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Employment w/a Criminal Record Finding post-incarceration employment can be an almost monumental task. Find tips, job offers and stories from those of us that have experienced it first hand.

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2017, 11:20 AM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Default Making occupational licenses available

(Moderators, I couldn't figure out whether to put this in the Illinois area, the re-entry area, or the activism area. I trust your judgement about moving it.)

Quote:
Illinois bans some ex-offenders from getting many kinds of occupational licenses. Residents with felony convictions can’t be riverboat owners or horse meat processors. A criminal record may disqualify acupuncturists, auctioneers, boxing referees, dance hall operators, interior designers and massage therapists.
People are working to change that. The quote above is from http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research...sider-licenses, which talks about other states too.

Some are thinking about the obvious idea that a conviction should only keep someone out of a job if it's related to the job. It makes sense to keep a former drug dealer from being a pharmacist. It's just weird to say he can't be a roofer.
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:46 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
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It's another example of how the desire to punish pushes out what would actually make sense and keep everyone safer. Everyone is better off when ex-prisoners have jobs, since this is one of the things that has the biggest impact on lower reoffending rates, yet we put so many barriers in the way of anyone with a record finding work. I'm currently helping the John Howard Society here with a report on this issue, having to do with what information can be disclosed by police in a criminal record check. Ontario has just passed a law limiting and restricting this, which should help at least a little bit.
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Old 03-09-2017, 04:26 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Good work, sir or madam. We need more like you.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:01 PM
GaReform GaReform is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onparoleinTO View Post
It's another example of how the desire to punish pushes out what would actually make sense and keep everyone safer. Everyone is better off when ex-prisoners have jobs, since this is one of the things that has the biggest impact on lower reoffending rates, yet we put so many barriers in the way of anyone with a record finding work. I'm currently helping the John Howard Society here with a report on this issue, having to do with what information can be disclosed by police in a criminal record check. Ontario has just passed a law limiting and restricting this, which should help at least a little bit.

Great! Can you please share the report when it's finished? It might be of help to others. Not being able to find someone willing to hire people with this label is the hardest thing. It blows your self esteem, makes you unable to pay your way, & generally makes you feel loss of hope that you'll ever have a future that isn't behind bars. No wonder so many people wind up back incarcerated. It's the only place that will take them. How sad is that for all of us?
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:26 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
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GaReform (and others) - I'll try to remember to share the report. The John Howard Society of Ontario has some good information/research on its website; although it's Canadian, much of it applies to the US situation as well - check out http://johnhoward.on.ca/download-cat...earch-reports/. I'm very happy to be doing some volunteer research/writing/editing for them, and now possibly also for the national John Howard organization. There are quite a few great US sites for research on criminal justice reform also that I've been on, many of which have already been mentioned by others - Pew Charitable Trusts, Vera Foundation, American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform and others.

Once you start looking you see how much evidence there is for change in policy, and how many people are working on those issues. Like anything else in politics, it's a matter of staying at it, working on convincing more people that the current approach is expensive, ineffective, harmful and we could do much better and save lots of public money. It's a no-brainer argument, but it has to be made over and over again nonetheless.
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