Sunday, November 11, 2012

No one will hire me, convictions, sex offender registry


BANG, the judge slams the gavel down rendering judgment against you, CLANG, the prison door slams shut removing you from society whom you offended, SWOOSH, economic opportunity fleeing at light speed never to return. A criminal conviction has long been the proverbial nail in the coffin of a person’s (now a felon) career. With this staining mark most job applicants are quickly snuffed from the list of prospective jobs, and this is the case in a booming economy with full employment which is not our current economic condition.  Currently faced with an unemployment rate of 7.9%, the underemployment/unemployment somewhere around 16% (Gallop), hundreds of people are applying for a single stocker position at a supermarket.

An editorial in the New York Times dated November 11, 2012 stated a find by the American Bar Association; there are more than 38,000 statutes across the states and territories, almost 700 per entity intentionally making it difficult or down right impossible to maintain successful lives, essentially barring ex-offenders from full re-entry.

The editorial piece also made mention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reiterating, this past spring, old policy standards that prohibit denying employment strictly on criminal background without thoroughly evaluating severity and the length of time passed since the offence.

Now, broaden the equation, say you are not only a felon but are also listed on the sex offender registry. Large department stores discourage store managers in granting persons listed on the registry employment, even going so far in one big box store’s case to require independent contractors to disclose whether or not they have been listed on the public sex offender registry within the past 5 years.

Some states such as Texas prominently display where sex offenders are employed causing many businesses to further justify not employing those listed.

Making matters worse Texas along with other states requires public registration of juvenile offenders listing children as young as 10 years of age. In April of this year Meredith Bennett-Smith with the Christian Science Monitor wrote that one quarter of young Americans aged 16 to 19 are out of work. Challenged already with sparse job opportunities youth on the registry find it almost impossible to obtain entry level positions and labor intense jobs such as construction especially frown on hiring sex offenders regardless of when their offense occurred.

Dependable income, stable housing, and connections with society are paramount to successful re-entry of any offender back into society. Excluding convicts and those placed on the sex offender registry (both children and adults) from the job market hurts spouses and children of these offenders most of all. Making the job market fair and open to everyone seeking employment is an important step to making a better safer society.

 

 

8 comments:

  1. Joshua,

    I only wish more people in your(our) position would have the courage to step out front and tell it like it is. Otherwise the political/media hype will continue to be the only source the general public has as a source of information.

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  2. Joshua,
    I am so proud of you for telling your story and having the courage to do so. There are many people who need to see the other side of the story with regards to the registry and what it is doing to families and children of these families. People also need to see that there are many, many people on the registry that are all lumped into one category which should not be the case. Keep up the fight you are making a great impact in educating the public something that has been needed for a long time. Take Care!

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  3. This won't be popular and I know it won't get published, but as a former victim I believe firmly in the registry. Should you be on there? I don't know. I just know that the 15 year old who raped me at 10 years of age most certainly knew the difference between right and wrong. I knew internally at age 10 that what he did was VERY wrong. I just find it hard to believe that at the age of 12 someone wouldn't know that there are certain things you don't do to each other, especially to take advantage of someone much younger and smaller than you.

    My perpetrator was never convicted because children don't tell right away, if ever. If I had told, I would have loved for some kind of registry to have been in place.

    Yes, I understand you suffered your own sexual abuse before that happened with your sister, but I don't see an excuse in that. Many abuse victims wouldn't hurt a fly.

    That's my comment. Take it as you wish.

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  4. The registry does nothing for public safety. That is the greatest issue. You should read the report the CNN story is about. I am sorry for the abuse you endured, I do not support such behavior, and it should be punished.




    Children make dumb choices from time to time. Some times those choices drastically effect others. Would you say the choices you make now versus the choices you made at the age of 12 or 15 are different based on your maturity? The answer should certainly be yes.




    If the registry prevented sexual abuse then I would say do it. However, the case is you have publicly listed the people least likely to reoffend sexually. In the case of children who are in fact the least likely to reoffend. You have no idea the obstacles the registry imposes, and the fact of the matter is the only thing it does is holds back a person from moving on.




    Take the money you spend on maintaining a pointless registry and spend that on victim counseling. Spend it on abuse prevention and awareness.
    Spend it on appropriate sex education that includes healthy self sexual awareness and appropriate boundaries. Don't waste it on a feel good measure that only gives society a safety blanket they blindly hold on to.




    I can say this, treatment and registration accomplished absolutely nothing in my case hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on me and the one thing that has been my deterrent is after having been caught touching my sister I had no interest in going through that experience again. I had no interest in putting another person through that experience again. And most people who I have talks to feel the same exact way. Out of the 50 people I was incarcerated with who had sex offenses 1 has gone on to reoffend sexually. And Ido not even know the exact case details. This is 10 years after release.




    Millions spent on these 50 cases and only the 1 needed monitoring. 1. That money could have been better spent, but the fact is it was wasted on faulty science and theories that played on fear. It was propagated by politicians to get re-elected. All this fuss to bolster some political careers.




    I appreciate your comment very much. All of this i do is to educate, discuss and, hopefully come up with viable reasonable options.

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  6. You and I agree that such acts should be punished. What I don't agree with is this ...

    "Children make dumb choices from time to time. Some times those choices drastically effect others. Would you say the choices you make now versus the choices you made at the age of 12 or 15 are different based on your maturity? The answer should certainly be yes."

    I don't consider the invasion and imprisonment of someone's body either against their will either by force or coercion, especially when the victim is a much younger child, as a dumb/immature choice. I consider it to be a at best a harmful act and worst a a violent act, sexual assault, and the law recognizes that. To state it as anything else is a slap in the face to victims everywhere.

    The ages of 12 and 15, yes there are differences but by the time you are 12 years old you are old enough to recognize some moral absolutes, places you do not go so to speak. Yes I am older and more mature, but my personal conduct then and now and how I treat people? No, I'd have to say it is the same. Granted I do things now that I couldn't before for not being old enough, but things that willfully hurt other people? No. I have to say my conduct is pretty much the same.

    I have heard it said in defense of juvenile defendants there brains aren't developed enough to know the difference between right and wrong, they are more impulsive etc. Not saying you did this, but in many cases of sexual assault/molestation the victim is threatened to not say anything, that no one will believe them, that they will be retaliated against, etc. Basically the perpetrator tries to cover their tracts through fear and intimidation. Much like the kid who accidentally breaks a window and runs away to avoid punishment. Only in this case, it is not accidental. In this case, it is a willful harmful choice. So how again is it that a kid doesn't know enough to know it is wrong? The don't know right and wrong, but yet know enough to cover it up or to coerce a cover -up.

    Are there varying degrees of sexual assault? To be sure, and maybe the lesser cases shouldn't be placed on the list. I would still advocate strong punishment along with treatment.

    As for the 15 year old who raped me. That was no dumb choice. He willfully targeted someone much younger than him. One that he knew was naive and trusting. And he gained that trust before luring and imprisoning me in a bathroom and raping me by force despite my pleas for him to please stop. Then he went on and told the whole neighborhood what he had done, bragged about it actually, and I am being called the slut? You know, not one adult told him he was wrong. Not one adult picked up the phone and called the police to report a suspected assault on a child.

    Do I think the offender list should do a better job of not including consensual cases, the 15 year old and 17 year old boyfriend and girlfriend, the guy who pees outside, the kid who stupidly takes a naked picture of his or herself and passes it around. Absolutely. But cases where another kid has been raped and violated in the most heinous way. Whether the perpetrator be 12 or 15? That isn't an act of immaturity that is a violent crime that needs to be punished. If they are showing such callous disregard for another at such a tender age something is wrong with them. Maybe they shouldn't be a on a list for life, especially if they are a first time offender, but for a certain period, maybe 5 to 10 years. Maybe so.

    I don't think the list should be abolished as a whole. I think it is good for the worst offenders to be monitored, if only for a short time after they get out prison. Maybe stronger laws need to be in place to protect the offender from on the job discrimination and to protect their housing needs

    Adults are another story altogether. If you can't control yourself by the time you reach adulthood, I don't know know what to tell you. Either lifelong imprisonment or lifelong monitoring.

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  7. I commend your mom for getting help. Most families would have done nothing. I also commend you speaking out. I wish you and your family nothing but the best of luck.

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  8. Have you tried the website http://sexoffenderjobs.com/helpoffered
    this site has all the information on how to get a job as a sex offender as well as a list of jobs for sex offenders

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