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Old 04-29-2009, 01:51 PM   #41
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I didn't realize it was THAT hard to get a job with a felony. I thought that after being released they were actually givin help finding jobs. I work 12 hours a night with a guy who spent 25 years in prison. He hasn't said what for but i'm assuming murder. He's still on probabtion and has to check in with his PO. I think your friend should keep looking. Someone will hire him.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:18 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ratface View Post
Martha is right about different states having different conditions. I'm in Illinois a very liberal state and have not seen to many denied.Texas may be a lot more difficult.
From searching around, looks like it's pretty much impossible in Texas, except for Class C misdemeanors (ie traffic tickets), or a pardon from the governor. Here's the pertinent part of the Texas law.

Art. 55.01. RIGHT TO EXPUNCTION. (a) A person who has been placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for commission of either a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and files relating to the arrest expunged if:
(1) the person is tried for the offense for which the person was arrested and is:
(A) acquitted by the trial court, except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section; or
(B) convicted and subsequently pardoned; or
(2) each of the following conditions exist:
---------------------------------------------
I can pretty much summarize the list of conditions as "if pigs fly."
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:27 PM   #43
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I didn't realize it was THAT hard to get a job with a felony. I thought that after being released they were actually givin help finding jobs. I work 12 hours a night with a guy who spent 25 years in prison. He hasn't said what for but i'm assuming murder. He's still on probabtion and has to check in with his PO. I think your friend should keep looking. Someone will hire him.
Don't know what state you are in, but in his case in Texas, the state-run rehab facility had a program that taught the inmates how to find jobs after release. They even had a contract with a local firm that hired the prisoners, at minimum wage, doing basic jobs while they were finishing their rehab program. What they didn't tell them is that, after they got released, their felony record would make it nearly impossible for them to be hired without that special contract.

I'm glad your friend was able to get a job, if he was in for murder maybe there's hope for my friend who has no violence in his record. I suspect the poor economy is a big factor. If there's two people applying for the same job, one has a felony on his record, the other one does not, guess who will get the job. And, as mentioned before, if the job requires bonding, forget it with a felony.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:02 PM   #44
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Here's my advice; have him look for jobs with the Federal Government as a wage-graded employee; many agencies or military bases employ skilled trade workers; for most Federal agencies, a felony conviction won't disqualify you from employment (and many routine background investigations for federal employment only require reporting of felony convictions occuring within the last seven years). However, the conviction may be a factor in determining his "suitability" for employment, which may not be a factor for a wage-graded employee working, for example, in the carpentry shop at a regional GSA building in Austin TX or a shop in the Federal Courthouse in El Paso TX. If he got a job there, this would also improve his marketability if he tries to get employment later.

My advice to the young man who is being released from the big house is that military service has a "sanitizing" effect on the "prior bad acts" of youthful offenders. If he can join the military and serve his country well, then many employers will just read past the felony conviction when he starts looking for a job after military service.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:08 PM   #45
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My advice to the young man who is being released from the big house is that military service has a "sanitizing" effect on the "prior bad acts" of youthful offenders. If he can join the military and serve his country well, then many employers will just read past the felony conviction when he starts looking for a job after military service.
That's a good point. I think a lot of employers would see several years in the military with an honorable discharge as representing a "growing up" and responsibility-building experience for someone who offended at such a young age.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #46
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That's a good point. I think a lot of employers would see several years in the military with an honorable discharge as representing a "growing up" and responsibility-building experience for someone who offended at such a young age.
Not so fast.
Army.com - Can I Join the Army with a Felony?

But I like the idea of "working off" some felonies in the military.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:29 PM   #47
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Here's my advice; have him look for jobs with the Federal Government as a wage-graded employee; many agencies or military bases employ skilled trade workers; for most Federal agencies, a felony conviction won't disqualify you from employment (and many routine background investigations for federal employment only require reporting of felony convictions occuring within the last seven years). However, the conviction may be a factor in determining his "suitability" for employment, which may not be a factor for a wage-graded employee working, for example, in the carpentry shop at a regional GSA building in Austin TX or a shop in the Federal Courthouse in El Paso TX. If he got a job there, this would also improve his marketability if he tries to get employment later.
What a great suggestion, so far he has only applied for civilian jobs through newspaper ads and referrals. Did I mention he is a 30% disabled Vietnam vet? He would also qualify for a 10 point preference with a federal job. Just hope this wouldn't be another wild goose chase for him, he's gotten his hopes up so many times, but if he doesn't keep trying he will never get hired.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:34 PM   #48
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Not so fast.
Army.com - Can I Join the Army with a Felony?

But I like the idea of "working off" some felonies in the military.
I love this part:

There's no such thing as a "sealed" or "expunged" record, as far as the military is concerned. The military requires (under federal law) that such records be revealed on enlistment and security clearance paperwork. Failure to do so is a felony.

So let me get this straight. You have a felony, and in your state you are able to get it expunged. You apply for the Army and you don't state your felony because it's expunged. But the Army tells you there ain't no such thing in the Army and since you didn't write down that you had a felony, you now have .... another felony!!

I love the Army way of thinking
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:41 PM   #49
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he's gotten his hopes up so many times, but if he doesn't keep trying he will never get hired.
And don't assume it's only because he's a felon. What I quoted above currently applies to my wife as well, and she has a college degree and never so much as a parking ticket.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:00 PM   #50
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The reason not to get personal is best illustrated by an example: It was policy to deny employment based on a single admission of cocaine use on an application. Candidate told the truth. Candidate was denied. I went to testify to the standard. Candidate presented credible evidence that the single incident occured while she was being raped by three men in an abandoned building who threatened to kill her if she refused the coke. She won!

To me this is a bad example... I would never had said I took cocaine... to me I did not 'take' it, but it was forced into my body with the threat of great harm or death...


Edit to add... I remember a boss a LONG time ago who had an operation... she had allergies etc... and she felt a bit strange after the operation... she asked the doctor and he said it might have been the cocaine they gave her to open her sinuses... so, did she use cocaine? (maybe this was a made up story... but she swears that is what the doctor told her)...
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:58 PM   #51
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Leaving aside the variety of opinions of hiring a felon, I would suggest you have your friend take his craftman certificates and skills and shop them with small employers. Most of them will not bother with a reference check and will instead rely on his skills and how much he wants to work.
He does need to have credible work history to share with a future employer and be prepared to offer his talent perhaps as a temp or contractor for awhile to demonstrate his competency.
IF he has the willingness to set up his own business and can handle the various govt etc obligations, then operating his own business is certainly a great way to become recognized by employers in his area. A nice side effect is that if he find a client that appreciates his work, they may decide to bring him on as an employer.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:00 PM   #52
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Not sure if I'm the only felon on the board, but I will offer my viewpoint.

I was convicted of 4 drug related felonies....growing and selling pot at the age of 19 or 20.

I can currently vote, I was never disenfranchised. I can not ever own or hold a gun. Why? I dont know. It's an ignorant law. Because I grew pot, I can not defend myself in a state where nearly everyone over 18 can legally walk around with a gun.

Employment IS an issue. Luckily, I got my first 9-5 job the week before my trial, so I did not lie when asked if I'd ever been convicted of a felony on my app. Little did they know why I had to miss that first Wednesday...

After that though, while being more than qualified and excelling at my then-current position, a job was nearly impossible to come by. So, I used it as a fuel to light a fire under my butt and start a business. It's been 3.5 years since i decided to do it and it was the best decision of my life. I'm currently 'w*rking' 15-20 hrs/week making 'full time pay'. I made some lemonade I guess. Maybe your friend can do the same. Or, as was mentioned, shoot for a smaller local company. Any big chain or national company will have much stricter standards and better resources to check him out

An expungement is also a very distinct possibility. In Oh, you must be a 1st time offender. Silly as it may be, I'm considered a multiple-time offender even though all my charges stemmed from one incident (growing pot) so I can not ever be expunged. This rule has flip flopped several times in the last 20 yrs so i keep an eye on it...
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #53
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I don't disagree, but we're not talking about rape or armed robbery here. We're talking about a relatively victimless crime, and I think a society that will shun someone for for life because of one victimless mistake and one tough life lesson is a society that has its undergarments on way too tight.

I could go on and on about the stupid way society treats drug use as a horrible crime and not as a medical issue, but that would be a hijack. So I'll stop here.
For sure. How about that prosecutor in PA I think who apparently wants ot prosecute as sex offenders kids who send one another naked pictures? Moronic. But give a lawman a law and he will run with it no matter how bizarre and destructive his plan might be.

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Old 04-29-2009, 10:49 PM   #54
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Tell him to check out federal government jobs. If the crime doesn't affect the job and it doesn't require a high level security clearance, most agencies bend over backward to be fair and go by the book (most agencies are paranoid about getting sued).
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:36 PM   #55
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Doesn't this seem like a potentially great resource for an employer capable of exploiting it? If there are truly a bunch of talented, "clean" people who happen to have felony records, they could be hired at one-half the wage of an "undamaged" employee, and they'd probably be damn loyal (if not out of any feeling of debt, then at least to avoid any screw-ups that would sully their (last?) chance of establishing a good work record).

I would think a fellon who had cleaned up his act and started a business would be a prime candidate to hire other folks from "the big house" for this reason. Out of self-interest, not kindness.

Or, maybe it is just too hard to tell who is really reformed. The cost of making a bad hiring decision (embezzlement, legal liability, damage to company reputation, etc) might be too high to make the gamble worth it. And, we're back at square one. . .
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:14 AM   #56
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Not sure if I'm the only felon on the board, but I will offer my viewpoint.
Your case goes to show that "felon" is a very broad brush. It's too bad that the law puts the same scarlet letter, as far as employment, voting, etc, on everyone from a young pot smoker to a murderer.

Thanks for your valuable insight and glad that you're making pretty good lemonade.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:27 AM   #57
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Have your friend contact the state's re-entry program for felons....they usually provide education, grants, and other aid to help them get back into society. I definitely think that it would be a good idea for him to make weekly NA or AA meetings since one never really graduates from being an addict to not being one at all.
I have a DUI from ten years ago and I am totally honest about being a recovering alcoholic...I have never had a problem getting a job, and for that I am grateful.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:42 AM   #58
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Not sure if I'm the only felon on the board, but I will offer my viewpoint.

I was convicted of 4 drug related felonies....growing and selling pot at the age of 19 or 20.

I can currently vote, I was never disenfranchised. I can not ever own or hold a gun. Why? I dont know. It's an ignorant law. Because I grew pot, I can not defend myself in a state where nearly everyone over 18 can legally walk around with a gun....
You make is sound so innocent.... but they don't go after you for a felony by just growing and selling a little pot... (or in your case multiple felonies) heck, now a day they seem to write a ticket for a small amount of pot....

So, not to hijack the thread... but IMO you have to do something a lot worse than some people here are talking about to get a felony...
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:48 AM   #59
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You make is sound so innocent.... but they don't go after you for a felony by just growing and selling a little pot... (or in your case multiple felonies) heck, now a day they seem to write a ticket for a small amount of pot....

So, not to hijack the thread... but IMO you have to do something a lot worse than some people here are talking about to get a felony...
Hey, this is the internet- where you can tell the story any way you want!
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:54 AM   #60
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You make is sound so innocent.... but they don't go after you for a felony by just growing and selling a little pot... (or in your case multiple felonies) heck, now a day they seem to write a ticket for a small amount of pot....

So, not to hijack the thread... but IMO you have to do something a lot worse than some people here are talking about to get a felony...
Not necessarily. In Texas almost ANY case of possession of meth is a felony -- even less than one gram is a "state jail felony." Possession of 1-4 grams is a third degree felony. No intent to distribute is required.

And even in the case of pot, while possession of small quantities is almost always a misdemeanor at worst for first time offenders, repeat offenders can get charged with a felony.
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