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Finding Jobs and Careers as a Convicted Felon

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Felon employment information and satistics In 2006, the number of felons in America soared up to 7.2 million, and the number hasn't changed too greatly since then.

Effects of Felons on Society

Considering the nature of their crimes, it's often very difficult for a convicted felon to get back into society, and it's even more difficult for them to find work, housing and support to help them readjust to life outside of prison. A tarnished record prevents employment since employers are usually unwilling to hire someone with a poor history, which leads to major consequences on society.
 

Financial Impact

Even when the economy is in fair shape, former felons still have difficulty trying to find work, facing a 75 percent unemployment rate the first year out of prison. Without a job, former offenders need to rely on the taxpayers and public assistance for help, especially since they still have fees to pay for being out on parole in most cases. Without a job, they cannot pay the fees, so taxpayers often continue to pay for unemployed offenders.

Culture

Without an appropriate means of making money, ex-felons can fall into the trap of getting into further legal trouble. For instance, states with a welfare system often pay too little to live with, so felons have the tough decisions on what to do in order to pay their bills while remaining housed. By employing ex-felons, the crime rate can be reduced and can give them goals along with more self-esteem.

Medical Impact

Without jobs for felons, most are likely uninsured, and prisoners often have mental issues that require treatment to maintain. They will not receive the same treatment anymore once released from prison, and public programs in society often have long lines or limited treatment. This means felons suffering from mental illnesses can strike again without receiving the treatment they require, affecting society while sick or living off of the street.

Living on the Street

It's difficult enough for former felons to find housing due to their history as most landlords will perform background checks. Additionally, low-housing income is usually not an option either if an applicant has been convicted of a felony. When a former offender cannot find felon jobs, he affects society by being forced to live on the street and eat at soup kitchens. Nobody wants people to be homeless, but unemployed felons drive up these numbers.

Felon-Friendly States

Not all felons are forced to poverty. For example, Arizona is a felon-friendly state, and the state hires those with such blemishes on their record. Colorado is also friendly to felons, even permitting them to vote when on probation.

Felon Job & Employment Programs

It's difficult enough to get a job in such a bad economy, even without having a felony on one's criminal record. With the blemish, the odds of remaining unemployed are exponentially greater. In New York alone, the unemployment rate for convicted felons is about 60 percent. However, there are several programs that felons can apply for when they need work.
 
 
Xamire Felon Help Network We are a free service for users to add, and view jobs, and housing that accept felons, as well as view state and federal programs. There is a also a large community of members that help each other, and answer questions. New jobs, housing, and information are added daily.
 
America Works This is a personalized service that helps out workers who are hard to place, such as felons. America Works is available for former felons in Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York and California, placing them in entry-level positions like cashiers, security guards, customer service representatives, mail room clerks, word processors or warehouse workers. There are also opportunities for education, including GED courses, vocational training, college credits and even ESL training.
 
Salvation Army Prisoner Rehabilitation Program This program has ties with parole officers, prisons and probation officers throughout the country, offering services like employment opportunities in cooperation with such personnel, pre-release job training programs and material aid. Additionally, former prisoners may go to designated halfway houses and participate in programs for work.
 
Chrysalis Based in Los Angeles, Chrysais is a nonprofit organization that will directly hire ex-felons while also providing support and resources for those looking for former felon jobs. Some of its programs for employment include Chrysalis Recycling, Chrysalis Works, a professional cleaning and street maintenance service, as well as Chrysalis Staffing, an agency for staffing. Finally, it offers instruction and classes in skills like job retention, basic computer training, interview preparation, resume writing, job search strategy and anger management.
 
H.I.R.E. Network Available in all 50 states, the H.I.R.E. Network is a clearinghouse of programs designed to get felons back into the workforce. Its programs include local service providers and a means of providing information for employers looking to hire former felons.

Other Felon Jobs

As previously mentioned, felons have difficulty when it comes to finding work, being struck from consideration due to their history before an employer will even look at their qualifications. Additionally, felons are not eligible to obtain some licenses that some jobs require. While programs can benefit felons, it helps to know what kind of jobs are available in the first place.

Construction

Felons qualified to work in construction can usually find work in the industry. The government may offer fidelity bonds to a company so that they may hire felons without worry about losing money; the government will compensate them for the money loss if a felon misbehaves on the job. Felons experienced in the industry may not need to start at an entry-level position, either; even without experience, available positions can quickly result in promotions despite a criminal history. Above all, productivity and craftsmanship are appreciated. Though it can be difficult to work in construction or tedious mentally, it is often better pay than other jobs.

Trade

Plumbing, carpentry framing, electrical work or other trade work are also viable options. Without experience, felons may need to begin at the entry level, but it is similar to construction in that it is fairly easy to advance and gain fair pay. Depending on the state, some additional licenses may be required to advertise the service, even if a felon is only making a claim to a prospective employer, so it's important to check what the regulations are with a probation officer.
 

Self-Employment

If a job is out of the question, freelancing is one way to be one's own boss and never having to undergo any kind of background check. The industry value depends strictly on one's portfolio, so putting together an impressive website or book of results with some information about clients will be far more important than one's legal issues. Creative freelancing is often easier to take on when clients are large enough to offer budgets that are reasonable, which is usually in major metropolitan areas. At first, some people will ask a prospective hire to offer free samples. If the job has been advertised to be a job, this is unlawful and unethical, so feel free to say no and report the business to a labor department.
 
In a similar vein, anybody can start one's own business and be a boss. It can be difficult to deal with this as a felon because they must handle other issues like paying off debt, handling emotional problems or rebuilding relationships. Some felons may also work better with stable paychecks and a structured environment, but if one finds it is easier to deal without the judgement and social pressure, this is an excellent avenue to try. Read about starting your own business as a felon
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The Xamire Felon Help Network (Xamire.com) is a resource, and help network, designed to assist ex-felons in obtaining work, housing, and other areas of need, free of charge. We are continually expanding, and enhancing our new services, and will eventually contain all information, and assistance throughout America, and soon Canada.

Finding Jobs and Careers as a Convicted Felon - 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 reviews

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Comments (33)

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    Guest (camie)

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    I have a felony. I made one mistake and now I'm paying for it forever. To me I've paid my dues. Its been seven years since the event. I'm in need of felon friendly housing in oregon. I need a break in life.

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    Guest (sarah)

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    I'm a 30 year old female with a pretty colorful history. Its ridiculous what ive gone thru trying to find work!! I live in Port Charlotte , Florida and getting a job at a restaurant is a dream for someone like me. As of right now I feel absolutely doomed , I want to go to school for cosmetology in January 2014 but finding federal help is not a option for me. Please if anybody could help me or put me on the right track that would be just a blessing. Any help or advice WANTED

  • I'm in such a dire need for a job nin p hila. I'm a very hard worker and need someone to give me a chance. I will put my heart into it and do every task that is asked of me.

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    Guest (jammal dillard)

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    yes,my name is JAMMAL DILLARD,very much still looking for work.However if any company in grandrapids,are is looking for a man as myself with multiples mix skills that will take the chance with an man .Juts becuase I have had a few felonys in the past does not classify me as cold hearted ,or simply a bad individual.What I has done was yes it wasnt correct yes correct also I have spent 17 years in prison .I went to prison when I just were turning from 16 years of age to 17 years of age.I have done the time that was granted and I done it as it should have been done .And I worked hard I mean so hard to excell to the beautiful individual I am today .I am proud of myself and now at 32 years of age I want to prove to the world everybody that gets looked up isnt always bad as people make it out to be .I love all of you !And thats how people should be and give us,I a chance.THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR TIME!!!!!! MR.JAMMAL DILLARD grandrapids,mi

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    Guest (jammal dillard)

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    Hello,I have been looking for work I need help I stay in jenison,mi outside of grandrapids,mi and I am not going anywhere.Since I have been out of prison I have worked through this temp service called forge/Industrial,.I need some work bad I am a great worker as well its just the places they were sending me to was not working with felons.thank you for your time.

  • User Thumb

    Guest (CANDY COATED)

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    LOOKING FOR WORK IN CHARLOTTE N.C

  • User Thumb

    Guest (CANDY COATED)

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    I AM A CONVICTED FELON ;I SOLD DRUGS IN THE PAST ;AFTER I COULD NOT FIND A JOB,I STOLE MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CLOTHES FROM DEPARTMENT STORES TO PAY BILLS I HAVE NOT HAD A CHARGE IN 10 YEARS ;I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WONT GIVE ME A CHANCE .I LIVE IN A MOTEL WITH MY KIDS IN CHARLOTTE N.C .I CAN NOT FIND A JOB .I REFUSE TO GO BACK TO A LIFE OF CRIME .I AM ONLY ASKING FOR A CHANCE. WHEN AN HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH FOR ME AN MY KIDS TO SUFFER FOR MY PAST CRIMES I DONT UNDERSTAND

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    Guest (Scarlett)

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    [quote][quote]my daughter is faced with possible class D felony charge because she was accused of denying grandparent visitation with the children's paternal grandmother. I find it very suprising to think that the term "child abduction" can be applied here, but that is what the court says. can anyone tell me how this charge might affect her ability to find work later on?
    <br /><br />If I were you or your daughter I would file an appeal if you still can to at least attempt to drop it down from a felony to a misdemeanor. In a lot of cases the dockets are so full they just rush the judicial process. Did this case stand trial before a jury or did she waive that right?[/quote]<br />She is going to have a hearing this week. I think with a jury. She has an attorney but I'm not sure what his plan is. I just don't think a good idea for her to plead guilty and want opinions on that.[/quote]<br /><br />While I hold deep empathy for those that made a mistake, paid the debt to society, and still seem to be judged daily for actions that are not repeated...I have little empathy for a custodial parent abusing a child with parental or grand-parental alienation. <br /><br />I hope your daughter is not found guilty of a felony because that would be bad for both society and your family, but I also hope that she loses custody of that child for attempting to alienate bio-family. <br /><br />PS. I don't care how bad and abusive the guy was to her and how the grandparents are pill heads and the grandpa is a lifelong alcoholic, blah blah blah. I have heard all of the ways bio-mothers and their families attempt to degrade, demean, demoralize, and alienate paternal family. It is disgusting and destroys the next generation. <br /><br />Your daughter will keep feeding The System in a few years because broken homes and bitter parental relationships is the most significant factor is future criminal behavior.

  • [quote]my daughter is faced with possible class D felony charge because she was accused of denying grandparent visitation with the children's paternal grandmother. I find it very suprising to think that the term "child abduction" can be applied here, but that is what the court says. can anyone tell me how this charge might affect her ability to find work later on?
    <br /><br />If I were you or your daughter I would file an appeal if you still can to at least attempt to drop it down from a felony to a misdemeanor. In a lot of cases the dockets are so full they just rush the judicial process. Did this case stand trial before a jury or did she waive that right?[/quote]<br />She is going to have a hearing this week. I think with a jury. She has an attorney but I'm not sure what his plan is. I just don't think a good idea for her to plead guilty and want opinions on that.

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    Guest (Realistic Effected Observer)

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    my daughter is faced with possible class D felony charge because she was accused of denying grandparent visitation with the children's paternal grandmother. I find it very suprising to think that the term "child abduction" can be applied here, but that is what the court says. can anyone tell me how this charge might affect her ability to find work later on?
    <br /><br />If I were you or your daughter I would file an appeal if you still can to at least attempt to drop it down from a felony to a misdemeanor. In a lot of cases the dockets are so full they just rush the judicial process. Did this case stand trial before a jury or did she waive that right?

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    Guest (Agirlfriendinneedtohelpherman)

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    Shylo<br />I am sorry you are going thru also. I really society and America had a heart like God because if they did everybody will be forgiven and it wouldn't be so hard for you guys... Unfortunately I have not found anything! But with God's faith!!! I know He will make a way! Keep faith Shylo.... You will make it! Don't give up! It's hope out there somewhere! I'm praying I can break the sex offender case for him because this was a mistake and a mishap in his younger years so then if its off of his background he will have just a little! A lot of people don't hire sex offenders because they are judging from his "criminal name" before he messed up this time he got the a job in the City of Houston with his sex offender background so there is hope out there! Good luck!! <br /><br /><br />So very true everyone makes mistakes, and the stigma that comes with being a felon is bad enough the s.o. stigma treats warm good hearted people like the plague. We are less likely than anyone, qualified or not, to get a good job if any. Did you find good help for your man? If you have any input it would greatly help both my wife and myself.[/quote]

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    Guest (Shylo)

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    NOONE HAS IT WORSE THAN A SEX OFFENDER.BEING ON G.P.S AND HAVING TO GO BY SCHEDUAL WEEKLY MAKE IT EVEN WORSE.I KNOW THAT SOCIETY "AT LARGE" IS VERY CRITICAL ABOUT US (SEX OFFENDERS), BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE RECITIVISM RATE FOR AN OFFENDER REOFFENDING,IT'S VERY,VERY LOW.I'M NOT WRITING FOR SYMPATHY OR EVEN UNDERSTANDING,BUT IF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM DEEMED EVERY "S.O."AN EXTREEM THREAT, WE WOULD'NT HAVE NEVER BEEN GIVEN THE OPPROTUNITY TO REENTER SOCIETY.SO, TO ALL WHO SHARE MY SOCIETAL STATUS OUT THERE,,,,BE ASHMAMED OF YOUR DECISION TO EFFECT SOMEONE'S LIFE IN SUCH INCONSIDERABLE AND EVEN HARSH MANNER AND PRAY FOR&TRY TO MAKE AMENDS TO THOSE WHO YOU'VE VIOLATED, BUT COME OUT OF THE SHADOWS OF THAT HIDDEN SOCIETY YOU'VE CREATED FOR YOURSELVES AND STRIVE HARD TO BE THAT PRODUCTIVE CITIZEN YOUR PUBLIC NEEDS.REDEMPTION TO COME BY IS SLOW,IS PAINFUL,BUT IT WILL COME.JUST SHOW YOUR FACE!
    I WISH THE WORLD WOULD REALIZE THIS AND STOP PERSECUTING THE UNDESERVING! I am so tired of how I am treated because I committed a sex offense in my days of poor decision making.

  • User Thumb

    Guest (Shylo)

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    My boyfriend is currently in state jail. He will be out very soon. July/2013. We live in Houston, TX and we know that as a felon it is very hard to find a job/career... But I am in need to get resources or help to try to get him at least stable when he comes out! It is very hard, I understand! I have family suffer and some succeed but most go back in jail because they get back to there lifestyle! And I know it's very easy to go back! But I'm trying to not let him get there and have that state of mind! He is young! We are young in our mid twenties and we still have time left! He still can accomplish and be somebody! So I am asking from anyone out there! Can you please help me find something for him! He doesn't care what it is! As long as it pays decent it is legal and it won't lead him to any trouble! By the grace of God I know we can make it! But I still will like help and guide myself and him in the right path... Ps he is a sex offender (juvenile record) and he has 3 felons now... All from younger age! Don't judge please! No one is perfect!
    <br /><br /><br />So very true everyone makes mistakes, and the stigma that comes with being a felon is bad enough the s.o. stigma treats warm good hearted people like the plague. We are less likely than anyone, qualified or not, to get a good job if any. Did you find good help for your man? If you have any input it would greatly help both my wife and myself.

  • User Thumb

    Guest (Mother with questions)

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    my daughter is faced with possible class D felony charge because she was accused of denying grandparent visitation with the children's paternal grandmother. I find it very suprising to think that the term "child abduction" can be applied here, but that is what the court says. can anyone tell me how this charge might affect her ability to find work later on?

  • User Thumb

    Guest (Agirlfriendinneedtohelpherman)

    Report

    My boyfriend is currently in state jail. He will be out very soon. July/2013. We live in Houston, TX and we know that as a felon it is very hard to find a job/career... But I am in need to get resources or help to try to get him at least stable when he comes out! It is very hard, I understand! I have family suffer and some succeed but most go back in jail because they get back to there lifestyle! And I know it's very easy to go back! But I'm trying to not let him get there and have that state of mind! He is young! We are young in our mid twenties and we still have time left! He still can accomplish and be somebody! So I am asking from anyone out there! Can you please help me find something for him! He doesn't care what it is! As long as it pays decent it is legal and it won't lead him to any trouble! By the grace of God I know we can make it! But I still will like help and guide myself and him in the right path... Ps he is a sex offender (juvenile record) and he has 3 felons now... All from younger age! Don't judge please! No one is perfect!

  • User Thumb

    Guest (Holly smith)

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    Hi,my son was paroled last yr.I moved to CO.to be his sponser.I had to leave my family(husband)To find an apartment was so very hard.It took months,we did, however without lying on the lease.He went to welding school,and did get a job at a taxidermy.All things were in place,even ssi medical appointments for medications.My son lasted 2mo.befor breaking parole and going back to prison.I had complete support from family.Thank God.Now he will be released in June 2013.with no parole,he is done.My family will not help me,help him this time.He blew his chance.I cant bear the thought of him homeless,hungry<br />He is 26 and a man.he has mental disabilitys wichnrequire meds.Helping the first time wasnt easy with all family support.This time I have no idea how to help?I heard a 100 times "you done all you can do."I will never believe this. I can not give up.If i dont stand strong I for sure have lost him to doc certified.I have aged years with this sarrow.I will not give up.He has wronged society and i know prison saved his life,drugs would have killed him.I just dont know what to do.June is only months away.mabe I helped to much.He had everything going for him and still made the choice to mess up.I dont understand.

  • User Thumb

    Guest (Realistic Effected Observer)

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    We live in Wichita Kansas and my 22 year old is struggling finding job. He has a felony and is on probation. Any help is appreciated.
    <br /><br />The best thing I can recommend is education, sealing, or clemency. I am a felon and he has to break out of the shadow prison in which all unemployed felons exist. Just because you get out of prison does not mean that you have freedom. By being charged with a felony you carry that burden with you wherever you go. By educating yourself and not furthering your legal troubles is the first step to minimizing that burden. I have gone through hell and back. I had no support. Coming back to a home is a good thing but being isolated, realizing that there is no opportunity for people like you, and fighting off thoughts of suicide is no way to live. I am embraced the power of knowledge. With the little resources I have I go to the library and learn about as much as I can in things that I am interested in so that I can write for scholarships and get into college so I can earn a degree. I have applied for clemency and sealing that is pending. I take classes online with MIT, Harvard and U of C Berkeley at edx.org which are free but I can't get a job at McDonald's. I can tell you all about the Principles of Quantum Mechanics but cannot find a job to provide for myself or anyone else. It had a detrimental effect on my social, psychological, and physical health. I am sure that your son has gone through the same. I hope that some of my words help. Comment if you have any other questions.

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    Guest (crystal)

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    I was accused of sleeping with two boys which i didnt do but his dad wanted to sleep with me and i.said no so three mths later i got a knock on my door and it was his best friend the town cop. I have four kids of my own and even with no evidence i was told by my lawyer whom i paid that 97% of thetime they will believe the kids over me.The admitted to allowing the boys t to write their statement side by sidebwith parents in the room andbthey spelle checked it. I gave my bed all my and all my sheetsvand the only dnabfound was mine and my kids fathers. So now im a sex predstoroffender and cant findba job and if i do t he moment they find out i no longer have a job. This happened in ohio and i i was only sentenced to register for ten yrs then i moved to florida and i found out that no .matter where i move i will be a lifetime predstor

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Guest (samantha)
Thank you for this information. I was convicted 3 yrs ago and hav...
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Guest (Charles Caldwell)
I live in the state of North Carolina. I received a felony on my ...
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Guest (Ezekiel Callahan)
I need a grant to fund my business,get it corporate and up and mo...
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One of our lawyers recently posted an article about how to get yo...
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