From Custody to Career
Removing Roadblocks to Reentry
After leaving incarceration, young ex-offenders find numerous barriers to reintegrating into society. For example, most states restrict voting rights and allow employers to deny jobs to people who may have been arrested or convicted. Many public housing authorities deny eligibility for federally assisted housing based on arrest records, according to the Legal Action Center (LAC).
Laurie Parise, an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the National HIRE Network, a project of LAC, recommends youth leaving incarceration learn about the laws and restrictions in their states before searching for employment. Parise also suggests:
- Know the difference between a crime and an offense. This can change how you respond on a job application.
- Know what's on your arrest record. These records sometimes contain incorrect information.
- Know about your state's sealing laws for court records. These vary from state to state.
- Maintain thorough documentation about rehabilitation services you may have received.
- Don't lie about your background. Background checks will uncover the truth. Visit the Legal Action Center online at www.lac.org for more information and to access LAC's recent study, After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry, A Report on State Legal Barriers Facing People With Criminal Records.
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