It always seems like the road has come to an end for felons after their release. On the contrary, they could live a better life and be law-abiding citizens again. All they require is that little push.
We consider it important to point out that felons should be encouraged and helped so that they could fit into society again. They can land better jobs and contribute their quota towards achieving economic growth.
Being a felon doesn’t mean you cannot live a good life; the question is are you prepared to do that?
So, Who Exactly Is a Felon?
We all know that all crimes are not treated the same. Some are seen as more severe than the others.
A felon is someone who commits a violent criminal offense like murder, battery, armed robbery, or sexual assault. Other crimes could be drug or property related. Anyone who is convicted for any of these offenses serves a jail term. Felony is a serious offense, and the state always doles out severe punishments to offenders.
A felony conviction places some restrictions on one’s civil rights. For example, some states deny felons the right to own body armors or firearms especially if the person’s crime was violent. Others place a restriction on the individual’s voting rights. It could also affect other aspects like child custody and visitation rights.
These restrictions vary according to the state of conviction. Most times, the effects of the punishment meted out lives with the convicts all through their lifetime even if they choose to turn a new leaf.
Felony is the gravest type of criminal offense. A felony is a crime that attracts severe punishments ranging from jail terms above one year to life imprisonment without an option of parole. It could also attract death sentences sometimes.
Will A Felony Show Up on Background Check?
The biggest challenge they face after being released is the problem of unemployment. Most employers of labor always run a background check before considering a person for an employable position. And, if it appears on a background check that you’ve once been charged with a felony, then you’ve entirely lost the chance of getting the job. Having a criminal could make things a bit difficult when you are trying to get a hold of your life again.
They conduct this background check to know more about the person they will be working with, to have an insight about their employee’s personal life, and, most importantly, to save the company’s face and reputation from any misrepresentation. They also conduct a background check to be sure the employee or job applicant is not prone to terrorism, negligence, or assault of any kind.
There are some pieces of information the employer looks out for when conducting a background check, and it includes educational records, court records, medical records, driving records, criminal records, character references, social media profiles, etc. Some of them might be excused if one is found wanting. But a chunk of them, such as a bad criminal record or a questionable character, can make an employer decline an individual’s employment position.
Will the Felony Offense Ever Leave the Offender’s Record?
Whether or not a felony will appear on an individual’s record depends on the state in which the felon lives in. States like Colorado, California, Maryland, Kansas, Nevada, Montana, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Texas, and Washington remove the felony from the individual’s record. But this only happens seven years after being released from jail. Other states keep this information present in the convict’s record forever.
There are some cases whereby felons help the authorities to arrest and convict a wanted criminal. The state often offers immunity and the expungement of criminal records. When this happens, a felony will not pop up on the individual’s record even though he has been convicted before. This means that when the employers do a background check, he will not know that the person in question has been convicted for a felony offense before.
You could also make a move to get your records cleared. A felon can apply for expungement of record after five years. This will be subject to review. The state will dig into how you’ve spent the years after release and decided whether or not to accept your application.
In some cases, it depends on how deep the background check goes. Most employers do not go beyond 5-10 years while conducting a background check. But if they won’t be sanctioned if they choose to go beyond that time frame.
How Can a Felon Get Employed Even with Background Checks?
By Getting a Mentor or Referee with A Reputable Record
It could be the big break every felon might be looking for. If a felon can get a mentor or someone with an excellent reputation to vouch for him, there is a great chance that the employer might hand the job to him. When this happens, most employers place them under close supervision to monitor their character and work adaptability. If the felon does well, the employer retains him.
A good mentor understands what the convict has to go through before landing a good job. So, they mostly help their mentees to research how to get appointments with their felony records. They also point out legitimate companies or platforms that employ felons. Most of the jobs available for felons are retail operations, construction, warehousing, food services, manufacturing, automotive repair, and customer service.
By Assessing Their Skills
When a felon is job-hunting, he should create a list of what he is looking for. This list should tally with his skillset. He could use these skills to convince the employer during a job interview. If a convict offers a lot of skill sets, the employer will deem him too valuable to be denied employment. Employers also look for people with good character, so the felon should try to be of good behaviour.
Furthermore, the felon should be able to communicate and convince the employer. He should give good reasons as to why he wants the job. If his proposal is satisfactory, he might just get the job.
Although they have been charged for a felony offense, it doesn’t make them less of a human. They can still achieve success and be of immense help to the society.
They should be helped in stirring up their gifts and harnessing their skills. They should be surrounded by those who love them, especially their families, as this will help create a more compassionate heart in them.