Ex-convicts struggle to re-enter society

Ex-convicts are finding themselves in kind of a catch-22. While they are supposed to re-enter society, most are unable to get jobs or housing. Many cannot even get a job driving a taxi cab, or menial minimum wage jobs in restaurants or cleaners.

Both Wal-Mart and Home Depot are no longer hiring anybody with a felony record.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest corporate employer, is requiring criminal background checks for all new associates and will no longer hire ex-convicts. As more companies follow suit, it could become even more difficult for ex-convicts to gain entry-level, minimum-wage jobs they have traditionally relied on for decades to gain a foothold back into the working world.

Hundreds of people get out of prison or jail everyday ”Not letting them get jobs or a roof over their heads, is a public safety risk.”

The Criminal Offender Record Information system or CORI was originally set up in 1972 to provide law enforcement access to criminal records, while restricting access to others in order to protect the privacy of ex-convicts to give them a better change for a fresh start. However in the years since, access was relaxed to where employers, landlords, and the news media may see them too.

One source of complaints of critics is that the data on arrests & convictions are often inaccurate or erroneous, and too many employers are using it to discriminate against people with criminal records.

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One Response to “Ex-convicts struggle to re-enter society”

  1. I am an ex-convict (3rd Degree Felony for Possession of Marijuana). My record is about 5-years old. I was working at an Industial Plant in Pasadena, through a contractor, for the last two and 1/2 years, until the company was forced to go back and conduct background checks on all employees; subseqently, I was let go back in October 2006, because of my background. Since then, I have struggled to find employment. I made a mistake in my life, which I have paid for, and I have no intention of being a habitual criminal. I am trying to make a living to pay my bills (I have lost my transportation, since losing my job, because I could not pay the car note), and I also have a 9-year old daughter, who I am trying to help support. While I was working for the contract company, I moved up the ranks quickly, from scaffold builder, to industrial painter, to sandblaster, to asbestos abatement. I was also leadman on the last few assignments I was sent to. I was told that they “hated to lose me, but there was nothing they could do.”

    Right now, I am asking that if anyone would be willing to give me a chance at a job, it would greatly be appreciated. I desperately need a job, similiar to the kind of pay I was making only two months ago ($10 – $17.50/hr). If anyone is willing to give me a chance, please send me an e-mail.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Christian Braxton

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