After being convicted of a felony and serving your time, finding employment is almost impossible. Many felons try to learn from their mistakes and move forward to create a better life for themselves and their families.
But when applying anywhere even McDonalds, they are often judged and turned away due to the felony on their record. Only if they spend thousands of dollars and give up years of their life for the felony to be dropped to a misdemeanor are they able to find employment.
For most it is a day late and a dollar short, because they have resorted to crime again to provide for themselves and their families. These people need to have a way to honestly provide for themselves and their families, but who will help them catch a break?
Many felons are convicted and once they serve time society asks that they find employment and become reintegrated into society.
Sounds good, right? Sounds good on court dockets and for media spots but when it all boils down to it many organizations do not want to hire convicted felons. There's a place on every organization's application within the United States that asks the applicants if they are convicted felons, when that block is checked, and an explanation is given their application is almost always passed over.
There is an Affirmative Action for almost every situation that many people face today. Unfortunately, there is one group of individuals that are not protected under an Affirmative Action and society and the Government has been treating such groups unfairly. These individuals are rehabilitated ex-offenders. These groups... of individuals are forgotten, mistreated in the system and not equally and fairly represented in Illinois.
In the State of Illinois there are a variety of employment laws, statutes, policies, and customs that allows an employer, company or corporation to lawfully discriminate towards an individual with a criminal record. These employment laws, statutes, customs, and policies must be changed to protect these groups of individual human rights.
An Illinois commission issued a report concluding that people of color facing low-level drug charges receive harsher and more frequent penalties than whites facing the same charges do, the Associated Press reported Jan. 31. Nearly one in five African-Americans charged with Class 4 drug felonies in Illinois was imprisoned, compared to four percent of whites with the same charges, according to the study by the Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission (DJIS). Disparities were found in 62 of the state's 102 counties.
The Illinois prison population is primarily male. Women accounted for 6 percent of the prison population but half of the Illinois general population. Almost 60 percent of the prison population were Black compared to 15 percent of the general population. And while nearly 65 percent of the general population is White, Whites made up less than 30 percent of the prison population.
Geographically, half of all inmates were sent to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) from Cook County. Twelve percent were from the Collar counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will, and 21 percent were from other urban counties in the state. Only 17 percent of offenders in prison in December 2013 were from rural counties. Therefore, these employment laws, statutes, customs, and policies have a higher impact on individuals of color and should be declared unconstitutional.
Recidivism is one of the major problems in America today. People must get a better understanding on what is recidivism, what is causing this problem and what can they do to prevent it. Recidivism is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior or has been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior.
Example; a recovered alcoholic or an addict who falls back to drug use has committed recidivism. People who are on a diet and cheat on the diet are considered recidivism. They are considered recidivism because they went back to that undesirable behavior. Recidivism is also considered the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested. In other words, the ex-offender has relapsed.
These ex-offenders' relapse and returned to jail due to employment restrictions, limitations, policies and legislative laws that prevent these individuals from staying out of trouble and successfully turning their life around.
A person with a good conscious will see that these employment laws and policies do not help the cause which is to rehabilitate these individuals. According to The Safer Foundation there are a variety of policies and legislative laws that intentionally or unintentionally obstruct the successful return of people with criminal records to their communities. These employment policies and laws make it more difficult for an individual that is trying to turn their life around succeed.
These employment laws and policies that the Government have established might be the cause to recidivism in Illinois. We the voters must educate our self on what the cause of the problem really is and try to come up with a reasonable solution for the best interest of all the people of Illinois.
In chapter 1 of Crime, punishment and jails it states that the F.B.I. list many factors that can influence the rate of crime in a particular area such as;
1. Economic conditions, including average income, poverty and job availability.
2. Cultural conditions such as; educational, recreational, and religious characteristics.
3. Policies of the parts of the criminal justice system.
4. Family conditions with respect to divorce and family togetherness.
If the F.B.I. has facts that would prevent recidivism from occurring, then why don't they prevent it? Instead they enforce laws and policies that prevent and limits an individual with a record to successfully gain employment. When a fireman goes to turn off a fire he uses water to handle the situation not add gas in to the fire to make the situation worst. Chapter one also states that drug abuse was the majority of arrest for the year 2005. 45 percent were reconviction offences at first rearrests. Shown on figure IV-10, Meaning that an individual second time going to jail was drug related.
Of course, the drug offences are going to skyrocket this is cause by these employment restrictions and limitations that the Government places on an ex-offender. This recidivism problem also cost tax payers more than 55 billion dollars a year on rehabilitating purposes. Half of these funds go to the Department of Corrections as displayed in figure C-1 Criminal Justice Agencies Budget.
Why do Americans pay so much money on the jail rehabilitation system? When, it's been proven that this system does not rehabilitate an individual. According to the Washington post; from 1930 to 1980 the U.S.A inmate population doubled. From 1980 to 1992 the U.S.A inmate population tripled for the first time in history. To me it looks more like one of the biggest business in America today.
Why would anyone pay billions of dollars for the purpose of rehabilitating these individuals when it been proven that these techniques do not work? Not only does an individual with a criminal record returns to jail but there are many first-time offenders also being arrested and convicted. We as Americans are the ones stuck with the financial responsibilities. People have to stop, look at the facts and think, ask yourself why did the, U.S.A inmate population tripled during the last 30 years when the Department of Corrections have been given billions of dollars to rehabilitate these individuals! Do your research, get involve and help prevent recidivism.
The majority of state prison offenders are nonviolent offenders. Nonviolent offender are considered drug offenders must of the time. Out of these offender's 70 percent are of color. As shown in figure IV-17: African American and Hispanics make up the majority of the U.S.A. recidivism rate.
According to the Criminal Justice Opposing Viewpoints chapter two viewpoint three; states that from an economic perspective engaging in a crime act like burglary or drug trafficking is an individual choice based on comparing the benefits and cost of criminal act with legitimate work options that research indicates that released prisoners have diminished job prospects for secure employment and decent wages throughout their life time.
These percentages of recidivism from ex-offenders, is due to the lack of reformed opportunities that have never been offered in this country. Employment opportunity: being the biggest element of recidivism among ex-offenders. Employment is a necessity in everyone life. Without employment an individual cannot survive in these tough economic times. Without employment an individual cannot live life.
Without employment is impossible for an individual to survive. The individual only opportunity for survivor is to go back to what ever got him in prison in the first place. To a person with a good conscious this should be a red light! Why does the government keep making and enforcing laws and policies that make it much more difficult for an individual with a criminal record to turn his or her life around? Such: employment laws and policies that contribute to recidivism.
Former President John F. Kennedy once quoted "A man does what he must in spite of personal consequences. In spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures and that is the basis of all human morality". And that is what happens when the government makes and enforces employment laws and policies that will eventually make a man do what he has to in other to take care of himself and his family.
We as people with good conscious have to write, talk, call, email our congress man, senators, and Governor and tell them that sometimes people make mistakes in life and that they should deserve a second chance. It's been a proven fact that a stable job and income will prevent an ex-offender from returning to crime. If this has been a scientific proven fact, then why does our government make and enforces policies and laws that prevent a person from successfully turning their life around?
Let's prevent Discrimination and stop Recidivism by helping these individuals become contributing members of society.