Should Released Felons’ Pasts be a Hindrance in Employment?
Over the past few years, there has been a post circulating through social media, listing a number of businesses which hire felons. Why is this even necessary?
Think about it for a moment.
If the whole goal of incarceration is to remove basic rights from a citizen for a specific period of time while he or she is rehabilitated into what is deemed a functional citizen, why is it harder for that person to be treated fairly? He or she has done the time sentenced, thereby repaying a debt to society. There is also often restitution and other legal fees to pay. So, wouldn’t the former convict be the person who probably needs a job the most and is willing to do what must be done to maintain employment?
Or—let’s be real here – is our judicial system and certain corporations set up to keep offenders in a cycle of debt and free, legal slavery regardless of the previously committed crime? For instance, if a person serves time for attempted murder, it’s understandable for that person to be denied a position with direct care. If a person was convicted of trafficking, it would be a bit negligent for a transportation company to hire him as an on the road driver. However, a person with a record for a nonviolent crime who has completed a sentence and has been released into society should not be penalized for his or her past. If this is just the way “the system” works, why release the offender?
If a person can no longer have a regular life without fear of the past being a hindrance, it often sends him or her back into a life of crime in order to survive. Is this really fair? We call it our justice system, but is it really “just?”