a job good enough to support my family. That’s just the way it is.

  21. Alex September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Thank you all so much for these stories, an critical life events. i’m going to take this far, first to my govoner. I have a boyfriend Pablo he’s 21 commited a crime at 17 did the time, now out here he can’t get a decent job just because a dumb mistake. But I’m here for him and with ya’lls words of encouragement I will do everything in my will and power to help my man encluding others, people do change, especially felons.

    wish the luck to all of ya’ll!

  22. Rando September 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    I read that if you have more than one conviction as an adult,you can not get EXPUNGED, If you have a fellony and then get a misdemeanor, you can not get EXPLUNGED, is that true?

  23. RICO August 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm #


  24. OrlandofromOhio July 31, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    I made a mistake when I was 18, I got into a fist fight and was charged with a felonious assault and was sentenced to 3 to 15 year sentence. I served three. When I was released and after I got off parole, I volunteered at our local Juvenile center for 3 months and was offered a job and excelled and was promoted to Sergeant in one year. During my employment over a four year period, I decided I wanted to go into parole and I needed to get my gun rights reinstated, so I hired a attorney and applied for relief and was grated my gun rights back by local court. The thing is, I lost my job shortly after words because a convicted felon who was friends with a local county commissioner sent him to apply at the Juvenile center and was turned down because he was a felon, well the commissioner and the guy that applied knew I was a convicted felon because of the articles that had been writing up in the local newspaper about me trying to make a difference with the youth in the community. So both the county commissioner and the guy that had applied raised hell and I lost my job. Because of this, the judge was forced to take a look at the law and in fact, he could not hire me until 10yrs after my parole date. Needless to say I lost my job and was walked to my locker to collect my belongings and escorted to my car after being read a letter by the judge apologizing and telling me to reapply after my ten years were up. Well that whole incident was unfortunate but I was granted my gun rights back under section 2923.14 of the Ohio Revised Code in 2001 and I just now applied to get my CCW in 2010 and was successful but when I tried to buy my first gun I was denied and I found out latter I could not buy a gun but I have my CCW, I don’t understand the logic but the law is the law. All I can say, people do change I made a mistake when I was 18 and now I am 35 married to a wonderful woman and three great kids. Maybe one day some people will realize that some people do change and should be given a second chance. If society is not willing to give people like myself a second chance, then I have in fact been sentenced to a life term sentence, and not only do I have to suffer for my past mistakes I made in my past but the ones I love the most, my wife and my kids also must pay because I cant be the provider to my family that I want to be. I have so many things to be proud of, my kids are all honer roll students and active in volunteering in our community. I have broke the cycle that has been passed down from my family to me, my kids are the new generation that did not grow up in the environment that I did and I must also give dues to my wife Jenn because she has been my rock. I think it would be more then fair for the powers that be make it possible for a convicted felon like myself and others get a fresh chance after 10 yrs after our parole release. I think every case should be looked at because I do believe everyone should not have a gun in their hands but if a man can prove that he is a productive trusted member of society then give that man or woman back his life so he or she can go in peace…

  25. Glenn July 31, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    I just listend to my girlfriend get reemed by my ex and my son and her current lover due to m,y anything buit un-corrected mistakes. That i didnt take care of because they were to complicated in my drug only condition at the time . N ow once again im going in monday for possesion but the only bsellfish difference is im willing to be real about me.I hav e her ex all over my business urging me to relapse in violence thatg he has no idea amonhgst trhe fraud 20 years AGO THAT MY EX TOOK ADVANTAGE OF STILL CRIPPLING ME OF A SIMPLE LISCENSE . YEAH . IM READY AND WILLING TO GO FUCKIN STRAIGHT TO HELL AND PRISON FROM IGNORANT AND POMPOUS PEOPLE WHOM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MY MISTAKES. Yes im those who feel that ora of a ‘different’ but that orta dosent neccesarely mean all bad . Let me explain yeaH I ENJOY GETTING HIGH AND ENJOY NO LONGER GETTING HIGH . wHEN A SITUATION COMES TO YOUR LIFE and property as a neighbor of mine you bet your ass ill except my life taken or anything else when it comes to yours and i simply likre you or you treated me like normal . Yeah im that one like many others we felons , addicts and diffgerent keep hold on strong ethics due to the deteriation of the common ones to keep a sanity and stronghold like no other so if i did youn wrong ill do double for what is left . Yeah i know sounds wierd guess what tell that to who let you down or moneyed their way to benefit cus i ll drop for your kids ill drop for youir acceptance and understanding and ill drop those who oppose what i have left in descentcy and love. Im all what we are felon , addict, and bad descions . So givin chance is more than you wqill benefit you all should experience a man or woman accepting someones open mindness and what is returned is non comprhensible due to extreme reversed intensions . For thoser silvered spooned fools theres nothing more real than a wayward person treated like a equall not to say theres many who use this to get over and use and trick. But those who can deciphere will see the light of a life yurning for normality . Example laker gamew is carried into howls and yelps into late night that the average we enjoy go overboard oad live moments till juiced out yes but this goes with self participation on unsellfishness wnen its yours and without anticipating reinburssmint. Kill m,e iof i engage in a situation not mine due to responsibility of a act of kindeness from you resultingh in my death kool . Get it cus you as a openminded individual showed more than my non exsistent father or part time mother or lregally worse ex . Tried service dui prevented that 3 times . And if anyone belives that felons have eqaulity in the work field slap yourself for the true meaning of playin thew fool to ones self is pathetically so wrong. I know ytou bknow dont be me and do it wrong . I can kill I can lie but if documented im less than but if not im awarded without proof of a humanity nor simple paper. Fuck that im who i am show as i showed time served as i show willingness to accept and join the society thay brands me less . F uck that im better than most smarter than you and thouigh i did several wrongs i still stand and debate my will aGAINST ANY EXPIERIENCE . for i dont see you if you dont see me . CATHOLIC PRIEST , PRESIDENT ,ACTORS ,ACTERESSES ,SINGERS.CONGRESSMAN , COUNCIL,TEACHERS,PARENTS,STRANGERS, all can arise a political or domestic involvment of wrong doing in all of us we have a memory of all so why am i crucified when not even bieng obligated to a responsibility as such but longer time worse conditionas and sorry cvourt fanatics but were guilty cus a simple supervised nbon existent formality tells me so p.o. So stop crying i agree just give me a jopb and no not a chance but a fror sure like the depth of your doubt .Depleat confidence with pajamas instead let me be amaqn with pants . Just a fuckin chance. Show you Show me witrhout pleading on knees please im a fuckin man indeed i want to lket you see.Known now as a G.Aadmirtted part of m,e indeed.

  26. triper July 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    every one makes a mistake once in a while. it doesn’t matter who you are. and when you do . you pay the price. it just seems to me we are just little mice running arround with a bunch of cats waiting for us to do somthing. so they can have somthing to do. yes i am a felon. i had my record expunged. went to coourt and every thing. years later. i was arrested and sent to prison for trespassing. did 10 months of a 20 month sentince. i lost my rights . wow. isn’t that cute. over the years sence then i have had a wide body bus that i converted into a motor home. it was destroyed. buy some people they were caught in the act.
    what did they get probation. i lost thousands of dollars. in that bus. never did get any thing back the people who did this they got a new house. no problem but when i ask the courts why . they said i was to blame. so go on.with your life but they didn’t lose their rights . so it seems to me . if you are an ex felon you are a slave to the system. just a number is all.
    so under the amendments all of them that they say are for us. remmber. the fourtennth amendment . read it and read it all what it says. and look at what they are saying by giveing us a life sentence.
    they can bring back slavery any time they want . right?

  27. James July 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Yes, we are felons. We have made mistakes, and we have paid the price the courts gave us. Most of us are drug felons. If given a chance, most of us would have grown out of the drug phase. As we get older and accept the responsibilities of families, bills, and jobs, we find there are more important things and drugs become an unfortunate personal history rather than a way of life.
    I believe that if you do the crime, you must do the time. But once that time is up you need to be reinstated to the status of full citizen once again. It is the only way to get back on your feet, on the right path, and make your way in the world. To be thrown back out into society without being a full citizen is a crime against morality…hmmmm…isn”t that what they say a drug crime is? Sounds hypocritical to me.
    We all stood before a judge who told us what we had to do, be it D.O.C., C.O.C., or just some probation. The judge knew your story. The judge determined if you were a hard core criminal or maybe someone that just lost his way. He set his sentence on you with his judgement and gave you a maximum sentence or a minimum sentence or something in-between. He judged each of us as an individual, and I respect the judge for that.
    It is the politicians in Washington, D.C. – people that have never seen you or heard your story, people that might have only been in your neighborhood once, just long enough to try to convince a few people to vote for them – that have passed down the life sentence to us. This is the job of the judge we stood before, not the job of the politicians. So why do they do it?
    The politicians want all of us to live in proverty and work for them. If we can’t vote, then we have no say in how much of our minimum wage jobs they take back for themselves in the form of taxes. If we can’t vote, then we have no say on how much of our children’s and grandchildren’s money they will spend today to ensure that their grandchildren will live the lives of royalty.
    It’s the politicians that grant more taxes to improve our school system and then proceed to give it to the teachers unions who then give it back to the politicians so they can get re-elected. The politicians don’t care about you or your children’s education. The politicians want an uneducated populace so we can’t figure out their plans.
    The politicians saying they have a war on crime must have sounded pretty good when they first sold it to the public, probably as a campaign speech to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.
    Then they had a war on drugs. Another fine campaign speech. If they really wanted a war on drugs, they would have closed the Mexican border, but they didn’t. However, they sure can add to their list of felons quickly with it.
    If you keep up on the headlines today you will see the war on fat coming about. Healthcare is now fedral law. They say you will only pay a fine if you don’t have healthcare insurance. How many years do you suppose it will take before not carrying it will be a felony? Then they can add the people without it to this list of felons.
    Drunk drivers will soon be on this felons list as well.
    How about a war on hate crimes and hate speech? Despite their seeming concern about it, politicians encourage racism rather than truly discouraging it. Because if we are fighting amongst ourselves, we are not thinking about them.
    Little by little the politicians will get us all. Now you might argue that not all politicians are like this, and you would be right. It is not Republicans or Democrats, but they hide amongst these two parties, and they each blame the other for whatever the bad news of the day is.
    They do, however, expose themselves from time to time. They used to call themselves liberals. Today they call themselves progressives. Who knows what they will call themselves tommorow? I just call them communists. Because that’s what this is – communism.


  28. Bradley June 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Its like a life sentence for you and your entire family, if your lucky enough to have one!

  29. Craig Monroe June 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    I agree 100%. I just got off the phone with a company I worked for from 2/2005-10/2008. I had to leave in 10/2008 to serve time for my crime which occurred in 1/2005. Anyway they said I would be excluded indefinately from being eligible for employment there due to a felony drug arrest. This is a customer service company! I could probably get disability but I want to work! A shame the people who want to work can’t and the people who don’t care about working can do whatever.

  30. Tim June 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Is there anyway or anyone that can help us? Isn’t there something that can be done like a neww bill aor laws passed allowing full rights restored to felons once they have finsihed thier sentence, probation, payment of fines, and expungement? Why can’t I become a police officer if I wanted to even though I was convicted of a felony if that felony has had a certain time frame pass and all conditions met for expungement, for example. I feel that if you go thru the process of being an upright citizen, paid your dues, and want to do something to improve your life…you should be able to. It is so frustrating. If you made a couple mistakes in the past you are doomed for life it seems. There has to be something that can be done.

  31. william carpenter June 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    i just got out of prision for drug,larceny charges i did 11 monthsin a drug program while in prision and can’t find a job or get med or any other assi my biggest fear is going back,
    but it seems there is no help at all

  32. Anonymous April 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Nearly everyone in America has heard of the inner-city or “Ghetto”! Well to a few million Americans it’s all we have to call home.Not just African and Mexican Americans;but Whites as well.I had white friends who were worse off as myself(African American by the way). It’s the most repeated story when it comes to these communities. No father in the home,mother may be strung out on drugs,kids have no guidance.Whatever the case some children arent given much of a starting chance.As you walk the streets, they’re filled with examples of what not to be.Nevertheless, we fall prey to what I describe as an undying cycle! What would you say,”well they chose to be that way”!Maybe Maybe not! Tell a child who’s only looking to be loved and previded for as he/she should be.When young black males look for a role model.It mostly comes in the form of a athlete or hip hop artist.But then there’s the so-called ghetto heroes,who come in the form of drugdealers,gangbangers,and pimps.This is who they see in the flesh n blood day in day out. I was one of these kids and I can tell you first hand. It was hard trying to plan tomorrow when you barely making through today! I make no excuses for the things I done because at a point and time I knew it was wrong.To make a long story short at the time “I just felt” I didnt have much choice.I committed my first crime at 13 and my last at 27 when I was sent to prison for a year and half.The crime, stripping copper out of an empty home no one lived in for 9 years.(My lawyer subpeonaed the city record)!Because of my previous record the d.o.c. recommended the prison term.At the time I was married to my jr high school sweetheart and mother of my children. I hadnt been in trouble in 8 years.I’m 30 now and I I have a few months left on parole and i’m in college to become a electrician.I can vote in my state(MI) as a convicted felon and owning a gun isnt that big of deal to me.My biggest concern is having my record sealed so my career as a electrician isnt affected.All felonys are non-violent and happen mostly when I was a teen 17 and 19.(i have 3 in all)Thanks for reading.

  33. Anonymous April 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    im an ex felon and ive only been in trouble once im not md at the judgement i got 4 years probation and you would think that you would at least get a second chance you know people make mistakes and its not fair to make any of us keep paying the price for what we have done you know this brings me o a verse in he bible let he who is with out sin cast the first stone people look down at us and think that we dont matter damn seriously more then half of america is felons and apartments cant rent to you or jobs cant hire you or you cant vote or you cant do anything because your a felon and no one wants to see us better ourselves i think we as felons get the crap end of the stick what if we are one time felons you know dont you think we deserve a second chance with living our life so long as we dont go out and repeat our offenses you know peole make mistakes and some are at the wrong place at the wrong time you know we paid the price i dont think we should have to keep living our past over and over again no one is god they cant judge us fr what we have done only god can and if god can forgive us then i think we should be given that second chance with society god bless all of those who agree with this and i pray that it gets better for all of uswho deserve to live a blessed life take care

  34. Anonymous April 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    We need to organize a political lobby group to get our rights back. Expungement of our record after 10 years.

    I lost my job in 2009 after being employed by government for over 12 years. Now I cannot find anyone to hire me, because of my 1993 conviction.

    I made one mistake. Now it is double jepardy for me.

    convictedfelonnc at hotmail dotcom

  35. Anonymous March 8, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    I guess I have been more fortunate than most of the posters on this site. After my conviction for b&e I told my first interview about the conviction. They hired me anyway and that job ultimately led to a professional license in virginia. The license means I have a job all my life as I can sell services which very few others can. Because of the economic downturn I have talked with a lot of people loosing jobs. One of the things I mentioned they might try is self employment. They all had a skill or trade that had value. I know it sounds difficult to start over, sometimes we must. You do not need a license to practice most forms of the skilled trades.

    As far as telling prospective employers about felony convictions, I sometimes ask if it is their need to know or my need to tell them. What is true is that companies that deal with money or information that is sensitive, chances are very good that they will do background checks. Even the large corporations now do background checks. All government positions require a background check, however they do have positions that a felony conviction will not be a bar to getting. Also on some job applications it may be a crime itself to provide false information. I am not sure of any business in private industry, except government contractors, that can prosecute anyone for lying on an application. When you sign an application there should be a statement that it is a crime to provide false information about yourself. McDonalds cannot prosecute you for lying about a conviction, but they may do a background check.

    If it is a job you need, just understand that a company that works with cash transactions or sensitive information about people or requires a government clearance may not be your best bet. Large national or multinational corporations may not be a good bet. If self employment is not an option try the small business sector in private industry. Don’t stop trying for public sector jobs, just don’t lie on the application. The public sector is far more forgiving than walmart. You have access to the internet…post your resume on places like monster or indeed. Do job searches on positions you would like. Be discerning about your past. Vigorous honesty for yourself…prudent honesty for everything else. Know the consequences of omission of information. Not everyone needs to know about your past and most often they do not care. If you don’t have to make your conviction an issue, don’t.

  36. Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    do i have to tell employers im a felon on a 12 year old drug charge in wa.state?

  37. Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Please tell your story. It my not be in time to help me but it my help someone else. I am an x felon 17 years ago. I changed my life and helped others do the same. I have been in the mortgage industry for 10 years and lost my job. Now I can’t find employment to the the million dollar question. They love my resume, my experience, my interview, but when it comes to that question I am moved along. I lost to jobs opportunity’s at two large banks due to this biased question. I have paind my debt and improved my life for the last 17 years but I am still paying. My 9 year old who was not even born when it happened is paying.. There has to be change. It will keep felons felons

  38. Anonymous February 16, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    In Pennsylvania, you can apply for a Governor’s Pardon, 5 years after your conviction date. This will erase your record. Contact your state governor to see if this could be a possibility for you.

    Good Luck.

  39. Anonymous February 16, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    I am not sure what state you and your husband live in, but in Pennsylvania, there is a Governor’s Pardon. This will conceal the record from the public. There is a 5 year waiting period from the conviction time. Check to see if your state offers this.

    Good Luck.

  40. Anonymous February 16, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    This is discrimination. I am a convicted felon that has a son with autism and medical issues. I had to move back home with my Mom. I cannot support myself or my son. The system wants me to pay, but that is going to be difficult when I am not able to get a job. I am now in the process of trying to get medical assistance. I heard that if you are a convicted felon that you cannot even get medicaid. The courts even had the nerve to send my delinquent account to a bill collector. They want me to pay $800/month! I told the bill collector if the courts could conceal my record so I could work, they would get paid. Employers do not hire felons. Apparently, if employers hire felons, the company will lose their insurance. You are so right in saying that people who have records will go back to commit more crimes. It is not right, but how are we supposed to survive? The courts have reverted me back to a child at 38. I am not able to support myself or my child in any way. I have great work ethics, but employers will never know that since they can’t see past my criminal record. The system needs to be changed. The courts need to rehabilitate felons, not make them dependent on society.

  41. Anonymous January 21, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    My husband is an ex-felon. He was convicted for a drug conviction. I have watched my husband’s journey being on probation to parole. Serving time and paying his debt to society. Something he is still paying. I don’t understand this you pay your debt to society and once you are released you continue to pay. Let alone what about child support. The system wants you to pay but if you can’t get a job that doesn’t matter. You still have to pay child support. My nephew is a convicted felon who will be off of papers in the next couple of months. Charges are going to be dropped to misdemeanors & he is still turned down for a job. Child support wants him to still pay regardless if he has a job or not. It is a court order signed by the judge. This is something that really needs to be looked at. Discrimination is what I see. Some may not agree but if you go day after day and you are constantly turned down for something you have already paid for what would you call it.


  42. Anonymous January 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Where do I begin…. I was 18 years old in 1986 and went out with a 16year old one day and he snatched a purse. I knew he was going to do it so I am guilty of that crime as well. Here is the kicker… I was told that the lady said that I slapped her hands while the 16 year old grabbed it. It did not happen that way. I was scared, and took a plea bargin and got probation for 3 years with no issues I was charged with agravated robbery and had a public defender. When I tried to get a job, the second I put down that I was convicted of a felony I was not even considered any longer. What to do??? I then, on the question that asked Have you ever been convicted of a felony started to check no and keep my fingers crossed. Mind you I was an 8th grade drop out, homeless at the time of the crime, and completely clueless of the world.. I was hired by the largest retailer, Walmart. I advanced through hardwork to become a Store Manager!!!! I have been employed for 18 years have opened 9 stores and worked in 3 states.None of this would of happened if I said yes to the felony. This should be proof that society is biased. I was an 8th grade dropout!!! I really want to tell my story. I guess this is a start. I was responsible for hiring 1,000 of associates for walmart and I know for a fact that if you check yes. it goes into the no pile that was their policy until they started to do background checks but even if you check yes it will never go any further and you would not be called for an interview. I have so much more to tell…

  43. Anonymous December 16, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    people, this fight cant be about getting fire arms back. it just cant. if thats what you gripe is about then you dont need any rights. If it came down to guns or jobs and housing for my family? thats a no brainer! if you want a gun you can get a gun, but if you want a job and housing, well thats a different story. i can protect my family easily without a gun. but aint it the darndest thing that its hard to feed them, clothe them and keep a roof over our heads. thats the important things in life man. you would probably just selling the gun any way to have money for your kids supper tonight. fight for whats right not for “a”right. does it break your heart more to see your kid ask you for something you cant give them or to think about the very slim possibility that you might find your gun in the dead of the night to shoot a thief that means to do no harm? if a intruder wants you dead you will be killed in your sleep most undoubtedly anyway! a killer kills, a thief steals. and yet no one hires a felon still. the stereo type stems from felons whinning and crying about wanting their firearms back. please dont ruin the small chance that the rest of us have to make it right by our kids by making our fight about gun rights. my kids ask whats for dinner? not, are you gonna shoot the bad guy tonight? gun arguments ruin it for the rest of us. BTW.. would i kill an intruder in my house if i needed to? you bet your ass i would.

  44. Anonymous December 16, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    its all about da politics. The democrats wont listen to you cause they feel felons just wine about the right to have guns. The republicans dont want you cause your most probly black and live in a southern state that they control and blacks tend to vote democrat so how do you win? First youre gonna have to take gun rights off the table in your argument. Guns have nothing to do with feeding your family. By the way a pistol crossbow is affective and is not a firearm! Thats if you need to protect your family and your not prohibited from all weapons.Second you need to claim yourself as independant voters so the repubs can swoo your large numbers. It all depends on who wants the thousands of votes the most. you say you cant vote but your family and friends can and that just doubles if not triples your numbers. numbers work! im telling you! numbers work! you have them you just need to use them. its not too late to turn the injustises around!we have the right to chose our own destiny people! are we gonna sit by while the rest of the country profits? the time for bitching is over! now its time to stand up and fight. YOU WERE PUT ON THIS EARTH TO DO SOMETHING SO GO AND DO IT! DO IT FOR YOURSELF! DO IT FOR YOUR FAMILY! DO IT FOR YOUR COUNTRY! AND BY GOD DO IT BECAUSE THEY SAID YOU COULDNT!!! A MAN THAT STANDS FOR NOTHING, WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING! STAND AND FIGHT! STAND THE FUCK UP AND FIGHT! I SWEAR TO YOU WITH ALL THAT IS HOLY, THAT IF YOU STAND TOGETHER YOU WILL WIN THE FIGHT! STAND UP AND FIGHT! STAND UP AND BE HEARD! LAY DOWN NO MORE! LAY DOWN NO MORE!ITS BEEN TOO LONG! NOW’S THE TIME FOR RIGHT! TELL THE SONS OF BITCHES THAT YOU ARE SOMEBODY! YOUR CHILDREN ARE SOMEBODY!

  45. Anonymous December 16, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    i feel the same as everyone here! its about the politics folks. plain and simple. our government is the biggest control freak in the world! think about this! whats the best way to control people? you guessed it! you take their rights away! and the best way to do that is? right again! make a whole population (or a good portion of it) felons. Im not 100% sure on the stats but you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a good portion of politions that could be labled felons. they have loopholes tho. my argument is that i think we have a country full of cowards that wont stick up for the peoples rights! we let them make laws that take away our rights and stand idely by and let them because we are to busy with our own selfish lives and wont speak up unless it affects us personaly! i say rise up and stand against those that are doing nothing for the people and doing just for theirselves. wake up! at the rate they are going, its not going to be long before 90% of americans will do something that the government can lable as a felony. you can think that these people making these posts are loons or conspiritalists. thats shallow thinkin. remember what i said in the beginning? the best way to govern a nation is to take away the rights. and make them dependent on government. lets take this country back. i urge you to write to your congressman or woman, have family and friends write. they will do the will of the people or they simply wont get into office. tell them there are no free rides any more they will work for the people or they will be unemployed like us!!!! you cant sue government but you can fire or not hire them. you may not be able to vote in your state but your friends and family can. look at the numbers! 10 felons have 10 family members or friends that can vote. now keep multiplying those numbers and you have the votes to turn an election. i ask you one thing HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? THEN MAKE IT HAPPEN! PULL YOUR RESOURSES TOGETHER CAUSE WITH NUMBERS… WE CAN MAKE THE CHANGE!

  46. Anonymous December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    My husband had quite the past,but has paid his debt to society with 14 years of his life, yet the stigma remains. He is a hardworking fair individual who doesn’t look for handouts. We applied for an apartment and were denied because of a charge that occured when he was 16 years of age; he is now 40. I need to know what I can do for not only him but for everyone else with a looking to do the right thing.

  47. 08o December 5, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Alot of great information and discussions going on there.!

  48. Anonymous December 1, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

  49. Anonymous December 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

  50. Anonymous December 1, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

  51. Anonymous November 24, 2009 at 9:47 pm #


  52. Anonymous November 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Actually in the state of Washington, as long as your restitution is paid, and you do not own any fines then Felons CAN vote. I just found this out about a month ago when flipping through the Voter’s Pamphlet. Not believing what I was reading, I called the Cowlitz County Elections office, to verify, and sure enough, We can vote… I suggest we try to make a difference. By the way, I too was convicted for a felony when I was 16 yrs old, over 13 yrs ago. I have since held the office of public servant by being a Volunteer Firefighter WHILE I was on Post Prison Supervision. I told them of my conviction, they contacted my Corrections Officer, and my Treatment group, and gave me a chance that I doubt any other Dept would give. Unfortunately I moved out of district due to family reasons so I am no longer a Volly, but maybe someday. I am in the middle of corresponding with a Washington State Representative to get some laws passed/changed that will better serve felons who have been convicted ONCE and have sense made the changes needed to live a successful life. I will keep anyone posted if they would like…. My email address is

  53. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    I was convicted of a violent felony when I was 18 years old. I went to jail, got out and got a labor job. A few years later I got married and had a few kids. I went to college and got my degree and decided it was time to get a better job. I worked 50 hours a week and went to school at night. Then transferred to a University and got my degree. When it was time to apply to jobs, I saw people who had no work experience and got lower grades than me get good paying jobs. I got offered about 5 jobs, all of which they took back once my background check went through. I didn’t lie to them, they asked if I had been convicted in the past 7 to 10 years, and I responded “no” because it had been more than ten years. It didn’t matter, they still took the job back. Luckily I got on with a company that must not have done the background check, but Im getting paid way less than I should or could. After reading this I realize Im one of the lucky ones but what happens when/if i lose my job? I have a wife and three kids. When my family is hungry, or doesnt have a place to live, do I just explain to them that its not their fault, its daddys fault because he was dumb kid and got in trouble when he was 18. Will that feed my kids or put a roof over their head. Fuck no! I did everything that was asked of me! I was out on bail and turned myself in to jail. I did my time and when I got out I stayed out of trouble. I went to school and got my BA. I got married and paid taxed and raised my kids as well as I could. But if I lose my job when the next round of layoffs come around, and no one will hire me because I have a felony I wont be able to feed my children what am I supposed to do. Im not going to watch my family live on the streats and be hungry because I screwed up as a teenager. They should have left me in jail or killed me instead of letting me out and telling me that if I do everything right I can be a productive member of society agian. You dont want to hire me because I messed up as a kid…fine. But know this, I will do whatever it takes to take care of my family. Rob, steal or kill, my children will eat. You dont want to hire me, fine…..but I will take care of mine.

  54. Empowerrangers November 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    My group is called the empower rangers and we encourage everyone to fight for your rights. There is a lot of information on our blog that might be helpful. We believe in 2nd chances.

    our website is:

    please check it out. give us feedback and shoot us some emails. We are out to help all especially people in the state of Virginia…Thank You

  55. Anonymous October 19, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    Unfortunately, I’m also an exfelon.In 1978 I got myself caught up in the “revolving door ” Which resulted in me being incarcerated 3 times, for crimes I could’nt afford to prove my innocence. Therefore, I took lesser deals to keep from doing a lot of time,guilty or not. I’ve been out now for approx. 15 to 16 years. I’m 53 now and I don’t blame anyone for my stupid thinking, even though alcohcol was my downfall. One day I decided that I was tired of that life style, and worked on growing up to take responsibility for my actions. So first I enrolled in a GED class,then a trade ,then a college. All of which I’ve completed successfully while in prison.
    Now I need a job, Dont get me wrong I ‘ve had jobs in past but recently the job I had went out of business and it’s very hard to obtain another job because of past history of bacground checks. Most jobs i’m applying for to me should be attainable.Warehouse worker, security guards, delivery jobs and the list can go on and on. It should be some law that allows a person with multiple past crimes get jobs that they qualify for or have experance/ training to perform professionally.Any assistance on this matter please E-mail me @ THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 5:07 am #

    I certainly feel u “17 yrs and still no job”…..i myself obtained a felon charge in 95 in NC….did my time…and now can not find a job what so ever. Before my incarceration I was making good money with a company that i had been with for over 6 years,brand new car,apt,credit cards,etc…came home in ’03 to va with relatives.took a year to find 1 temp job & worked maybe 10 hours a week if they had hours doing surveys until i wanted to go fulltime and they ran my background check & they not only fired me frm the current temp job but sd I cd no longer work for them..but get this, I told them i hd a felony on my application and explained why…guess they overlooked that at the time…thn found a job at anthr loan co….once again explained my situation…they hired me on the spot…worked 2 weeks unitl they got the bground chk back & they sd hd to fire me …i mean what gives??? Have had countless interviews that I knw I have the skills for the job but time after time Im turned down. 2 years ago I had a breakdown …now on ssi but i hear that’s giving out as well in the next few years….they are taking low income section 8 vouchers from people as we spk in va that help them with home/apt rent fees. I wanna work,,,dont want to live off gov assistance or food stamps for the rest of my life to support me & my child….but my felon follows me wherever I go….im contemplating moving out of state to a state that after 10 years they overlook felonies….gotta do something…..but good luck……. u r not alone

  57. Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    Here are some ongoing bills

    spread the voice out my fellow american’s

  58. Anonymous October 4, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    I received a felony conviction in 1992 for theft by deception. A temp agency kept sending pay checks and I (being stupid) continued to cash them. I received 2 years probation and never looked back.

    It’s been 17 years since then and I have never been involved in the criminal justice system again. I was able to excl at my career and I never had a problem getting employed. I was laid off from a fortune 500 company in 2006 and have not had a permanent job since.

    In 1998 the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) was changed was changed with regards to obsolete information. Previously reporting agencies could not report any negative information that outdated the report by 7 years, but now they changed it from 7 years to lifetime with regards to convictions. (This is why there is a lot of confusion regarding the 7 year limitations on job applications). The application may say 7 years, but the report will show lifetime.

    Background checks are now big business. 90% of big companies now run background checks, even Wal-Mart and fast food joints.

    There is no way to hide your convictions. Companies gather national (all states) crime databases of all convictions (not just yours) and if your name comes up they already have this information.

    This has resulted in life time bans on employment for anyone convicted of a crime. Can you get a job, maybe, but it will be of the lowest paying and the most physically demanding. I’m almost 50 and can’t do manual labor.

    Most temp agencies now run background checks. I did get two assignments through a temp agency, but I did too good of a job. The company wanted to hire me, I applied; they ran the background check found the conviction and told the temp agency, then the temp agency did one they also found the conviction and then told me that they can no longer work with me.

    You can only image how it is to live with no hope of a better day. Education nor skills nor time lapse with get us past this label of felon.

  59. Anonymous September 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    This always seems to be the “answer” to our issues of having a felony on our record. Do you really seriously think that if it were that easy we would be here right now reading this information we have been so whole heartedly waiting for? Do you really think for one moment we would bother asking people to be so understanding? Ask yourself this, are you the same person you were at the age of 16?..22?…25.? I am a 33 years old, who made a mistake at 18. No matter how much education I have, I am still looked down at in the eyes of most people as a criminal even though I served my time, did probation, and paid my court restituition! I am a loving married mother of 3 wonderful children who watch their mother hurt over mistakes I made in the past. At what point do we finally say, paid the price?
    Lets pretend it was you for a moment, or your daughter or mom or brother, that you knew in your heart of hearts you or they were a different person, but people do not know you and judge you becaus of a paper that just printed out on their computer desktop. We are Gods children. If Christ our savior can forgive us, why can’t humans?

  60. Anonymous September 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I am sorry about what you went through! I hope things get better for you. My best advice as a felon myself. Connect yourself to a church and become a member. The people in that family will not care about your past, they only care about your heart and soul! People in those communities own bussiness, have voice connections, its a pluss for you both socially and spiritualy! This what I did and I have two felonys on my record and work at a doctors office! I know right! Just try it…God loves you and he wants your to win in every way!

  61. Anonymous September 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    I too committed a felony at age 16 and was charged and convicted for it at age 18. Now I’m 29 and I can’t get a job. Recently I worked for 4 months for a company through a temporary employment agency. The company liked my strong work ethic and pro-active approach and decided they wanted to hire me as a full-time employee. They had me fill out an application and when they saw that I had committed a felony they fired me immediately.

    Was there people trying to convince me at 16 that I should do the right thing? Sure there were. The only problem is that I WAS A CHILD. Kids do stupid things. Even adults do stupid things. I’ve been a law-abiding, hard-working member of society for all these years, even going so far as to spend 16 months volunteering in a community help program of my own volition just because it seemed like the right thing to do. But when I try to get a job so I can have a roof over my head and a meal to eat suddenly I’m the bogeyman.

    Look, I did the crime and I did the time. Thank God I was given the opportunity to get straight because I was a messed up kid and I didn’t know how to cope. But what’s the point of rehabilitation or even of jail time if once you’re out nobody will allow you to take part in society?

    So here’s my suggestion. To put someone in prison for a year costs the state over $23 thousand. ( the cost of a bullet is a little over a nickel.

    Since obviously I wasn’t smart enough at 16 years old to listen to the people who were telling me to do the right thing why don’t you shoot me in the head?

  62. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    all I can think to say is God Bless you always

  63. Anonymous August 23, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    Please do write your article. My son is on probation for an offense. He is not not guilty, but he pled guilty rather than face a trial. I could not afford a lawyer at the time. Our dilema now is that he cannot find employment, must work on probation and knows that even when his probation is over he will forever be descriminated against due to a felony conviction. Sure takes away motivation! This is killing me to watch him feel life is hopeless. You sound articulate enough to write an article. Please do .


  64. Anonymous August 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    Absolutely, something has to be done. i was convicted of a felony came home did what i had to do, went to college, I have three degrees and can’t get a job. I’m on welfare, this is ridiculous. The money the state is willing to pay to keep me and countless others unemployed can be used for creating jobs or put towards education. I have A.S. Human services, A.S. addiction Counseling and B.S in Sociology. I have more education than my case worker. It is somethig seriously wrong with this system and instead of sitting around on the pitty pot, its time to mobilize and create our own opportunities. The laws can be revamped but the attitudes of private citizens cannot be changed, I agree individuals records should only be accessible by law enforcement.

  65. Anonymous August 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    You say you feel their pain but you have no understanding. I am one of those people who have gone through life without once committing a crime. I am considered a goody two-shoe and am squeaky clean. I was raised with certain morals and opinions toward people who committed crimes. It wasn’t until I met someone who had made said mistakes in their past that I begun to look at their side from within, rather than judging from the outside. It’s easy to judge but to see through a closed mind…that is a difficult task. Committing a crime is a reflection of environment; environments range from parents to the type of neighborhood you live in. It is people, places and the things available….or not available to you. Depending on the crime…it is a way to cry out for help. Committing a crime/making a mistake is something that everyone does. It is fueled by the parenting you have and the influences of friends. If you received the short-stick of both then your chances to make a mistake is that much more likely. I fell in love with someone who had a past like this. Every day we struggle with close mindedness people. He is a wonderful person. A loving father and a fantastic husband. It pains him that he cannot support his family in the ways that I can because of his troubled past. Nearly 10 years ago and he is still prejudiced against. And yes…I believe it is discriminating and prejudice to restrict someone from making something of themselves because of mistakes they have made and have learned from. If he had not met me…or forged the friendships with people who are open-hearted he may very well be back in prison because of the hardships he faces. Can you imagine knowing that you can do a job, that you’re intelligent and hard-working and probably 10 times better than other workers there but are fired because of your background check? Can you imagine not being able to make more than $10 an hour of hard labor because of your background check? Can you imagine not being able to secure a roof over your head because of a background check? Can you imagine not being able to claim your rights as an American citizen because of a background check? Think about it. Hundreds of men and women discriminated everyday and refused homes and jobs because of their pasts…yet we punish them for committing crimes to feed themselves; we punish them for securing some sort of income no matter what they need to do to survive; we punish them for going back to prison because that is the only option they have left. Stop judging…open your minds.

  66. Anonymous August 13, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    I am one of those people who in the past has done some things that I am not proud of. Twelve years ago in December I got clean and sober, went back to school to receive Bachelors degrees in Social Work and Sociology, an Associate degree in Criminal Justice, and a Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling. Although I have accomplished so much in the past 12yrs I am still overlooked when it comes to employment. I have two felony charges, several DUI’s and numerous disorderly conducts. When my FBI background came back I did not know this person I was reading about, she no longer exists. While going to school I was very fortunate to have an employer who was also in recovery but he owned a towing company which I ran for 9 years and since I graduated I have not been able to find employment in my field because no one wants to hire a felon. The towing company closed a month before I graduated. I am struggled to raise a child during this time and I am very proud of the job I have done. He is awesome!!! After graduation next year he is going into the Marines to fight for our freedom. I cannot afford to send him to college so he is doing the next best thing by finding his own way to receive a college education. I am so proud of him. I have taken civil service exams only to be turned down when interviewed, because of my past. This is a very unforgiving country. I beleive there should be a limit (10 years) of how long these things can be held against an individual. I totally agree with “no understanding” that when someone is held down for this long they tend to feel they have no choice but to return to their old ways. I know that using a chemical is out of the question, I have no doubt that it would only cause more pain. I cry daily because I feel like such a failure even with all the education I have acquired I cannot find meaningful employment like other people. I pray each night and every morning that God takes this prejudice from peoples hearts so that, anyone who has come back from hell only to find they are not much better off than they were using, people like me can rejoin the human race.

  67. Anonymous August 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm #


    I feel your pain, but while you were commiting or about to commit your crime was there people surrounding you trying to convince you of the conseqences of your actions? Try to understand other people feelings who did not decide to turn to crime to get ahead. Now you should stop blaming others for your mistake and take control of your life and get back into the race by doing research. Do everything that is legally available to you.

  68. Anonymous July 22, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    I would be interested in a copy of your article if you decide to write.
    I was a president of a company and plead guilty of taxes.Since then I have not been able to reach any position close to what I was before and the way my case was handled I am not sure my civil right s were not violated.
    Believe me in the Federal system the statistics are staggering:
    93.6% of Federal criminal cases result in a guilty plea.
    75.6% of Federal criminal defendants are convicted following a trial.
    97% of Federal defendants are sentenced.
    82.8% of Federal defendants receive prison terms.
    These are Dept. of Justice figures

    I live in North Carolina where rights are restored …but only if you are a state case not federal, so I am in limbo.Pardons are approved at a rate of 1 in 50,000. I am a veteran, pay taxes, and have bills like everyone, but truly don’t feel part of this country any longer.
    Lawyers want between 5000 and 15,000 dollars with no guarantees.Maybe somehow there is a possibility of a class action suit against the government. I don’t know .
    Anyway I not crying …..just trying to relate that the problems of ex-felons is real and we are on the bottom of anyone’s priority except our families.

    You might find the article interesting and enlightening:

    Good Hunting

    Thomas Hampton

  69. Anonymous July 12, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    We are all now at a disadvantage for survival , they are trying to starve us to death ,cant get a job at Mcdonalds! we should start a group , and gain our God given rights by all means necessary , we are all fucked regardless , we have to band toghether and show thease fuckers that this world is not for them only , we can share it toghether or we can fuck it up for all. need to start something right away .
    lets organize a do or die movement.

  70. Anonymous June 18, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    I am an ex-felon. I have served my time for my offenses and been released from parole over a year ago. I was convicted of a drug offense in 2004. I have not gotten in trouble at all since. In fact I am a single father who has full, sole custody of my children. Not to mention while being on parole, going through a custody battle, and going back to school to be a certified mechanic, I can’t even get a job in my field because of my past. I was just turn down by Jiffy Lube. The manager stated that they are not allowed to hire felons. There application states that if you answer yes to be convicted of a crime does not disqualify you for employment. I beg to differ! Since I did answer yes to be convicted, that is exactly what happened. I was not eligible for employment. That is just the most recent time that has happened. I was once told by a place that they wouldn’t hire me, because they only wanted good people to work there. I am sick of paying for my crime over and over. I know what I did was wrong and I feel that my time in prison and on parole was my time served.
    If you need to please e-mail me at I am not the only one that gets their past rubbed in their face when they apply for a job.

  71. Anonymous June 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    I am a current law student was thinking about this topic today on my way to work. It seems to me “punishing” those that have already “repaid their debt to society” is a form of double jeopardy.

    Look below at [3] from U.S. v. Halper

    DOUBLE JEOPARDY – Being tried twice for the same offense; prohibited by the 5th Amendmentto the U.S. Constitution. ‘[T]he Double Jeopardy Clause protects against three distinct abuses: [1] a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; [2] a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and [3] multiple punishments for the same offense.’ U.S. v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 440 (1989).

    I am considering writing a journal article on this very topic.

  72. Anonymous May 30, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    I could see myself finally losing my calm and going over the deep end and becoming the worlds largest mass serial killer in an outcry to say screw you soc iety for not letting me support myself.

  73. Anonymous May 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    it’s all about economics, supply and demand, there is more people than there is good jobs so they use it as an excuse to stick it in your bumbum.

  74. Anonymous May 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Once you have been convicted of a felony, you forfeit your right to bear arms which in essence takes away your right to use the necessary force in some circumstances to defend yourself or your family. As an ex felon myself, I believe that this is a basic human right of self preservation.

    Recently, I have come across a new product on the market call the PHAZZER. This product is similar to the Taser weapon but does not fall within the guidelines of a firearm by the ATF and requires no Federal Registration. This product is an electronic control device that shoots up to 15 ft and emits 80,000 volts into the target and incapacitates the target within seconds. This product has the stopping power of a 9mm hand gun without causing the permanent damage or side effects and more importantly it provides a safe and legal alternative to carrying a firearm for ex felons.

    The Website location is and the units with all accessories costs $299. Check it out as a non lethal and legal alternative to protect yourself and your family because some rights should never be underestimated.

  75. Anonymous May 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    I agree alot of good folks are suffering in this country. I live in Savannah Georgia and it is just as bad in this region of United States. I have two older brothers who desire to live and descent life without the struggles of having to survive in country who goals in my opion is to suppress particular races. I was a little boy when i first learned of felon actually having a chance at getting back into society and earning a living. As I got older over the years that chance has entirely diminished. I am 28 years old now. i now look at the united states of America somewhat in the saame way foreigners do. I feel this whole judicial system is the biggest hippocrate ever and the polictions, judges and those of that nature. Why is it that a person is disciplined under the law of the land and then stamped as a person who is not worthy of makeing a descent living to help in the raising of their children. The best example to me to deter a kid from commiting crimes, is to be able to confide in someone who has walked in those shoe and make it out to be a model citizen. This situation will not turn around if people don’t start now and never let up fighting for the rights of minorities and those who been prayed on. this law process is designed to keep the poor poor and make the rich richer. We all know this by now. So lets stand up and fight. Our ancester did, which is how times evolved thus far. What happen to peacefull protesting. We need to get get back to those days.

  76. Anonymous May 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    I myself have 3 associates degrees am self trained in computers (have my MCSE)And have trained myself with a little help from a friend (27 year electrician) to become an electrician in AZ. There is know reason that I should get discriminated against but I do just because I’m a felon. Housing,employment,and other thing. Is this what our for fathers fought so hard for.They would have all been considered traitors and yet we celebrate them. Don’t get me wrong,I know what I did was wrong, but I served my time and should have my rights restored. If I want that it will cost me over $3000 to have it done. So I’m not perfect but should I have to suffer for the rest of my life. What about the people that have killed with there cars because of drinking and have walked away with nothing more than a slap on the hand. Talk about two faced double standards and bend the laws to make it fit for who ever at the time. George Washington would be rolling over in his grave if he saw what was going on today. People there is such thing as a Constitution We need to get back to what it says in it. We as Americans don’t even have a right to face our accusers any more thanks to our bone head president Bush.We need to start standing up for ourselves again and being We The People instead of We The Sheep! I’m ashamed to call our country America right now and no wonder why WE are the laughing stock of the World!

  77. Anonymous April 11, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    information on feloey law varies from state to state. The only way we can make any head way is to band together into a voting block and change the laws themselves. not all felons are bad people just people in a bad situations. Those who get burned once and learn should have a way to redeem themselves with time and effort.

  78. Anonymous April 10, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    i to am an ex-felon. i haven’t been in trouble before or since. i have been looking for help! can anyone tell me where to go to get inforemation on the laws of the diffrent felonies. are all felons band from getting any asistance? why aren’t we jugde on who we are instead of the mistake that we made yes only one . thanks

  79. Anonymous April 4, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    All non-violent felons should be able to get all rights returned and all records sealed except if you are arrested again for a crime and then only the court should have the record not the police, your work, your land lord or anyone. Once you have proved yourself worthy no one shopuld be allowed to hold your past against you after a period of time. I am not talking about a year or two, but if you have been a law abiding citizen for 10, 20, 25, years you should at some time be able to remove all traces of a conviction and be treated like anyone else.

  80. Anonymous April 4, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    with us ex-felons getting the right to vote in most states we need to band together and become combined voice. we need to change the laws where a single felony conviction would be completed removed from your record and ALL right including firearm rights returned so completely that you could even be eligible for concelled handgun permits

  81. Anonymous April 4, 2009 at 8:44 am #

    with us ex-felons getting the right to vote in most states we need to band together and become combined voice. we need to change the laws where a single felony conviction would be completed removed from your record and ALL right including firearm rights returned so completely that you could even be eligible for concelled handgun permits

  82. Anonymous April 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    I believe that once you have served your time and completed probation, a felon’s rights should be restored to that of any other citizen in this country. You have paid for your crime and shouldn’t be punished for the rest of your life. I have never been convicted of a felony but two of my sons have. They have struggled so long trying to get ahead. For many years they have worked hard, not had so much as a traffic ticket, tried to be good citizens, go to college, etc., but doors continually get slammed in their faces.

    We all make mistakes in our life especially when we are young. Life is learning from those mistakes and bettering ourselves through them. People mature and change and most learn from their mistakes. A felony should not have a life-long sentence attached to it.

    I’ll read the rest of the replies after I send this. I saw something about a petition and will sign it. Can someone tell me if there are any other sources I can contact to try and get something done about this problem? Are their any organizations that I can support who are advocates for felons? Thank you.

  83. Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Society has spat on me for some 20 odd years. I even went so far as to go to college and get a degree. I graduated with a 3.83GPA. I was on the National Deans List for 3 years. I was a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society. I became a student employee at the college in the tutoring office, tutoring my fellow students and whoever else I help. At my graduation 6 students from my class came and thanked me for ‘carrying’ them through college and helping them understand. They have excellent jobs at this time. What do I do? I repair garbage trucks that come pick up your trash. I’ m in debt $60,000 for an education I cannot use because I committed a crime some 20 odd years ago. How’s that for the blunt harsh reality of society? Hey, I do what I can and I keep going, I have nothing else. But for society is blind to anyone that makes a difference. They are too busy telling you what to say, how to look, where to live, how to dress, what to eat, what to think, and basically how to conform to their views. What happened to individuality? Aren’t we all unique and beautiful creatures? Why should people we don’t even know, society, be able to dictate what we should be?

    We teach our children to dream and strive to become what they want to be. Then as they get older, society starts beating them up with all these conditions and standards. It’s a wonder anyone makes anything out of themselves. The sad reality is that usually if your born in a poor neighborhood, you will usually die in a poor neighborhood. Very few people ever get to change their stripes. You’ve heard the saying, “one in a million”? well there you have it. Society is callous, discriminating, blind, and full of idiots! sorry, had to say that.

  84. Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Society has spat on me for some 20 odd years. I even went so far as to go to college and get a degree. I graduated with a 3.83GPA. I was on the National Deans List for 3 years. I was a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society. I became a student employee at the college in the tutoring office, tutoring my fellow students and whoever else I help. At my graduation 6 students from my class came and thanked me for ‘carrying’ them through college and helping them understand. They have excellent jobs at this time. What do I do? I repair garbage trucks that come pick up your trash. I’ m in debt $60,000 for an education I cannot use because I committed a crime some 20 odd years ago. How’s that for the blunt harsh reality of society? Hey, I do what I can and I keep going, I have nothing else. But for society is blind to anyone that makes a difference. They are too busy telling you what to say, how to look, where to live, how to dress, what to eat, what to think, and basically how to conform to their views. What happened to individuality? Aren’t we all unique and beautiful creatures? Why should people we don’t even know, society, be able to dictate what we should be?

    We teach our children to dream and strive to become what they want to be. Then as they get older, society starts beating them up with all these conditions and standards. It’s a wonder anyone makes anything out of themselves. The sad reality is that usually if your born in a poor neighborhood, you will usually die in a poor neighborhood. Very few people ever get to change their stripes. You’ve heard the saying, “one in a million”? well there you have it. Society is callous, discriminating, blind, and full of idiots! sorry, had to say that.

  85. Anonymous February 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    I am 34 now, when I was 16/17 years old I got into trouble with some friends and got 4 Felony charges (as an adult). I went to prison and spent 5 years on a 10 year BE&L charges. I got a GED and worked construction for a few years and so forth. To make a long story short I have managed to work my way all the up to a 6 figure salary IT jobs. I have an excellent work record and am well known for my intelligence and technical skills.

    I have been denied jobs, housing and everything because of something that happened 20 years ago. I just moved across the country for a job only to get fired. I worked 3 days and was let go this morning because of my past; even though I was up front about everything from the start. This after being laid off for the last 3 months, so my savings are now gone. I am going to lose everything I have worked my entire life and I can’t do a thing about it because of something that happened when I was a minor. This is just a legal form of discrimination to use this as the sole reason to not rent to or hire someone.

    They need to have a limit on this, say from the date of last conviction 7-10 years (like credit). If you have a conviction then all of them can show up but if you go 10 years without getting into more trouble then it should not show up since the person is making an effort to clean up their life. But no one cares, politicians have no reason to address the issue because in most state Felons can’t even vote…

  86. Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    When i first got out of prison. got a fake name from DMV (I know I don’t have to explain) any way I Knew I would have problems getting a job. So i Get this job at a Hospital, Maintenance. worked 15 years, 911 happens and they wise up about people that have more then one ID. I get busted for fraud Fake ID…felony. I haven been able to get work since. what pisses me off, I See these city Jobs, that I know i am qualified. But Don’t have a chance. after 20 doll are an hour job, now i have to settle for SSI. Good luck to you guys…. I know this is a sick joke, But I hear the Mexican mafia is!

  87. Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Some discussion and Ideas on What Ex-Felons And Their Families Can Do To Start An Ongoing National Grassroots Movement To Persuade Politicians to Revamp and/or Eliminate Employment Laws That Legally Allows Employment and Housing Discrimination Against The EX–Felon Population

    The Ex-Felon population for many years have been legally discriminated against after returning home from prison making it very difficult for them to attain competitive livable wages, decent housing, and credit due to the current Employment and Housing Laws on the books that allows employers, and landlords to legally discriminate against the Ex-Felon population. This Ex-Felon Disenfranchisement has existed for many years. Now, .I believe it’s the right time that Ex-cons and their families begin come forward and together to form a strong National Grassroots Movement Initiative to persuade our elected officials across this nation Including President-Elect Obama to revamp and/or eliminate current laws that allow legal discrimination against Ex-cons.

    Employers are allowed to discriminate against Ex-Cons in hiring practices due to acts like “The Negligent Hiring Act”, where an employer can be held liable and ultimately be sued if an Ex-con whom the company hired commits a crime against a co-worker while on company time, including many insurance companies discourage employers from hiring Ex-Cons, because if they do, the employer would have to pay higher liability insurance premium. “The Fair Credit Reporting and Consumer Acts” allows for employers to conduct back ground checks on prospective employees to discover whether or not they have a criminal and/or bad credit record in making final hiring decisions, landlords and creditors are also allowed to conduct background checks too in making tenant, and credit granting decisions. Now even private citizens have access to criminal records disguised as taking Public Safety protection measures. with such laws on the books, employers and landlords are scared to hire or or give tenancy to Ex-cons in fear of being sued by their employees or tenants if an Ex-con commits a crime against them.

    “The Negligent Hiring Law” needs to be eliminated in order to prevent co-worker, and tenants from suing the employer or landlord due to crimes committed against them by Ex-cons, let that Ex-con pay for his or her crime alone, not employers, or landlords, because employers don’t want to hire Ex-cons if they risk being sued sometime down the road, and the same for goes for landlords they don’t want to extend housing to Ex-cons if they risk being held responsible and sued for allowing Ex-cons who committed crimes on their properties against another tenant, put that Ex-con back in prison, but don’t immediately prevent him or her from ever attaining decent housing after release from prison and call it proactive public safety measures, that’s why many Ex-cons has gone back into a life of crime due to lack of hope and despair, because of the lack of employment opportunities and decent housing. These current laws that allow Ex-felon disenfranchisement has done more harm than good, Ex-cons become again a burden to tax payers instead of tax payers because they go back to prison and the states and federal government prison systems have to take care of prisoners as long as they are incarcerated.

    I believe if these laws I mentioned earlier where revamped and/or even eliminated all together, more ex-cons would become tax payers instead of tax burdens; causing the prison populations across this Nation to be reduced by large numbers and percentages, because Ex-cons would be given better opportunities to turn their lives around and become productive law abiding citizens, and it would also reduce crime and reduce public safety concerns, because Ex-cons who want to work and be productive will be too busy working to be out in the streets re-offending and possibly going back to prison.

    Ideas I have came up with to form a Felon Employment and Housing National Enfranchisement Movement” across this Nation. This Movement must be Federalized in order for it to be successfully observe red and enforced standard bases in every state, town, and city across America:

    1. All Ex-Felon and their family members should begin “The Ex-Felon Enfranchisement Movement” by writing letters to all State and Federal Elected Officials persuading them to begin changing Laws and Acts that allows employers, land lords, and creditors to discrimination against Ex-Felons, including making any and all changes to these laws and acts retroactive to include all living Ex-Felons who are not currently incarcerated. This movement is about real “Second Chances for all Ex-Felons to successfully integrate back into American Society after incarceration.

    2. Persuade our Elected Officials to band employers, landlords, creditors, and the general public. access to criminals records, and only allow law enforcements access to such records.

    3. Persuade our Elected Officials to pass laws that would demand that law enforcement delete Ex-Felon Records from all public databases 5 to 7years after incarceration and living crime free.

    4. Form taskforces across this nation in every state to advocate on Ex-Felon’s behalf persuading our Elected Officials on an on-going bases to revamp and/or eliminate acts and laws that allow Ex-Felon discriminations in all areas of society after incarceration.

    5. Persuade Elected Officials pass laws making Ex-felons a “Protective Class” from all discriminatory activities in this Nation, which should be included in the Civil Rights, The Second Chance Act, and the EEOC laws.

    6. Persuade Elected Officials to automatically return all our Civil Rights back to us after losing them due to being an Convicted Felon after 5 to 7 years of living crime free.

    Ex-Felon Disenfranchisement should no longer be tolerated here in America, it’s high time that all Ex-Felons and their families come out of hiding the shame and embarrassment of having a Felony and stand –up and be counted on to help form a Grassroots National Movement that would allow all Ex-Felons to be normal respected law-abiding tax -paying citizens in our society once again. There’s power in numbers, and if we band together, we a have a better chance of being heard by our Elected Officials, and we can possibly get some things changed all across America that would approve our chances, hopes and dreams of attaining competitive employment, livable wages, and decent housing, something that Ex-Cons have struggled to attain for many years due to the legal discriminatory laws and acts on the books directed towards the felon population that’s holding us back from being successfully integrated back in to society after our incarceration. This is also legal double jeopardy against the Ex-felon population and it needs to be strongly addressed and eliminated once in for all.

    If No representation for our population, then we and our families should no longer vote against our best interest. “No Equal Representation, Then No Vote” should be our population’s model if politicians fail or refuse to equally represent us while in public office,. we are now a large segment in American society and if Politicians want our votes doing election season, they must be willing earn our votes. In many States are now beginning to get it, that we’re also becoming a valuable commodity doing election time, that’s why various State Politicians are changing Ex-Felon disenfranchisement laws in many States so that we can help tip the scales for a particular candidate, So now we are beginning to have a voice, doing election time.

    Something needs to be done right now about how the Ex-Felon and Offender populations are being legally treated and discriminated against when it comes, to attaining decent Employment, Housing, and Bank Credit for many years by this same Society who calls this “The Land Of The Free and Equal Opportunity, is the same Society that is keeping our population in bondage called “Legal Civil Disabilities” long after we have paid our debts to it.
    I believe after one has served their time and paid their debt to society and the law, We should be given a second chance to integrate back into American Society to become taxpayers instead of tax burdens, including becoming law abiding citizens again, no matter whether one’s crime was a Violent or Non-Violent Offense, the Second Chance Act that was signed into law by former President Bush does not go far enough to integrate all Ex-Felons and Offenders back into American Society upon release, this bill mostly caters to Non-Violent Offenses; especially Drug Offenses, Well they also fail to realize that many Violent Offenders, and Sex Offenders included are released from Prison too on Parole, Probation, or Served Their Time Out, these offenders need support systems and given a Second Chance too.

    In my opinion, a Convicted Felon is a Convicted Felon no matter what charge they where convicted of, all Felons who are released back into the General Population should be given an Equal Second Chance to successfully integrate back into this Society, what’s the use of releasing Non-Violent, Violent Ex-Felons and even Sex Offenders from prison and when they come home are not able to get decent jobs housing etc?, they may as well stay locked up and continue to be a tax-burden on the tax-payers, it would be more economical and safer from both a financial and public safety standpoint for Society to help all Ex-Felons who are released from incarceration, parole, probation to attain livable wage jobs, decent housing, etc.

    An “Ex-Felon Movement For Positive Change” should be started now by Ex-Felons their family memebers and friends, this movement’s focus should be about appealing and lobbying to the Obama Administration as a collective group along with other Pro-Felon Organizations as the ACLU and other Human Right’s Organizations to Encourage and Persuade President Obama and the US Congress to change and/or eliminate all Felon-Related Laws, including Sex Offender Laws that are really Un-Constitutional, Pro-facto, and Punitive in nature disguised as taking public safety proactive measures to protect Children from Sex Offenders that are not really working and just a waste of tax-payer money to help make the Politicians look good at election time deceptively showing that they’re tough on crime, Federal, State and City Ordinances that legally allow Employers, Landlords, and Financial Institutions to discriminate and prevent all Ex-Felons and Offenders from attaining the necessities of life that’s very much needed in order to successfully survive in everyday American-Society.

    I also believe after time served by all Felons, and Non-Felons, all Public Databases should be sealed from the General Public, Employers, Landlords, and Financial Institutions, only Law Enforcement should have access to Arrest, Misdemeanors, and Felony Records, and after 7 to 10 years of being crime free, One’s Conviction Records should automatically be destroyed from all Public Databases, including all Law Enforcement’s Databases, then that’s when a Ex-felon or Offender has totally been allowed to successfully integrate back into American Society with no strings attached or a bad past that allows Society to continually treat as Us Second Class Citizens.

    Ex-Felons should be made to become 100% US Citizens, after leaving the legal system, treated and respected like US Citizens again as well, fully be allowed to successfully integrated back into American Society with full Civil Rights restored and made a protected Class just like African Americans and People With Disabilities for example, including with no Civil Disability strings attached to them, I call that 100% integration back into American society.

  88. Anonymous February 13, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Your story is just as sad as mine: I worked hard all my life. I have never been arrested or been in any trouble with the law. In 2001 my home was raided by the Police and i was arrested and charged with a class C felony – Promoting Gambling. My crime: Having a home craps game (sometimes poker) with my friends every weekend. What made it illegal was the fact that i collected $10 from everyone to pay for food & beverages. If it was potluck, it would have been legal. The amount confiscated from my game was whopping $2,500. That’s tens of thousands of dollars less than was spent investigating and prosecuting me. The judge denied my attorney’s request for a deferral (if i stay out of trouble for X years, the felony will be wiped from my record). I see “real” criminals being granted deferrals all the time. People who have hurt someone or stolen from someone. My crime had no victims. I did not hurt anybody. I did not steal from anybody. There were no drugs or firearms involved. I was fined $10,000 and sentenced to 5 years probation. My probation is long over and of course i’ve never been in any trouble since. I am now a convicted felon for life. Fortunately my employer doesn’t care about my conviction. He only cares that i am a good employee. My right to vote was re-instated after my 5 years probation, but i still am not able to own a firearm. Being labeled a convicted felon sometimes makes me feel like a criminal.

  89. Anonymous February 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    I have your stories and I am very sad mother whose son is prison right now. He serving one year and will be on parole for one year. He studying to get his GED and he so excited. What I been reading doesn’t look like society is not going to give him a chance. The way I am looking at this, the system is set up for felons to fail. How I’m I going to tell my son he going to pay for something he didn’t even do for the rest of his life. The only thing I could say to all is believe in God to ease the pain you all are going through and your love ones.
    It a shame our political people can get away with all their wrong doings. What I don’t understand then why are study courses given to prisoners if they don’t have chance on getting a job. Isn’t that a waste for a tax payer. I believe in giving everybody a chance, we make mistakes. I am so sad for all exfelons who are trying to be a better person.

  90. Anonymous February 13, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    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.

  91. Anonymous September 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    I was 16 years old in 2003 when I committed 6 burglaries and 3 grand thefts. I ended up with 5 years in prison at 16! I wasnt even old enough to buy cigarettes, and have significantly changed my life around since I got out, but no one cares. I know no one “owes” me anything, but you know what, I make straight A’s in college now and no one seems to care when I go to try and find a job that the felonies were so long ago when I wasnt even legal to buy cigarettes! I will now pay for the rest of my life because of theft charges. Not fair, I was young and dumb, and had to grow up in prison. It changed me though, and i’m glad for that. But the only job I secured getting out was under the table, and I worked between 12 to 14 hours a day for 70 dollars…and i’m the criminal?! It should be illegal to exploit felons,but I have no other choice, I dont qualify for any type of help for college, and must therefore take out loans, that I cant pay back cause I cant get a job. What about the officers in prison and on the streets who do illegal things everyday?! Ive seen officers beat inmates, and I was jumped by a group of officers at 17 for not knowing the rules as I was new to the prison system. Isn’t that child abuse? It doesnt matter, it’s all swept under the rug. Nobody believes anything you say once you become a felon. But im the criminal? The whole system is screwed up.

  92. Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    I was convicted of a felony back in 2000. My conviction was on the grounds of self-defence. The court wasnt willing to place the blam in the proper direction because the person in text was in the local Nation Guard. He broke into my house an assualted me i defended myself and I in turn went to jail. The system does work to keep bad people off the streets but, what of us who try to do the right thing even after our conviction? I am facing the rest of my life with a violent offence ahnging over my head. I have been attending classes to get my Dental Degree only to find out I will not be accepted into the program. How can we become a part of society if we are frowned upon before we are given a chance to show our true colors. Since Ive been released I have gotten married and i have two daughter that depend on me to do the right thing by them. How can I do that if the same laws that protect me are also holding me back. Where do we go from here?
    Thank you

    Ricky L. Hall
    Pikeville, KY

  93. Anonymous February 20, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    duck looking in the mirror and in the reflection is a swan the caption reads its not about finding yourself its about creating yourself. So we work harder and capitalize on our mistakes we don`t let them drag us down,Today as an example I can be of service to those I can help.I to put myself in a position to be hurt and will be working to the best resolve I can have, God will never give you more than you can hadle.I still believe I took on more than I could handle.Today I can`t make plans but it turns out everyday just as old hannible from the “A”-Team says I Love it when a plan comes together.To you out there tc ,keep striving for the best you can be.

  94. Anonymous January 17, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    Hi there Mr. I have not had a pompous problem and screw you too you over glorified asshole! Let me tell you, you young little bastard, you day is coming when you hit 40 something jerk!

    My story ass kiss; born into a very large catholic family during the 50”s; mom came from same family with 19 siblings; good Catholic’s though, being smart for dumb ass up here is but, mom hated the church and that SHE WAS FORCED TO HAVE CHILDREN ASS KISS; YOU ARE TOO YOUNG DUMMY TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS! BORN INTO A life of forced poverty by the church as women did not have the right to choose and Catholic women could not take birth control; mom hated children, I would too if I had to compete with 19 siblings, 7 was enough; mom was severely dyslexic and then I was born; guess with what, yup, severely dyslexic; stop cringing little liar Mr. Aint got no problem; my parents beat me every day of my life until the courts allowed me to flee at the early age of 16 from the draconic environment; well dyslexia is a form of blindness for liar, Mr. Aint got no problem here as he is too dumb to know the difference; well, try to get work but guess what, you got it, cant fill out the applications; what am I supposed to do; cant read, write but am very attractive; this is the 60’s for the rest of you; of course I resort to dealing drugs as my big brother teaches me to do and get busted; okay go to prison for 6 months where I learn to read! WOW! THEN I GET MY GED! Life is turning around until my dad dies in 74 and my dumb mom decides to open an ice cream store with my lazy drugged addicted baby sister who steals mom to bankruptcy, the only child my mother wanted and the same child that left mom laying in the morgue for 7 days after spending moms money on drugs and asking me to cough up 10k for burial! Mom and sis burn down the store; knowing all the best lawyers and feeling pity for my sis, I tell sis to take here and mom to get one of the best, mafia lawyers, they do and bangity bong, 9 months later I find myself charged as being the culpable ring leader; mind you, I had nothing to do with mom or this crime and was devoid of any motivation sufficient to cause me to give up my newly found financial freedom as a gainfully employed dental technician; mom and sis fraudulently testify; they charge me with destruction of a building with explosive; mom and sis dumped gas on the store; but, the pub fender threatens me they will lock me away for 25 years if I do not take the plea offered or, extorted a plea out of me as I like to aptly call it; the pub fender promises I will do 6 months well, maxed out; ANYWAY MR. NO PROBLEM, this has been 32 years ago!

    Now; Mr. Aint got no problems; I did not either when I lied as you have to get the dam job! And yes jackass, I never had any problem getting work and keeping if FOR YEARS ASSHOLE BECAUSE WE LIED TO GET THE CHANCE JACK ASS! SO GET YOUR NOSE OUT OF YOUR ASS AND COME DOWN TO EARTH AND BE AMONG YOUR CO-FELONS JACK ASS! P.S. JACK ASS, MY EMPLOYERS NEVER TERMINATED ME EITHER WHEN I TOLD THEM! I NEVER WAITED FOR THEM TO FIND OUT SCUM BAG!








  95. Anonymous January 8, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Fair Slate is a Non Profit Organization. Our organization was created due to a void in fairness when it comes to people who were convicted of a felony and fulfilled their debt to society. Currently people with Felony criminal records, regardless of how far back in time they occurred are seen as outcast or not seen at all.
    Fair Slate does not believe that our society is being fair about this since in many cases people have committed felony offenses and just so happen to have good lawyers to get them off. That being said, we have decided to try and do something about it.

    First some facts:

    * There are approximately 20 million people in the US with Felony criminal records.

    * There are approximately 1 million new Felons created every year

    * Some studies have shown that if an ex-felon is going to go back to crime it is usually within 3 years of release.

    * Many employers do not know that there are several levels of felony classes A-I.

    * Many employers are fearful of hiring felons because they don’t understand and don’t try to.

    * Ex-Offenders come in all job skills, shapes, sizes in colors. Any job that can be done there is someone with that skill who has a felony criminal record.

    * When a person is constantly denied privileges such as a job or a place to live they will eventually find a way to get by and that way may affect you or a loved one.

    Fair Slate believes everyone has value so our organization seeks out those ex-offenders with marketable skills and works with specific employers to get them jobs. If that option does not exist then we ask employers to help with training in return for free labor and if that option does not exist then we put high caliber ex-offenders together to create their own businesses under the guidance of the Fair Slate Organization, then when they have proven that they can maintain the business it is completely turned over to them. We have enterprises that are operated, managed and run by ex-offenders. We also get employers to train in the latest technology.

    Fair Slate also understands that if it can gather up those ex-offenders who can now vote that there is power in numbers and we would have significant voting power to get some of the laws changed.

    Just visit the site and send your information. We have a voice we just need to use it.

  96. Anonymous January 8, 2009 at 10:23 am #


  97. Anonymous November 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    I love you guys because the truth of the matter is we are brothers and sisters under the same stigma. What I have been frustrated about which is a resounding theme is our lack of equal rights. Boys and Girls this is a results of old Jim Crow believe me I have been monitoring our issue for the past 15 years. I would like to have a Petition signed with hundreds of thousand of us to change these laws. My understanding is it starts at the State level. I am from NY and my main concern is criminal background checks!!!!!!!!! How can we EVER be equal when we can not take care of ourselves? Low class jobs for the low class people?
    Lets get a petition together and we can PERHAPS get a group like the ‘Sentencing Project, Legal Action Center, or the Brenne Institute,’ to help us.. The only way this shit is going to stop is if we take matters into our own hands, give me feed back and I will start a web group and create a petition…My issue begins with Criminal Background Checks…There has to be a limit how far back private organizations and these background checking organization can go… 5 years, 10 years etc. give me feed back!

  98. Anonymous November 9, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    I agree with “The Second Chance Bill” But not the way you have it laid out.The Second Chance Bill is not for the few it is for the “MANY” The Second chance bill is a great idea for all of use NO mater what our conviction is. I feel that all of us have the right to start over yes even the ones that have been convicted of a violent offense or the ones that have not been convicted of a crime. We need to stop the sterotyps,and the closed minded from holding our convictions over our heads.After all we still have to pay TAXES just like everyone else.

  99. Anonymous October 9, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    I am in the same boat… I have given up hope and don’t care about my life anymore.

  100. Anonymous September 3, 2008 at 2:18 pm #


  101. Anonymous August 11, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    What the holier-than-thous don’t understand (or are too corrupt to admit) is that MANY convicted felons were guilty of nothing more heinous than trusting a public defender with their case(s) and their lives.

    Public Pretenders are employed by the State that is prosecuting the case, for the express purpose of encouraging Plea Bargains as a means of expediting their caseloads and the Court’s overwhelmed dockets.

    There are plenty of felonious criminals who enjoy every right they’ve ever enjoyed, simply because they could afford “legitimate and competent” representation [and didn’t settle for the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing appointed by the court, to screw them over.]

    Bottom line is this: NO man, woman or government body can strip anyone of their rights for any reason.

    Our Constitution does not grant our rights, it simply recognizes them as “Fundamental,” as a means of protecting them from acts of tyranny (sadly, corrupt politicians have overruled our beloved Constitution for their own dark agendas).

    Privileges may be taken away. Rights cannot! No matter how many losers “vote” for it (as if The People ever had the opportunity to cast a ballot for such vile crap).

    Life is a gift from the Creator. Preservation of that life is our RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY.

    Whose laws govern you most? Those of God, or of man? A choice NO ONE can take away or abridge for any reason.

  102. Anonymous August 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    What makes you law thumpers think that just because
    a guy or gal has been in prison, he or she does not have the capacity to make changes for the better?
    You send us to prison to be punished but is it not the systems goal to “rehabilitate”? I’d like you to
    define your own system. You the bureaucrats say, “Ok, lets parole this guy and why? Because in your eyes, he is what? REHABILITATED? Ok, so if I am “REHABILITATED,” where is my second chance to be
    a usful member of our society without you putting constant limits on me. I can answer that. It does’nt exist in the eyes of you uppidies. I’d
    like to be able to make a difference some day but you won’t let me because I’m an Ex-felon. I have been back in socity almost 40 years and you still
    make it tough. I can’t hunt for game, nor walk with my head high because I’m always reminded that I’m a bad little boy. But don’t be to concerned bureaucrats, I would’nt vote if I could because I think you are all a bunch of liers. You know, It makes me wonder how may of you goody two shoes have committed crime. Must be who you blow or who you know. Look in the mirror sometime.
    Well, no thank to you, today I am a successful business man and yes, made my fortune, but no, you won’t see a dime for your self rightous campaign.
    Have a nice fucking day. YES TO SECOND CHANCE!!

  103. Anonymous August 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    I completely feel your frustration. I was sentenced to 5-16 years in prison at the impressionable age of 17; of which i served 7.5 years followed by 6 months parole. My crime was not violent, however the courts threw the book at me.I never had been in any trouble prior to this. But my sentencing took place during an election period in my state.” The judge and his cronies had to look good and tough for those votes.” Anyway, I have had a difficult time in every aspect. Job searches have been hell. Society seems to look down upon all us ex-felons in one way or another. Honestly, I don’t see any hope for us in the near future. there’s too much burocratic crap out there for us to face. Also, they make a whole lot of money from us. My conviction was in 1996; I am now 29 yeaers old and I am doing alright. I help my father run a small business that is helping the very community that frowns upon me. What a shame. I’m not angry or bitter for what I’ve gone through,but a second chance would be so nice. For instance; I love the outdoors – to fish and hunt. I can’t even own a hunting rifle. My crime did not involve a gun either. There has got to be an alternative. I dont think it will come soon enough to relieve our pressures. All we can do is keep up the best that we can and hope. Until then, people that make mistakes will continue to be “warehoused” and supressed.

  104. Anonymous July 11, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    I understand what you are talking about I got in trouble when i was 21 years old and these people still don’t want to give you a job. It’s been 12 years and they still deny you a job. What do they want us to do they restore your rights to vote because it’s helping them out but they won’t change the law so that employers can only check back so many years on your background check. All I can say is keep god first and he will see you through.

  105. Anonymous July 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    I have been having so much problems in finding a job. i was a young 20 year old mother of three at the time of my crime. A crime i didn’t commit may i add, but i too was dumb to the law so i took a plea bargin due to my public defender’s advice. I received a 25 year sentence for 1st degree murder, where as after going to prison, i learn that i could have gotten a lesser charge for just been there. But i was young and scared and not knowing the law. But since i’ve been home for about 3years done prorale and not having any trouble paying my fees, i had two jobs. One i left because i moved back home to my family and the second job i left for maternity leave. Either way the pay couldn’t help take care of my family.Now i have 5 children and married. My husband has a good job, but the way the prices are nowadays he can’t do it by himself. I don’t know what i need to do to get my record expunge or sealed so when i apply for a job i don’t have to checked been convicted of a felony. I can’t get ahead in my life because of a my mistake inlife. How can society stress be productive when they keep convicting me everytime i go and apply for a job. I mean these company has the right to deny anyone they want, but they would be bypassing a hard worker who would show up to work daily because they feel bless to have a good job to go to and get an honest pay. And they want to get made at the drug dealers, they might had tried all they could and been denied for jobs and they went back to the only job that would accept them. The drug game. I just want a chance to get my foot into a door so i can provide for my family. I don’t want society to be responsible for me i want to be responsible for myself and my family.

  106. Anonymous July 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    you were Lucky, you better hang on to that job. I was lucky to, for Ten years I been working at one job. If your current employer would of known at the time he hired you, I don’t think you would be working there. But having a juvenile convection is not the same thing. I am really glad you have had the chance to make that change for the better in your life.

  107. Anonymous July 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    I will tell you this shit not hiring ex felons is going to end up bitting TAX PAYERS in the ass. I am not going to tell you what i know, but ACLU is working on something that TAX Payers are going to be really up-set about. I haven’t been employed in five years, i am lucky that i haven’t made it back to prison. BUT if you the employer want to support me and all those ex felons out here, thats fine with me. I don’t want you crying about supporting me and my kids. Serves you right.!

  108. Anonymous May 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    maybe you were a snitch, good resources, or people that really see something inside regardless of what happened in your life. It is the comment made that the rest have nothing to offer because they have not found jobs or to assume other felons are not as marketable due to not finding employment. You’re the example of what others put on felons preventing them to futher a successful life in a positive way such as social stigmas, sterotypes, scapegoats, social isolation, debt bondage which forces one to re enter the system.

  109. Anonymous May 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    maybe you were a snitch, good resources, or people that really see something inside regardless of what happened in your life. It is the comment made that the rest have nothing to offer because they have not found jobs or to assume other felons are not as marketable due to not finding employment. You’re the example of what others put on felons preventing them to futher a successful life in a positive way such as social stigmas, sterotypes, scapegoats, social isolation, debt bondage which forces one to re enter the system.

  110. Anonymous May 11, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    I have come to really experience the challenges of the ex-felon and have been trying to overcome the obstacles that everyday “Joe Taxpayer ” fails to understand . I went to prison for a 6 year term for 2nd Degree Assault at the age of 25 . Not to say that I wasn’t within my rights to protect myself when attacked by another but , I found myself at the mercy of the court in which I was blind to at the time . Now here I am 17 years later and have a hard time getting a “foot” in any door . I live in Washington State and have for the past 6 years….I have held some great temporary positions that without the felony on my record , could have been benificfial to me and my family . Many companies have a 10 year policy but, that does not mean that you are eligible for employment after the statue of limitations for that company is no longer in effect. I currently am a student taking an correspondence cource that my mate of 10 years and 2 kids later pays for out of her pocket because I am not eligible for any type of grant or student loan to persue my education , and later find that it will be of no great benefit to me because of the violence in my convicition which bars me from working in this type of field. The law needs revision as well all felon coming together to make it happen .

  111. Anonymous May 11, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    13 years ago when I 17, stupid, and undisciplined I was sentenced to 4 years in prison followed by 3 years of probation for Armed Burgulary. I will admit my guilt and have from the very beginning. Within a week of being incarcerated I realized my wrongs, and made a commitment to change my life. Between being arrested and sentenced to 4 years in prison I was released on bail for 3 months, during which time I completed high school, and focused on a new lifestyle.

    I was released from custody after 3 years 8 months in May of 1999, 9 years ago. Since that time I have completed college, graduating in the top 5% of my class and with honors. I have always had a strong work ethic, and have always put in the best work I can at any job I have held. To this day though I have yet to find a company that would hire me after looking into my background. For 13 years I have been committed to putting the past behind me, but the only time it comes up is when I go to look for a new career.

    I am not sure how many people serve 4 years in prison, and then go on and do the things that I have done. 85% do go back to prison within 2 years of release. I have looked into getting my records sealed, which in the state I live in is impossible for someone with my “armed” charge. I have tried to get my rights restored, which 1.5 years later I still have not heard anything. I just don’t know how long it will be till I have paid for my mistakes. I did my time, paid my restitution, and changed my life. I have almost floored people when I reveal my secret, because they just can’t believe that I would have served 4 years in prison.

    Needless to say, I will always have to pay for my crimes. I will always get passed up for the job to another person with less experience, less character, and less education than me. I understand the severity of my crimes, so when people say “well you deserve it”, well I probably do. I just say this, when I was sentenced to 4 years 2 months and 22 days to prison followed by 3 years of probation they said it was to pay for my crimes. Well I would have gladly served an extra year in prison to really pay for my crimes, and not have to deal with this every day. I would have loved to be able to say, “well judge, if you give me an extra year will you seal my records when I get out.” I thought I paid my debt to society, but that debt has high intrest payments aparently.

  112. Anonymous April 22, 2008 at 7:37 pm #

    I was convicted of 5 violent felonies involving guns that landed me in prison at 17. I was released after a couple of years and have not had any problem finding a job since then. My current employer found out about my convictions recently because of a required criminal background check for a project that we are working on, my employer gave me a letter and a chance to dispute it if I wanted to. I choose not to and they have not pursued it any farther. Anyways, I am 34 now and I think if you can’t find meaningful employment, its not because you are a convicted felon, it is because you are in general not a very employable person.

  113. Anonymous April 5, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    How many perfect people do you know? Do you think a mistake made twenty years ago should punish forever? I don’t. I think people can change. Please read my story and follow the link to sign my petition. With hope, prayers and signatures the “Second Chance Bill” will be introduced to 2009 General Assembly. The more signatures I collect, the better the chance of this Bill becoming a reality.

    In October of 1985 I went to New York on vacation. I worked as a waitress mostly at night and carried a small handgun for protection. Without thinking I packed the gun in my suitcase. On my return flight I tried to catch an earlier flight and brought my suitcase to the ticket counter. The suitcase was searched and I was arrested for “Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon”. This is a class E felony. I didn’t understand why this was happening; to me I just made an innocent mistake. I was scared to death and was a single parent of a 5 year old. The lawyer that I hired said the crime carried a sentence of 1-5 years. I plead guilty because I feared that I would lose my child. The lawyer told me that when I left the state of New York I would not have to worry about this again. That turned out to not be true.

    In the last 23 years I have not been in any more trouble. I raised my child, returned to college and recently graduated with honors. The purpose of returning to school was to find a successful job and increase my wages. I am also a Notary for the State of Virginia and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. In 1994 I had my civil rights restored by Governor Allen.

    Recently I went on a job interview. The application asked if I had ever been convicted of a felony. Of course I said yes. I attached a letter of explanation, the order from the Governor restoring my civil rights and my notary certificate. I also added to the education portion that I graduated from college with honors. When the interviewer read my letter of explanation she excused herself and said that she needed to speak to her supervisor about my conviction before she could start the interview. After about 15 minutes, she returned. I couldn’t believe that I was being treated like this. They did interview me. After the interview I asked her how she thought I did. She said that I did very well and she thought of many jobs within the company that I could be considered for. She said that she thought my conviction could stop me from being hired and as it turned out it did. I sent my resume to this company through an internet add. Nothing in the job announcement asked about a felony conviction. This treatment made me feel very uncomfortable and prompted my decision to write this e-mail.

    Recently many corporations have implemented a criminal and credit check on all prospective employees. Other than getting my civil rights restored I have asked the Governor of Virginia for a pardon. It was denied because the Governor cannot pardon a crime from another state. I applied for a pardon in New York and I was denied because the Governor only pardons extra exemplary convictions. The Governor’s office suggested that I have my civil disabilities restored in New York. The New York Supreme Court restored my civil disabilities March 4th, 2008. I asked for a Presidential pardon and I was not eligible because my offense was not federal.

    I think that everyone deserves a second chance. How would you like to be judged your entire life for a mistake that you made when you were young? No matter what accomplishments you make, you are held back because of your past.

    Here are a few of the requirements that I feel should be fulfilled before you’re granted a “Second Chance”:

    1) Applicant has been conviction free for 10 years. Your conviction must not be a violent offense.
    2) A resident of the state of Virginia. The conviction could have happened in another state.
    3) Your civil rights have been restored.
    4) At least four references that can prove that you have turned your life around since the conviction. One of which must include that the applicant graduated from a community college, university or trade school since the time of conviction.

    If the applicant is granted a “Second Chance”, the record will be sealed. This will allow the person to carry on with his or her life without the constant discrimination that they will have to endure without a “Second Chance”

    If you agree with “The Second Chance Bill”, please follow the below hyperlink and sign this petition. I appreciate your help.

  114. Anonymous April 2, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    This makes you want to play off of these high profile people making these rules by applying for SSI. You made me disabled now give me my money that your tax dollars are going into.

  115. Anonymous March 9, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    lets see where do i begin well lets start here!!!……..i have done everything to better myself since being convicted of grand theft and burgalury of an allocated building basically i broke into a shed and stole a three wheeler i didn’t go to prison but served 2 two years probation.ok about a year later i met my wife she was the best thing that happend to me. before that conviction in my life i had some minor offense nothing big.i had no education no degree no nothing.i labored for a company for awhile and they taught me a trade it was still labor intenseive but i was working.later after i met my wife and stuff i started thinking about getting my life together,moved from florida to ohio i thoughjt that would be great new begining and so forth well not so first month there got my ged that was awsome didn’t even study the next thing i did was try to enlist in the army they told me to get 15 college credits and i would be considerd a high school grad and they would have to do a back ground check so told them my story they said no problem i’m telling you i jumped hoop’s for these guy’s well days later they said that a waiver would be needed and it would be sent to command for reveiw well all this stuff came out in the mean time it’s called time and place it is where an officer of the law stop’s you and takes your name birthday and social in the eye’s of the army thats a conviction and an occurance so my waiver was denied but i thought no worries i’ll go back to school and get a degree and in the mean time get a job. not happen’in any job no matter what i tried the people would not hire me because of my back ground so i started lieing saying no to the question 2 ta 3 months later they would fire me for stupid reasons none of which make any since but since i lied on my app’s i couldn’t do nothing about it so i would file for unemployment when they would fight it for the stupid thing they fired me for it would get denied every time i’m sure it pissed them off pretty bad because they constantly fought it and it was still denied even now they keep trying but threw all this i’ve given up on every thing i still can’t get a job and the school has since found out about my conviction.which makes me ineligable to complete my degree because in that field the employers would not hire me any how. basicaslly through all this crap i have learned that if you make a mistake in your life you pay for it, for life and the loved ones you aquire along the way pay for it too it suck’s to say it but i did, i have no rights no matter what anyone say’s here if your convicted of a felony you have no right’s even if you get them back when i tell people my story they can’t beleave it. and i’ve given you guy’s the short version. the thing is i didn’t even go to prison for the crime i did. i live in one even now and unless something change’s i’ll remain in one i just want to better my life and the life of my wife and children.

  116. HELP January 24, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    I am an ex-felon, my age is 53. I was released 5 months ago, and I am having difficulty getting proper housing and a job. I have a family,andmy wife is disabled. I am trying to work hard and make the right choices. The discrimination of poor ex-felons should be taken to the courts. Martha Stewart for one example, she made money while in prison, and I see her on television doing commercials, and making even more money. I’m sure that she hasd no problem in finding a home. It seems that the system is against the poor, and more so the poor ex-felons.

  117. Steve27 January 19, 2008 at 11:39 pm #

    I was 16 years old when I made the one misstake that would change my life forever… I broke into a house, and stole some food. Yes it was wrong, but I was a hungry runaway that was confused to say the least. Here it is 11 years later, and I still can’t join the military, can’t drive cross country, can’t work in the medical field, can’t be a teacher, can’t serve my community, my family, nor my self. Why does this country punish people for thier entire lives, even after we pay for our misstakes? All I want are the same opportunities as everyone else. This land is supposed to be the land of opportunity, but in all reality the opportunity is only designed for those who have never made misstakes. Yes, I work, and I get by, but the fact is if given the opportunity I could make a difference in someones life. Is this what we teach the kids of this nation, that misstakes are made, and never forgiven? If thats the case then how can we ever learn from our misstakes fully? Hey, but what do I know? I’m just a convicted felon.

  118. Anonymous November 1, 2007 at 2:30 pm #

    I have lost countless jobs solely because of my past convictions,not to say the jobs Ive never been considered for because of this. somthing must be done to give exfelons a chance to move on in their lives in a non discriminative positive step forward on the road to rebuilding a productive life. Society must help in the rebuilding process. These convictions I speak of are 25 years past.

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