Welcome back Reader!
Today, I’ve got a short list of five things that felons should know after their conviction.
This isn’t a hate post either, I am the Friendly Felon after all – so you’re in store for some nifty information that is really going to give you hope and help you get back on track.
That’s what I’m all about here – finding those little rays of hope for a better life and growing that into a goal you can reach. Just thought I’d mention that for the newcomers – because they might not have known what they were getting themselves into here. (Partly why Enigma is part of my chosen moniker) There’s a ton more where this comes from, so keep reading and don’t forget to share with everyone!
Anyway, without further ado, I present my newest list:
Five Things Felons Should Know:
Return of Rights After a Felony
1. We can get the majority of our civil rights back – and some states even allow restoration of rights immediately after you finish your last day locked up or once you get released from whatever level supervision you might be on. This includes voting, earning a public office seat in a governmental body, and more. Some rights will take more time than others, and every state is different in their limits, but ultimately – the rights are available again once you’ve kept yourself out of trouble for a while. Not a bad bargain really.
Reentry Resources and Employment Certificates
2. We can gain legal certificates that help us get jobs. These are ACTUAL things guys – I HAVE one. The whole thing gets a little complicated though – just keep reading. First, there is a federal bonding program that is available for all felons (or anyone struggling in general) in every state across the entire nation with getting a job. Here is the page on bonds for jobs. There are also some states that offer a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’, or a ‘Certificate of Relief from Disability’. Both of these help with getting a job in different ways, and one can even help you get a professional license (examples: beauticians, clinicians, etc). You’ll have to earn these with a lot of research and a lot of elbow grease- but it is completely possible in many cases!
Continue with College
3. We can do anything we put our minds to! If you’re a felon that wants to go to college, there’s not much that can stop you. Sex convictions aside, most felons – including drug-related convictions (might have to wait for financial aid to be allowed again, but otherwise chances of acceptance really aren’t terrible)- can attend college without hassle. I’ve been accepted numerous times into various colleges for interior design, art, beauty school, and psychology. I might have only stuck with one of these choices, but all of them were willing to work with me regardless of my background. The payment of the tuition is the biggest hassle here, but most convictions can apply within just a few years of completion of your sentence.
Honesty is Best Policy
4. We need to be honest about our backgrounds with employers. When you hide it, you’re just wasting time (yours and the employers to be honest). There might be restrictions in various states as to how far back the background search can go – but in many cases, a simple background search performed online will bring up every single conviction under your name. It is a much better idea to be honest, and spend more time learning how to prove you’re a good employee to potential employers. (Character references, volunteer experiences, letters from probation, parole, etc, anything and everything that gives ‘proof’ of a good worker).
You’re Worth The Effort
5. We are worth the effort it takes to overcome our obstacles. Just because we made a mistake doesn’t mean that our lives have to be over or that we’re doomed to living a life inside an institution or on the ‘wrong side’ of the street. Of course, if you want to continue the life that brought you to this point – that’s up to you. Personally, I recommend picking the important pieces of yourself up and building a better life – it’s the most difficult thing to do – but that just means it will be that much more meaningful when you accomplish your goals.
So, that concludes my list for the day – I hope you like it and if you want more information about how to overcome your conviction related obstacles – please purchase a copy of my Guide to Life After a Felony – available in print on Microcosm and on just about every eBook retailer out there – click here for the Kindle edition.
If you love this post – please share it. You never know who you can help with a simple share.
Read more about Ban the Box efforts, check out Resume and Interview Tips, and definitely check out the Work From Home posts for a few awesome ideas on improving life after a felony. Stand strong. Rise above!
Love and Peace,
Aza (@aza_enigma Twitter)