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Try Landing a Job with a Criminal Record

Landing a job can be challenging for many people. But for most with a criminal record, it could be nearly impossible. Attempts have been made to help the formerly incarcerated, but there’s no doubt that their history follows them wherever they go.

Just had a client who was on her way to a promising career in the medical field. She got into a little trouble and now she can’t even land the internship she needs to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. She has four children to care for, was that close to finishing up her BS, and had escaped an abusive relationship. Now she’s looking for a minimum wage job – any job for that matter – that will help pay her bills and feed the children. As for her degree, she was forced to change her major to an unlicensed program. Which means she’ll probably end up working in a profession that doesn’t pay her enough to earn a livable wage.

I’ve had numerous clients in this predicament – victims who tried to defend themselves during a physical altercation with their abuser, or had violated the law to appease that abuser, only to end up incarcerated and in a financially vulnerable situation. It’s an awful situation to be in – to work for a better life, only to find out you’ll never get there because your criminal record is used against you.

The solution to this problem is to have more companies rise up and agree to hire these former prisoners. Imagine what they can accomplish if only their past was not held against them? When they can care for their children and move on to a higher standard of living if only their past isn’t held over their heads.

The current mindset is unfair, judgmental and detrimental to our society and economy. Chances are, if they’re not given an opportunity to fully reclaim their freedom and move on from the mistakes they made, they and their children become a liability to the rest of us. It’s time to take steps to help those with criminal histories by providing them with the jobs and resources they need to move on to better things.

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