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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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Old 02-01-2021, 02:04 PM
SO_of_an_SO SO_of_an_SO is offline
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Post Self-Employment on parole? Jobs on the inside?

My loved one James is likely looking at a 5-10yr prison sentence depending on all the things. Seems like finding a job afterwards is tough enough with a felony conviction let alone a sex offense let alone anything to do with cp.

How open are POs to self-employment? James has brothers who do junk hauling, trailer rental business and make decent money. If we set him up with a pickup truck and a trailer, could he work for himself as long as say, he made over minimum wage within 90 days of release?

If James could work for himself in a role with minimal startup costs, minimal overhead, minimal contact with other people and the opportunity for expansion that would be so awesome.

Are you simply at the mercy of your PO as to what and where you can work? We read a thread where someone couldn't find a job and was running out of time before violating their parole, this was very scary! Any luck and results for self-employment post release?

Now a second question about working inside, assuming Federal FCI low. We read that everyone HAS to work. But some people work for 15 minutes sweeping the dorm once a day and others work 9-5 in a unicor factory, some don't have a job but volunteer or teach within their POD? How does this work? We aren't wealthy by any means, but between his brothers and me we can def send James a couple hundred bucks a month while inside (just to say, he wouldn't HAVE to work to survive). As a writer, he would much rather work on a novel or a screenplay than work for $1/day. Could he teach screenwriting to inmates? Could he ask for a simpler job (the 15 minute on as opposed to the 9-5?). Or do they just force you into whatever they want you to do?

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Louise (and James).
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Old 02-01-2021, 04:43 PM
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Each PO decides what post prison jobs are acceptable. One example I saw was a denial of a job at a family owned business even if he was supervised by a non family member. Like everything else when the government is in charge, it's impossible to predict ahead of time.

Prison jobs inside the bop can also be problematic. Some prisons require new prisoners to work in the kitchen for months at the beginning. Some people want to work there because there are usually enough "paid" slots for everyone. The alternative is called "maintenance pay" at about $5.00 a month.

There are more prisoners than there are jobs, especially jobs that anyone actually wants to do, That means convincing a CO who manages that detail (often through one of their current workers, who may require payment) to hire you. The same is often true about cell assignments, which are also sometimes "for sale". The counselor makes job and cell assignments, at the whim of the counselor. If another CO hires you, the counselor usually goes along, but cell assignments often fall to "favorites".

It is what it is, so he needs to be his own best advocate for lots of things, sometimes even for receiving appropriate emergency medical intervention. I nearly died twice during my 5 years of imprisonment, but I was able to game the system enough that I did finally get the medical attention I required (I'm still here).

Time number one: I had a raging infection but was told at Friday sick call to come back Monday. I told the notoriously hateful physician's assistant that she had told another inmate the same thing last week, but he died on Sunday. Her reply was "get out of here now or I'll send you to the SHU".
I waited for her to leave and then I dropped my food tray on the floor of the chow hall and "collapsed", which resulted in a trip on a golf cart back to the quack shack, where I left with an antibiotic in hand.

The other was much more serious, and eventually ended up with me being comatose, in the ICU of a real hospital for a month, followed by a van ride, on the floor of the van, to the Federal medical center at Butner, NC, where I remained for another 6 weeks.

The problem was from the "custody lieutenant" who announced that I was faking my 104 degree fever. He ordered me back to my cell to die. This was resolved more by luck than skill. The one actual MD on staff and I had established a decent relationship during prior discussions, based on talks about my pre-prison employment. He overruled the LT and called 911 to order an ambulance. It turned out that I had MRSA meningitis and encephalitis.

Next, at the "real hospital", someone from the prison interfered with my medical treatment by telling my doctor that he wasn't authorized to perform a "spinal tap" to diagnosis MRSA, The doctor ordered the test anyway.

We still weren't done though. The prison demanded that I be chained to my ICU bed with metal chains. The same doctor who ignored them about the previous test later told me he had advised the prison that it would kill me if I had to be resuscitated for a cardiac event. The prison refused to relent until the hospital's medical director told them to either allow the chains to be removed (replaced by zip ties) or they had to remove me from his hospital within one hour. The chains were then removed.

Not everyone in the bop is that uncaring/evil, but there are definitely some of them around. That's why it is important to not give up as long as there are still remaining options to employ. Most prisoners never encounter anything close to what I did, and I was able to prevail, but not everybody does.
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Old 02-02-2021, 12:23 PM
SO_of_an_SO SO_of_an_SO is offline
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From James: I was up late last night imagining being chained to a hospital bed, not a pleasant feeling!

I suffer from panic attacks, SVT and can feint when those combine with low blood pressure. Worried that could end up with me chained to a bed. I can't imagine I'll be given my Xanax inside prison.

My only other concerning physical ailment is degenerative disk disease that has my 'back going out' 3-4 times a year with near constant sciatic pain. I can't imagine I'll be given my muscle relaxers in prison.

Both the Xanax and Cyclobenzaprine are prescribed. But I've heard they dont hand out those kinds inside.

Seems strange that potentially volatile new inmates would be put in a kitchen with boiling and sharp things. I don't mind working, I'd rather work on my own things though and I'd rather not spend 8 hrs a day used as essentially slave labor. I suppose the words "I'd rather" should be eeked out of my vocabulary in prison however.

By the time I'm released I'll have around $30k to get myself on my feet. With my brothers help I could get set up with an LLC, a truck, a trailer, insurance, etc. I could be up and running and doing my own thing. But if I have to work a menial job for 5 years post release I'll do that - anything will be better than being in prison!


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Old 02-02-2021, 02:28 PM
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If you can find your current prescriptions or acceptable substitutes on the bop RX formulary, you may be able to have them prescribed by the bop medical staff. If not, non formulary drugs are technically possible, but they are rarely approved. Each new prison you pass through may require that you begin the process again, although your medical records will follow you throughout the system.

Be sure to provide the US Probation Officer who will prepare your presentence investigation report with documentation of your health issues and current prescriptions. Letters from your doctors should work better than your own explanations.

The current bop prescription formulary:
https://www.bop.gov/resources/pdfs/2...ary_part_I.pdf

The added hospital drama/restrictions I wrote about are limited to outside providers, not in-house bop medical services. Everything except major emergencies are usually handled by the prison's medical staff, or by a transfer to one of the federal medical center hospital-prisons. Because they are "inside the fence", you won't be chained to your bed there. Some outside providers also come to the prison, so the added restrictions aren't imposed for them either.

Depending on your Supervised Release probation officer, who has broad discretion over your SR rules/restrictions, self employment may be approved. My experience was that the rules started off being very restrictive, but were relaxed after convincing the PO that I was following their rules religiously.
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