Criminal record branded for life
In the US, a serious criminal record can tarnish a person’s name for life, and cut one out of many opportunities and rights for life that law abiding people enjoy everyday.
The jail / prison time, probation, fines, and other judicial punishments is only part of the punishment. A criminal record itself is a long-term punishment that can often be lifelong. For many, this is the real punishment. Many people fail to take this fact into consideration.
A sex offender may never again be able to work with kids, live wherever he wants, or be able to set foot in a nudist resort. A convicted felon will never be able to work for the Federal Government or likely ever get a professional high-paying job in the private sector. Many ex-cons can only land dead-end minimum wage jobs for years after release from prison or jail.
A criminal record that stays with one, long after all sentences are served can be forever life-changing. Ex-convicts find themselves religated to unskilled minimum wage jobs, irregardless of their education, background, training, past achievements, or work experience. Even traveling outside the US could be a problem. Getting a US Passport would be difficult if not impossible, plus Canada and other countries have laws prohibiting ex-convicts from legally entering their country.
In one case in Florida, a NASA engineer was accused and convicted of an anthrax hoax. After having served 8 months in jail, she was turned down for several great job offers, including an administrator position at the Johnson Space Center in Houstin TX, and an engineering job solely because of her criminal record.
Criminal records are just that – nothing but records, but they can leave an indelible mark for life.