Ashley Wilson
Community Specialist
7 months ago
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Overcoming the past...

Did you know that more than one in four adults in America has a criminal record, but a majority of them currently pose no actual threat to public safety?

Many applicants are denied jobs based on these background checks alone.

What if for example you were charged with breaking and entering when you were 19, but now as a mature and wiser 30-year old that record has stuck with you.

How do you move on?

Here are some tips to help get you on track!

1- Create a resume You can do this by simply filling out your Jobcase profile and turning it into a resume by clicking on the resume tab and then download! For tips on what to add as an ex-felon check out this helpful [article] (https://www.prisonfellowship.org/resources/support-friends-family-of-prisoners/supporting-successful-prisoner-reentry/write-resume-criminal-record/).

2- Use your resources Check out [Second Chance Act Grant Program] ( https://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/projects/second-chance-act/) which was created to help improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities.

3- Check out which companies hire those with a past: A number of companies are known to hire those who have past felonies or convictions, and they typically have specific recruitment, onboarding, and management programs to ensure a successful and positive employee experience. Some companies that are supportive of this process are Kohl’s, PetSmart, Ace Hardware, Denny’s, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Xerox, Sprint and Manpower. You can see more employers *[here] (https://exoffenders.net/employment-jobs-for-felons/)**.

4- Explain your past When a potential employer inquires about your past be honest. Explain that although you made a mistake you are moving forward. Then be sure to back this up with examples of how you have been progressing in the right direction. This could be through volunteering, taking online courses, or any other ways you are working to better yourself!

5- Join support groups There is strength in numbers! We have lots of support right here on the Jobcase community, but also consider joining groups closeby to you where you can meet with others who have faced the same challenges as you.

Do you have any tips that have worked well for you or someone close to you?

Please share them in the comments!

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Patrick Coppedge
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Hello Ashley Wilson,

Great article. I've run across several members of our community that are experiencing this issue. A criminal record makes it nearly impossible for an individual to receive fair treatment when looking for work with so many employers. That is a shame because everyone makes mistakes. I think that many people make mistakes that were not discovered and therefore they don't have to go through what those who were caught have to. Making mistakes and learning from them is the important thing. Not every convicted individual is a repeated offender or life criminal. Many of them have made changes and are good people who deserve another chance. Our country puts too many people in prison, and then when they get out, won't give them a chance. Have they not paid their debt to society by serving their prison term? If society doesn't give them a chance when they are released and forgive them, then we will continue to spend large amounts of tax money incarcerating and little money and effort rehabilitating people. We as a country, put more people in prison that any other in the free world (and many third world and non-democratic nations). We need to change our attitude and opinion on this matter. Besides, here's a large amount of people that can be utilized for many of the jobs that many of us aren't willing to do. Food for thought....

Regards,

Patrick Coppedge

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Frank Mandaglio
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In some states example New Jersey, job applications can not ask if you were ever in jail except if working with children for the state.

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John Careccia
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Any employer can ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. They have a right to know before they decide to entertain your application.

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John Huang
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For some companies the type of convictions only prevents you from certain jobs. For example, a theft charge will not allow you to work as a cashier but you are likely fine as a cook. Always check to see which crimes exclude from which kind of roles. It varies a lot by company

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