Jobs For Convicted Felons



Guidelines for Jobs for Convicted Felons

            Employment opportunities can sometimes be hard to find for many; however, jobs for convicted felons can often be slim to none.  The desire to begin a new life is dampened by the inability to secure employment, even when the skills, experience and knowledge is there.  There are options for these individuals, however, although they may not be easy to find.

            When an individual commits a crime, is arrested and subsequently convicted, they are assigned to endure a specific period of time in jail or prison.  The crimes can be anything from fraud to aggravated assault on another person.  After completing their sentence, the individuals are then released back into society with the expectations that their punishment behind bars was sufficient to convince them to live in a manner that is acceptable in society.  For some, that is exactly what they plan to accomplish; resume the home life they had before incarceration and get a job.  Unfortunately, they soon find that jobs for convicted felons are not easy to find.

            Although it can be a difficult task, there are steps that can be taken to make the task a bit less daunting.  First, the individual should begin contacting people within his or her circle of acquaintances; friends, family members, clergy and previous co-workers or employers.  Networking within a comfort zone of contacts can prove to be a very beneficial activity, and referrals supplied by them to potential employers could be a very important boon for the felon.

            A number of large companies have strict policies against hiring felons.  To some, the mere mention of a criminal record is enough to disregard an application.  The individual may have the best luck contacting mid-size to smaller companies that may be more willing to offer the opportunity for the felon to prove themselves.  Obviously, any job relating to the crime committed by the individual may need to be avoided; someone convicted of attempting a bank hold up is not likely to find employment within a financial organization such as a bank based on their past.  Certain professions are more amenable to hiring convicts than others.  Truck drivers, fishing and construction are typical fields that felons seem to be drawn to eventually, possibly not because of true interest in the jobs but rather because they are the ones available.

            There are also a number of employers that do provide jobs for convicted felons, however.  The Armed Services of the United States is open to ex-felons, the Salvation Army provides jobs for certain ex-convicts, many factories in larger cities and restaurants do as well.  With tax incentives and insurance breaks in place for many organizations that hire ex-convicts, it can be a lucrative opportunity for both the employer and the ex-con.

            Many ex-felons have a great deal of knowledge and experience in the art of running a business.  An organization called the Prison Entrepreneurship Program was developed by Catherine Rohr, a former investor from Wall Street, who recognized this massive pool of potential behind bars.  Her goal in starting PEP was to channel this rich mass of experience and potential into legally formed and run businesses that can lead the way to a true reformation of the ex-cons.  These businesses have served to lower the percentage of ex-felons that return to prison and raise the percentage of ex-felons that become employed.  The program has earned rave reviews and has proven to be of great success for many ex-cons.

            Those felons who are truly committed to turning their lives around to become productive members of society may not find it easy living on the outside, but possibilities do exist to do so.