Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

Life After Prison: Job Application, Housing Issues Etc

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When convicted felons are released from prison they often face an environment that is challenging and usually have a hard time transitioning into their current era. Felons not only serve time and lose precious years of their life, but they also pay the price when they are released and sent back into the real world with a criminal charge on their record, which was, in fact, their decision. The time they spend incarcerated is usually only a small portion of their life, but for the rest of their lives, they will still be living with barriers and obstacles to overcome that are supposed to set them up for failure. Therefore, being a convicted felon can cause major disadvantages to one’s future such as employment, housing issues, improper education, and huge fines in restitution to pay off, some of these felons deserve what they get but a lot of them get judged for a mistake that they wish they could take back.

When Ronald Frase wrote “State should help ex-convicts rebuild lives,” an article that made a very important question linger - “Should state governments, in effect, be in the business of promoting unemployment, divorce, and single-parent families?” Once the prison time is done, the state should help ex-convicts rebuild their lives, right? Wrong. The government has always struggled to help convicts reintegrate back into society after being released from prison. If their goal is to help reform these individuals into more productive members of society, they are currently failing. Studies found by the DOJ clearly states that an absurd amount of 76% of felons who were all investigated was arrested again within five years of their release. This goes to show that more rehabilitation facilities and fewer discrimination acts are needed in order to help felons restart their life and change their ways.

Although felons have broken the law and have done unjustifiable things, they are also human beings and should have the chance to be able to restart their lives and do better for not only themselves but for their family as well. As you may well already know one of the many barriers felons have to face is trying to find employment, having a criminal record can prohibit a person from working in many career areas. Companies even have requirements they have to follow when considering a job application from a felon. Strict rules are set in place for companies to comply with, else they could face a lawsuit of unlawful discrimination if they exclude a felon without legal justification. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “one-third of all U.S. inmates were unemployed at their most recent arrest, and only 60 percent of inmates have a GED or high school diploma”.

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Despite, evidence that shows former inmates do not have the necessary skills or literacy capacity needed to obtain a good paying job, there are plenty of inmates that take vocational training programs in prison so it won’t be so difficult to find a minimum-wage paying job when released. On the other hand, it is a proven fact that felons face a high degree of difficulty when trying to secure a good paying job when being released into the community. If a felon does not get the chance or opportunity to earn enough money to support their financial needs, they may turn towards illegal and criminal ways to earn money which leads them right back to where they started and the cycle continues. With the information stated above, we can both agree that being a felon with no education or experience in the work field can be a struggle and can lead ex-cons back into their wrong ways and habits.

Another major problem felons face is finding a place to live, when coming home many ex-cons rely on their family members for a place to stay. If not, then felons may feel stuck as landlords deny to house them for “not being a protected class of citizens”, for that reason felons often end up moving to lower-income areas where they live amongst fellow ex-cons. Felons can start interacting and influencing other fellow ex-offenders which can lead to criminal behavior and they can get caught in an environment where there are higher crime rates which is more of a risk for felons to get swept back into the cycle.

Studies also show from Hudser.gov, that the lack of stable housing sustains a negative effect on felons and can lead to homelessness which also increases crime on the streets and chances of incarceration. This all comes to show that felons could end up segregated from the rest of society, and this does not help an ex-con fix their situation. As my mom says, “Mostly everyone deserves a second chance,” and I’m not in any shape, way, or form justifying what felons have done. What I am saying is that most everyone is human, and humans make mistakes, but if you can’t let someone correct their mistakes what lesson is that going to teach them? Not all felons want to better their lives, some are just miserable bastards that cannot be helped. But many ex-cons, on the other hand, seek for h

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