Legal changes in North Carolina may be working to support offenders who are having difficulty reintegrating into society, but certain convicts are being left out. Those recently released from prison explain the difficulties that often accompany attempting to find a job or a place to live – those challenges are only exacerbated for individuals who are convicted of sex crimes. A 2012 law that allows convicts to clear their criminal records after 15 years conspicuously fails to include those who are convicted of some sex offenses. Others left out of the legal protection include those with narcotics drug arrests and convictions for ethnic discrimination, among others.
As a consequence, many convicted of sex crimes still struggle to find gainful employment, despite having marketable skills in a variety of fields. Former inmates can often be found in homeless shelters, even though they are willing to work; many say they deserve the dignity that comes along with being able to earn their own income. One man who was just released from prison after an eight-year term said he is struggling to find work, even though he is skilled in agriculture and holds certificates in several types of technology.
Statistics from the National Institute of Justice support the assertion that those with criminal records are often far less likely to find gainful employment. In fact, many establishments have a blanket ‘no-hire’ policy for those who have criminal backgrounds. Most employers are wary of those convicted of sex crimes, violent acts and other violations. Even though some workplaces are willing to accommodate those with certain crimes, some are particularly discriminatory against those accused of indecent liberties with children and other similar allegations.
Although it may be difficult to find work after prison, it is not always impossible. A qualified attorney may be able to point recently released convicts toward community resources that can help them get back on their feet. No one deserves to be shunned from society after serving the required prison time for their mistakes.
Source: Sun Journal, “Life with a rap sheet” Bill Hand, Feb. 08, 2014