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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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  #1  
Old 04-06-2017, 12:12 PM
Brandon Wright Brandon Wright is offline
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Default Not enough jobs for felons - where to find them?

There are not enough jobs for felons out here!
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:46 AM
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There are not enough jobs for felons out here!
There never will be enough job for felons, until society gets over the stereotype of people that go to prison.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:15 PM
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I still stand by what I've always said, that if someone wants a job bad enough they will find one. When I met my husband he had 5 felonies and was making $16 an hour a year out of prison. Moved to be with me and had a new job the same week. Determination is key...having a skill of some sort definitely helps...being humble enough to start at the bottom will get you a looooong way in the long run!
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:34 PM
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concur with S.F in that jobs exist, but one will have to be willing to start on the bottom rung and work their way up. They aren't going to typically find something legitimate making what they made prior to committing the offenses that resulted in incarceration.

I know one area rancher that actually praised a female releasee as the best fence-puller that they had ever had on the ranch, his own kids included. Two days in, she was given full-time employment instead of daily work...

Another was willing to start by cleaning dishes and later parlayed that into a managerial position.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:54 PM
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I'm thankful that my husband is very skilled and is able to find good paying work. But I've seen many who didn't know anything but prison be committed to working, start at the bottom, and make a life for themselves. Of course I've seen many look for a job for 3 days, say it's too hard and go back to selling drugs or stealing cars. I have no sympathy for those.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:58 PM
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I'm on both sides of the fence...I have a currently incarcerated boyfriend who wants and needs to make money when he gets out (I need him to, as well). He is intelligent and talented and a great employee. However, I don't think the issue is people getting over a felon "stereotype". Felons have made poor choices and many have caused harm to others. If I were hiring, I would have issues trusting a felon. Some have committed rapes, robberies, embezzlement, etc. So, I understand the reasons why employers are not hiring felons, but I also wish it were different, for my loved one's sake.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:00 PM
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I have 3 felons at my company of 11 people. I wouldn't have it any other way....BUT we've hired several in the past that were disasters. You get that with any employee though, felon or not.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:13 AM
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There are not enough jobs for felons out here!
There's never going to be many jobs "for felons" -- after all, why on earth would anyone want to hire someone just because they are a felon?

Indeed, it is going to be your other skills and training that is going to sell you to employers. So what do you have to offer?

If you're like most ex-cons, you come out of prison with no education beyond maybe a GED and no real marketable job skills of any kind. In which case, you're going to start at the bottom.

And yes, there are plenty of jobs at the bottom. Fast food is always hiring. Day labor. Maybe not the dream job you always hoped for, and maybe not paying a living wage (meaning you may have to live with roommates before you can ever afford a place of your own), but there are jobs out there.

If you want better you have to prove yourself first, especially after coming out of prison being "damaged goods." Pursue higher education, get some experience in a field and climb that ladder... plenty of felons have become quite successful in their careers over the years, but they often had to start small before moving up.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:57 AM
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There are not enough jobs for felons out here!
Manpower, works with people that have felonies to help find jobs... Try a placement agency.. Aerotek (I believe also works with felonies)
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:44 AM
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and be willing to move. There may not be a lot of jobs in your geographic area. If the local factory just laid off 1000 people, if the local mine just closed in the last year, if your area is so economically depressed that when you go downtown more buildings are for sale than open for business, you might want to consider moving, even if on parole (talk with your PO before you actually move, get your paperwork and transfer in order). If you are competing with 50 - 100 other people for the same fast food job, you might want to cut your losses, move somewhere where "the odds are forever in your favor" and then work your ass off the first time you are given a chance.

Don't screw up your work history even more by having 10-20 jobs in the first year or two that you're out. Don't have a white collar crime and expect to handle money.

Look, the more you make yourself special, the less you are really competing. Have a felony with a GED? yeah, like Nickel says - every felon has a GED. Your GED is competing with high school grads, no felony for the same job. Get your AA in prison. Then, you'll at least have an AA (and a felony) competing with those same high school grads.

And learn how to interview, what to wear, and how to act. Have a good idea of what you need to say to the stock questions employers ask so that you come across as smart and competent, and not a smart ass (don't tell the manager that you're gunning for his/her job and expect to have it in a week or two, or at least by the end of the month because you're just that special). Be willing to acknowledge that you are actually going to have to learn your job, and that means asking for help before you waste employer resources. There is always a learning curve - be prepared to embrace it.

And be gracious if you are turned down. The last thing you want is a reputation among minimum wage employers - you really think they don't talk or warn each other? Have a meltdown in Wal-Mart and no grocery or big box store is going to even give you an interview.

OP - you really need to start your threads with more than one sentence. I know from your blog post that you're in school for massage therapy. Good. Look to your school's employment office - there are always work study programs that allow you to work food services or at the bookstore or doing janitorial services. Use it.

Crap-tastic jobs on the way to getting where you wanted to go:
For me, it was unarmed security guard at a museum on weekends. The museum was cool as all get out - it was a natural history museum, complete with a mummy. The problem was it was too close to a university football stadium. So close, it was the closest public restroom open outside the stadium, right near tailgate country. Yes, instead of being a docent for people actually interested in the museum, I spent too much time telling people where the bathrooms were, and then with the inevitable messes in the bathrooms. I was already a college grad, and I got paid .50 and hour above the minimum wage, but the mantra was, "... and I went to college for this..."
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:53 PM
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Sorry, but I'm really curious how exactly that female fence puller managed to be so great after only two days. Is that because she did that for years or what?
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:41 AM
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Sorry, but I'm really curious how exactly that female fence puller managed to be so great after only two days. Is that because she did that for years or what?
1) she had grown up in ranch country and knew the basic principles
2) it was one of many jobs during the time in prison
3) she was willing to bust her ass to demonstrate ability and willingness to work and work hard.
4) in that environment, she had to prove her worth since she was all of maybe 110 pounds dripping wet and definitely did not look like someone who would be doing any manner of manual labor.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:50 PM
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I agree that there is never going to be enough jobs for felons. I also believe that if you try hard enough and walk that long straight line long enough good things will come
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:51 PM
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I'm going to agree it's harder. I didn't even go inside (probation only) but I still found that some (mainly healthcare and education) jobs were not available till 7 years after.

However....
Being in demand helps a lot. I happened to have a fairly long technical career and a MS so, while I had to move from Miami to Louisville, I got picked up from Monster and got a great job without even a real interview. It's been almost 6 years same job.

Some employers will hate you. Some will not care.

Given how it went for me, I'd say that if you have a bad time when you get out and you can get the support (I realize that's easier said than done), use that time to go to school (as, from your posts, you are doing).

You do have to watch out for occupational hazards nobody else has, though. Travel is one. I was two hours out of Narita two years ago when they handed out the embarkation cards. Um....needless to say the last two hours of that flight were tense, as was the hour long line at japanese customs. I got by, but they took a thumb print. I told the company that was the last trip - figuring that next time I'll be in their system. I suspect that the process of deportation isn't as nice and clean as the word looks.

Oddly, in the US, at least for now what I did is possible (but not recommended) to faraway places. Forget, however, about going to Canada or even having a connecting flight there. It isn't happening. They're connected directly to the FBI database.

Dunno why I digressed - the main thing is you can get work but you can expect an even less-fun process than normal job hunting is.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:09 PM
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and be willing to move. There may not be a lot of jobs in your geographic area. If the local factory just laid off 1000 people, if the local mine just closed in the last year, if your area is so economically depressed that when you go downtown more buildings are for sale than open for business, you might want to consider moving, even if on parole (talk with your PO before you actually move, get your paperwork and transfer in order). If you are competing with 50 - 100 other people for the same fast food job, you might want to cut your losses, move somewhere where "the odds are forever in your favor" and then work your ass off the first time you are given a chance.

Don't screw up your work history even more by having 10-20 jobs in the first year or two that you're out. Don't have a white collar crime and expect to handle money.

Look, the more you make yourself special, the less you are really competing. Have a felony with a GED? yeah, like Nickel says - every felon has a GED. Your GED is competing with high school grads, no felony for the same job. Get your AA in prison. Then, you'll at least have an AA (and a felony) competing with those same high school grads.

And learn how to interview, what to wear, and how to act. Have a good idea of what you need to say to the stock questions employers ask so that you come across as smart and competent, and not a smart ass (don't tell the manager that you're gunning for his/her job and expect to have it in a week or two, or at least by the end of the month because you're just that special). Be willing to acknowledge that you are actually going to have to learn your job, and that means asking for help before you waste employer resources. There is always a learning curve - be prepared to embrace it.

And be gracious if you are turned down. The last thing you want is a reputation among minimum wage employers - you really think they don't talk or warn each other? Have a meltdown in Wal-Mart and no grocery or big box store is going to even give you an interview.

OP - you really need to start your threads with more than one sentence. I know from your blog post that you're in school for massage therapy. Good. Look to your school's employment office - there are always work study programs that allow you to work food services or at the bookstore or doing janitorial services. Use it.

Crap-tastic jobs on the way to getting where you wanted to go:
For me, it was unarmed security guard at a museum on weekends. The museum was cool as all get out - it was a natural history museum, complete with a mummy. The problem was it was too close to a university football stadium. So close, it was the closest public restroom open outside the stadium, right near tailgate country. Yes, instead of being a docent for people actually interested in the museum, I spent too much time telling people where the bathrooms were, and then with the inevitable messes in the bathrooms. I was already a college grad, and I got paid .50 and hour above the minimum wage, but the mantra was, "... and I went to college for this..."
Be ready to move. Amen to that one. I had two lucky circumstances compared to most released from prison time. I had only probation, and i am MS physics from a good university. Still, I had to move.

During the 9 months i was doing probation I got two good solid hits. One was back home in miami (ft lauderdale, really). It was for database development - something I haven't done. but the site manager was a physicist and he knew what the job was and he made me crazy coming back time aftet time - he just could not convince the company owner in new zealand to overlook the felony. That was a $75,000 job. But almost doesn't count. From Monster, a place that really isn't that great for run-of-the-mill job hunting but is great for special connections, I got my current job but it was in Louisville. they waited for me to get to 9 months (halfway) and go to court to ask for early termination (didn't even get the sentence out of my mouth) hired me with a skype interview (that i did in my underwear sitting at a desk but with shirt and tie), and gave me 4 months free corporate housing that ended up being a year. I'm pretty old so I figured that my days of corporate travel were over. No, I am in las vegas a third of my time and in various places (i gotta refuse international travel), and even made the unthinking mistake of going to Tokyo a year ago (could have been a disaster).

I have reasonably good qualifications, but the point isn't that. It is that, qualifications or not, if the guy signing the checks doesn't want felons, nothing will help you, but if he only cares about the bottom line you are in. And that means your conviction and/or time means only that you have to cast a wide net and accept some inconvenience.

My buddy Josh is in at the moment. He could face problems getting work when he gets out. He's lucky. He will have to get something to make parole happy for 3 months, but he's a damned intelligent guy and I'm going to weasel him into going to college for the first few years he's out. I got him to the point where he says he's going to do it. I realize that's not actually the same as doing it though.

My part of just saying no to the drug war is not letting a really innocent guy get screwed for life if I have anything to say about it.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:54 PM
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Something I tell EVERYONE in my classes... don’t tattoo up your face and neck and hands while you’re in prison (or out of prison, if you really want to be honest). Unless you have a legitimate job as some kind of an artist yourself, prospective employers are going to write you off completely... for poor impulse control if nothing else. The effect is magnified enormously if your tattoos are racist, inflammatory, obscene, or misspelled.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:18 AM
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YEP... Marseille:
Unfortunately the stereotype of hiring a ex-con is 100% real.Long term pay checks(legitimate/honest to good $$$ daily pay for them is so real)and i always try to remind my guy to remain "focus" but also realistic too at all times, and hope for the best, ya know."
-
Yep...

Write the inmates/former inmate off completely yep. or of a "gang sign!"Why do some do this. I wish they would not. But most do. I am not saying he is en a gang.He claim, "Sweetness, i was never part of a gang."So, I D K. What i do know es he has a few visible near "eye area."

-
I'm in fear this will arise insofar as :

>Tattoo-face( only 3 stars small (directly near the eyes.)I am sure employer will pass him by but i hope "not all will."But, i get why they would."

>Tatt-all over arms, and well upper neck/chest visible.

>Also, his grammar i.e., in devoid of great or even a slightly-decent speaking skills from no home-train by no parent who took the time, at no time to help him/keep him in school.

I am so very happy i get to drive him from facility on job search regularly if not he utilize the free bus pass. But this is a concern of mine. I pray for him to get a job til he can make a permanent transfer live with me winter of 2018.But yep this all concerns me. I am a very positive woman.However, it still is of great concern.Time will tell. We begin his job search any day now.
-

Hugs and Blessings to all."Adios.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:51 PM
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There are plenty of them. They are the ones that pay minimum wage for hard work nobody else wants to do.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:38 PM
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Never let your past determine your future. There are jobs, however, nobody, myself a felon included, will just open a door straight to the top. Regardless of your knowledge, your prior life or your personality, you still have something to prove. If you go out there and prove it, you will have plenty of chances. It's going to take time and hard work but it can be done. And yes, some jobs are no longer open. I am at a high level in my company and there are some customer sights I cannot go on. It is what it is. I didnt let any of that hold me back.

I am covered in tats, some shocking ones to many, I had a bad ride in the FBOP and was arrested 27 times in the course of two years with convictions in two states plus the feds. I didnt expect anything to be handed to me when I came out and gosh darn it I am doing pretty good.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:48 PM
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I have 3 felons at my company of 11 people. I wouldn't have it any other way....BUT we've hired several in the past that were disasters. You get that with any employee though, felon or not.
Every single person employed with us has at least one felony conviction.

Jobs for felons are out here. And so is opportunity to go into business for one's self.

Nothing is any more impossible than one believes it to be himself/herself. If they are optimistic of securing employment, they will.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:41 AM
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Every single person employed with us has at least one felony conviction.

Jobs for felons are out here. And so is opportunity to go into business for one's self.

Nothing is any more impossible than one believes it to be himself/herself. If they are optimistic of securing employment, they will.
That is great to hear about who works with you. I hope my son can find someone as open to second chances. He had 16 job offers rescinded because of his felony conviction. They didn't care what type of crime it was, just having any background was a trigger for the "oh hell no" response. He is trying to start his own IT business but getting client can be hard at first. He won't give up & will make it work but it would be nice if companies saw the potential instead of the past.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:46 PM
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[quote=GaReform;7694134 it would be nice if companies saw the potential instead of the past.[/QUOTE]

While I agree that viewing potential before past would be optimally beneficial to job applicants with felony convictions, doing so runs rather repugnant to human nature. As by but not limited to example would be when a woman is interested in a man and she finds out that he has been arrested for and convicted of physically assaulting females in the past. Survival instincts will (or should) tell that woman to be very cautious ... that reasonably likely is that he would be physically abusive to her also. Employers think similarly: if John Doe felon has a history of stealing, only logical is to be concerned that he might steal from the company.

Just my observation.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by yourself View Post
and be willing to move. There may not be a lot of jobs in your geographic area. If the local factory just laid off 1000 people, if the local mine just closed in the last year, if your area is so economically depressed that when you go downtown more buildings are for sale than open for business, you might want to consider moving, even if on parole (talk with your PO before you actually move, get your paperwork and transfer in order). If you are competing with 50 - 100 other people for the same fast food job, you might want to cut your losses, move somewhere where "the odds are forever in your favor" and then work your ass off the first time you are given a chance.

Don't screw up your work history even more by having 10-20 jobs in the first year or two that you're out. Don't have a white collar crime and expect to handle money.

Look, the more you make yourself special, the less you are really competing. Have a felony with a GED? yeah, like Nickel says - every felon has a GED. Your GED is competing with high school grads, no felony for the same job. Get your AA in prison. Then, you'll at least have an AA (and a felony) competing with those same high school grads.

And learn how to interview, what to wear, and how to act. Have a good idea of what you need to say to the stock questions employers ask so that you come across as smart and competent, and not a smart ass (don't tell the manager that you're gunning for his/her job and expect to have it in a week or two, or at least by the end of the month because you're just that special). Be willing to acknowledge that you are actually going to have to learn your job, and that means asking for help before you waste employer resources. There is always a learning curve - be prepared to embrace it.

And be gracious if you are turned down. The last thing you want is a reputation among minimum wage employers - you really think they don't talk or warn each other? Have a meltdown in Wal-Mart and no grocery or big box store is going to even give you an interview.

OP - you really need to start your threads with more than one sentence. I know from your blog post that you're in school for massage therapy. Good. Look to your school's employment office - there are always work study programs that allow you to work food services or at the bookstore or doing janitorial services. Use it.

Crap-tastic jobs on the way to getting where you wanted to go:
For me, it was unarmed security guard at a museum on weekends. The museum was cool as all get out - it was a natural history museum, complete with a mummy. The problem was it was too close to a university football stadium. So close, it was the closest public restroom open outside the stadium, right near tailgate country. Yes, instead of being a docent for people actually interested in the museum, I spent too much time telling people where the bathrooms were, and then with the inevitable messes in the bathrooms. I was already a college grad, and I got paid .50 and hour above the minimum wage, but the mantra was, "... and I went to college for this..."
I've found moving to be almost unfeasable while on probation. The problems are:

1) I wouldn't have a place to stay, being unemployed and without money to speak of, I would have to stay with family or friends and would absolutely hate to subject them to the federal government coming in to inspect their house;

2) Chaning geographic areas means a new PO and possibly new trouble; my ex-wife was a PO and a felon's life can be made a lot harder by an unprofessional PO; and

3) Companies that would pay a person to move don't normally hire felons; in fact, I've not heard of a single instance of that. Not saying that it doesn't happen, but I've not yet heard of an instance of a felon being hired and then being paid to move.

I've not had one job yet, and I've gone through my states vocational rehabilitation program; the problem I've run into is that I am still on probation.

In my area, large companies like Walmart, McDonalds, etc. do not hire felons, at all. The state, feds, medical institutions, and most everybody else seems to not want to hire while a person is on probation.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sr3131 View Post
I've not had one job yet, and I've gone through my states vocational rehabilitation program; the problem I've run into is that I am still on probation.

In my area, large companies like Walmart, McDonalds, etc. do not hire felons, at all. The state, feds, medical institutions, and most everybody else seems to not want to hire while a person is on probation.
This is the truth. I've found it much easier to land and keep a job, even if only low-wage paying "shit jobs" to tide me over while I finish college, now that I'm completely off-paper and no longer under government supervision.

The main problem with probation/parole is that most agencies want to try to make you schedule appointments during normal daytime (8am-5pm, Monday-Friday) hours, which of course conflicts with most employers' normal workday schedules, at least if you want to work a full-time job. An employer may be willing to overlook a criminal record (depending how serious and how distal), but not many employers want to put up with the employee constantly having to take time off work (or keep calling in sick as I've seen some people do) once a month just to attend PO meetings or whatever other stupid groups/classes they make you attend while on probation/parole.

This really is a big problem, and more probation/parole offices really ought to offer evening/weekend hours so as to better accommodate those working the normal 8-5.
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