For most people, after the guilty verdict, the story ends. But, that is a short-sighted view of the life of convicts.
Felony charges can turn the convicts’ lives upside down. While there is always the chance to turn your life around after a major event, it can become challenging after a felony.
To begin, felony charges apply to some of the worst criminal charges. The prisoner has to spend years or decades in jail. After long incarceration, the outside world becomes a total stranger.
Moreover, the conviction lowers the chances of leading a normal life. Getting housing, a job, and other simple tasks become a hassle.
Problems Convicts Face While Trying to Re-Enter the Society
Assuming that prisoners come out of prison and want to change their life, society makes it difficult.
The four major problems that felons face while re-entering society are listed below.
Lack of Employment Opportunities
In prison, convicts do not have any money. The prison will give work, at the bare minimum rates. Also, the prisoner will not get the money till they serve their time.
Once the person is out of jail, after completion of the sentence, employment opportunities are scarce. Felons are people who have committed violent crimes.
As, employers will ask about the previous experience and any felony criminal charges, getting a job becomes impossible.
There are a few initiatives and companies that openly advertise their felon-friendly hiring policy.
Find companies that do not ask about the criminal checks during the hiring process. It helps get you a fair chance at the job.
No Housing Options
Another major problem that felons face while re-entering society is getting the proper housing. Many landlords do not give property to ex-convicts. Also, the money for a deposit and affording the regular rent can become challenging.
Ex-convicts have to rely on their family and friends for housing. These people can be the negative influence that sent the person to prison.
So, it isn’t a great alternative.
There are some grants and transitional homes for felons. It can give you the chance to get back on your feet before making a move to a more permanent living situation.
No Right to Vote
Some states do not allow felons to vote. It is one of the most overlooked parts of ex-convicts’ life. Being a voter is a huge part of being a citizen of a country. It is also the way for citizens to express their political views.
With a lack of voting rights for ex-convicts, they do not have a say in the changes that need to take place in society.
While some states of the USA allow voting after a long waiting time, others ban voting rights completely.
The convicts repent for their sins in prison. But, even after the completion of the sentence they not have any say in the direction of the government.
Felons should take the time to understand their voting rights and get their power of voting back when possible.
Certain organizations are lobbying for changes in legislation to ensure felon’s right to vote once they have served their sentence.
Lack of Education
A felony for most people means a lack of education. Several of the inmates do not have a high school diploma. As more employers are looking for college graduates, employment opportunities decline for the convicts.
Going back to the education system is challenging. But, there is support for reforms to help improve the education program in prison and get viable grants to felons.
Going back to education and getting a relevant diploma can help improve the chances of landing a job for many prisoners. As lack of education can become a barrier to leading a normal life after criminal charges, it is an important issue that needs attention.
Every person should have a chance at a normal life. Throwing someone into society without viable sources to live is worse than the death penalty.
Hence, several organizations have come forward to help and lobby reforms for felons. Every person deserves to live with dignity during and after their time in prison.