To HN: Another felon here:
One of the hardest things is living with this label. There's such a stigma around it. My offense is much different than OP, but it still sucks.
People seem to think "one a felon, always a felon" — which, in some cases is very true, but for every repeat customer of the courts there are 10 people who commit felonies once or twice and never do it again and go on to lead otherwise normal lives.
I'm not sure that's what is really going on, regardless of what people say. People have no problem doing business with known frauds, criminals and bad actors, from the CEO who cheated their co-founder to Wall Street banks to many, many more. Will nobody do business with Travis Kalanick again? The banks who sold the shady mortgage-backed securities that caused the Great Recession? There was a story the other day about prominent scientists who committed massive fraud and hardly suffered dents in their careers. Pete Carroll committed many violations of NCAA rules and ethics when coaching U. of Southern Cal football; he became a professional football coach and nobody talks about not trusting him; it seems to have had no impact on his reputation. Another example is the Catholic Church's systematic sexual abuse of children on a global scale; did everyone stop going to Catholic churches? Stop doing all business with them? I could go on forever.
It's hard to put my finger on the formula, but it seems to have something to do with being on the inside, 'one of ours' or the old boy network, compared with being an outsider.
(To avoid any doubt, I think the exclusion of former felons from employment is wrong. Once they've served their time, it's done. Employers shouldn't be allowed to ask with only a few exceptions (e.g., former bank robbers shouldn't be bank security guards).)
Those positions are not a dime-a-dozen. For the regular working person, being a felon is a very heavy weight to carry and it immediately discredits or otherwise disqualifies many people, where they rarely have a chance to even have their story heard.
(Watch that second step. It's a doozey.)
I get that there's a slippery slope element here and no one wants to say "Sure, flash people all you like! It's only a misdemeanor forever, no matter how many times you do it."
And I get that it's additionally problematic that he flashed a minor. But 17 year olds are kind of a gray zone.
I just feel like some element of the story is missing here and I find myself wondering if that element is racism, in part because I know the criminal justice system in the US basically practices systemic racism of the worst kind.
I wouldn't hire him to work at a high school, but come on. Why is he still unemployed after two years over what must be one of the most minor offenses you can commit to be charged with a felony?
But I'm a 52 year old woman who was molested and raped as a child and who spent years in therapy over that. I have read enormous amounts about what I would term human sexual morality and spent enormous amounts of time contemplating it. I also blog about such topics at times.
As a woman, I have been on the receiving end of male sexual interest essentially my entire life. I have met damn few men who really get it right in all the particulars, at all times. Men who are otherwise perfectly well behaved can turn into assholes when they have had a couple of drinks. Men who otherwise get it right can err on the side of avoiding a woman in order to hide their attraction to her (or simply worried about rumor and innuendo, even if they aren't personally attracted) in situations where this can close doors for her career-wise.
I recently got off the street after 5.7 years of sleeping in a tent and I am still struggling to make ends meet. That last one above really sticks in my craw at this point.
When the rest of the entire world can figure out how to get over its sexism enough to stop saying "Meh, not my problem that this woman (or any woman) can't eat. God forbid that anyone should think I like her in that way. Better to just keep walking. Not my problem." then I will maybe consider frying you for flashing someone.
But I assure you, the world isn't there yet. It has a lot of growing up to do in that regard.
If he got caught selling heroin or murdered his wife after she left him, we could understand why he did that - he wanted money, he was very upset and did the wrong thing, etc. - but in the case of flashing, I think the motivation is a black box to most people. Not understanding why he did it makes it hard to predict whether he'll do it again, or what else he'll do, because it throws his whole decision-making process into doubt.
It may be doing him no favors that at the exact same time that he is job hunting following this conviction, we have movements like #MeToo. There is something of a hang 'em high attitude nationwide currently, plus some people who don't know where to draw the line -- because the line has moved/is continuing to move -- are erring on the side of extreme caution. This is, in some cases, going bad places because, for example, some men are declining to hire attractive women for fear of being sued.
When I was 17, I was 5'9" tall and people absolutely mistook me for an adult at times. For that matter, at age 14, I was 5'7" and, while at the mall babysitting a 7 year old, was once asked if I wanted to sign up for a department store credit card.
I haven't seen the particulars of his crime. I don't even know if he knew her age before exposing himself or if he only learned of that in the course of the trial.
As stated above, I was being mistaken for an adult when I was a 14 year old girl.
You do not need to hire this man. You also don't need to shit all over his attempts to put his life back together.
He has stated that his therapist sees him as not at risk of reoffending.
Edit: I will add that I believe I have spoken to this same individual before and I politely chided him at that time because I felt he was being a butt and, no, was not reformed. He's not being a butt today, here, in this thread. I think he finally got the memo that sneering at societal mores is a good way to make sure you and your kids starve.
If it's so mind-boggling then people can say that they don't understand it, maybe even ask questions to try to grasp it. But I feel we should leave out the judgement about something that we don't understand - it's very ironic to say 'I'm completely ignorant' and in the next sentence pass judgment on someone else - and about other commenters, which is not appropriate at all.
People seem to think that a conviction licenses them to act out on the self-righteous anger that humans seem to carry around.
And a more opinionated take here:
This is not to mention the various times Carroll’s Seahawks have forfeited draft picks for violating off season practice rules.
There's pretty minimal evidence that Pete Carroll knew about Reggie Bush's improper benefits. The NCAA just admitted last week that their main piece of evidence against the coaching staff (a one minute phone call) was "factually incorrect". Their report misrepresented when the call occurred and who made the call. The connection to the coaching staff was already tenuous at best, and I think the ongoing Todd McNair trial is only going to reinforce that.
No, there aren't. Actual recidivism rates for felons are much higher, > 50% reconconvicted within 5 years of release from prison. There simply aren't ten 1-2 time felons for every serial felon.
I don't know what's the recidivism rates after the first release from prison, but if someone know how to get this info, I think it would be interesting.
1. You have zero links to projects or things you've worked on (even if it is a simple calculator app). If you're so fluent in all the languages you listed, surely, you must have some projects to showcase? Hardly anyone is going to make the effort of sending an email to your listed email address to inquire about your portfolio, but they are far more likely to send you a note if they browsed through your work and liked what they saw.
2. You refer to a fair amount of front-end skills, yet your site has a very 90s look and feel. While that may have been intentional, it just feels like a lack of skills due to the jarring aesthetics. You can make a minimal blog/website while still having decent aesthetics.
3. Your content has a bit of a cheesy infomercial vibe to it. I feel like you could make the same points without trying so hard. Focus more on the content, your skills and making a good professional impression while being upfront about your criminal history.
4. While I understand that you made a conscious decision to maintain your anonymity when making your webpage, it seems a bit counter to what your site is trying to do. It's hard for a would be employer to make the effort to get in touch with you when there is no name or face to ascribe to you, and your contact email is a made up one. Your site seems to be your effort to own your situation and turn things around, but withholding any information about yourself feels a bit counter to that. That being said, I can understand why you may want to choose to remain anonymous.
2. True, I wrote this website in a rush. I copied the HN color scheme and decided to stick with that considering I only posted the link here. But valid point.
3. By putting the emphasis on what you get out of hiring me, I tried to avoid looking like I'm complaining.
4. Very good point. I've added my portfolio to the site. Sincerely hope this decision doesn't come back to bite me.
I wonder if you should highlight your portfolio on your ReformedFelonForHire site more. Taking the anonymity out of it and displaying your skills definitely made me reconsider.
If nothing else your approach has generated visibility and leads.
For the sake of the argument, there is a link to a portfolio web site that looks A-OK.
This kinda suggests you weren't honest, or at least up-front, about your conviction. If it gets to the background check phase and they don't already know, you're doing it wrong.
If an employer finds out about that from anyone but you, the answer is _definitely_ going to be no. If they find out from you directly, it's probably still a no, but not definitely.
> We've ran out of unemployment
Grammatical error - may seem like a small thing, but when you're appealing to people in this way, the small things matter a lot. Change to "We've run out of unemployment".
To be honest though, I'm not sure this part of the story is helping your case - it doesn't paint a positive picture, only inspires pity. Maybe I'm wrong about that though - just what I'd be thinking about.
If you're being pragmatic about it, you might as well save your time and get rejected from these kinds of companies earlier on in the process, rather than get all the way to the end before having to move on.
The end result is the same.
I believe that, aside from specialized fields like bank tellers or people working with children, access to conviction history should be severely restricted - the only point of such info is to facilitate discrimination.
In theory, the debt to society is repaid when the individual exits the penitentiary. In practice, the punishment continues on an ad-hoc, deregulated fashion from private individuals against the most vulnerable segment of the ex-felonry: those with meager material means and education, limited family support and in most desperate need to secure lawful employment. This extended and unequal punishment is a clear violation of the equality before law all citizens should enjoy, that should punish similar acts to the same degree.
It would be a great progress from the current status quo, that basically denies them most jobs, even those where the higher than average recidivism risk of ex-felons is immaterial. I would see it as a practical political compromise.
The amount of political capital required to undo that law and make criminal histories effectively private would probably be too much, so you do the political compromise and exempt some categories.
I can see how you would want to first be judged on the merit of your skills and then an employer might be willing to make a judgement call in your case, after they have judged your value.
As opposed to your resume being thrown out without even as much as a second thought if you are a convicted felon.
I've never had a problem finding a gig even though I'm a felon, but I don't work with BigCorp because that's not my scene (and it's probably harder to market myself as a felon to anyway):
At the end of the initial phone call / screening, I tell them, transparently: "there's no way I can pass a background check by the way"
It has always been well received, even to recruiters and head hunters.
I'd say the industry type and company size matter a great deal. Felons are legally barred from working at any FDIC insured company. So forget banking/finance. Also healthcare will also have stringent background checks. Giant corporations may have policies that immediately skip over you regardless.
I'm not sure how I've made it really. Luck mostly. I'm ten years removed from my arrest and it still comes back to haunt me.
How does it work? Will the background check reveal what crime was committed, or just that you are a felon? I could imagine knowing the specific crime could influence the final decision on hiring or not, no?
We are a finally regulated company though, so the requirements are perhaps a bit more strict.
If you explain all of this ahead of time - much like this website does - then we can take it into account and there won't be any surprises. For a serious offence, it's probably still going to be a no. For anything fraud or white-collar related, it's going to be a no. But for less serious offences not related to our business, I think we'd be reasonably comfortable.
Now that I've Googled your name and read the articles there's no way. You committed the same crime 4 years apart. The nature of your crime is relatively benign as far as sex offenses go. However, it's such a shocking departure from societal norms it makes me wonder what other inappropriate things you've done without getting caught. As a hiring manager, there's no way I would risk it.
This post was an excellent hail mary attempt and probably your best option for employment.
Your other realistic options are freelancing for people who won't do a background check or develop something you can sell.
Edit to add:
Again, not trying to be mean, but when your picture came up I said "Yep, that looks like a guy who'd expose himself to minors". Grow your hair out, ditch the goatee, find more mainstream outfit, and, most importantly, take the picture inside. In your photo you're squinting and furrowing your brow which makes you look a bit threatening.
You mean, after knowing about it? That's textbook confirmation bias. Would you have thought he looked like a felon before knowing about his criminal record?
Good luck OP.
When myself and a friend were doing it for a while we were continuously amazed at just how trusting people were. No background information, credential checking, nothing. Just "here you go" and they hand over credentials to all of their core business and customer information to some guys they just met.
We were also charging $90 hour as people who didn't really know what they're doing. I understand you need money right now, but I definitely think this is a route you should consider in the future.
Don't be discouraged and keep at it. My state (Oklahoma) removed asking if you have a felony from all state job applications (truly shocking IMO).
Software systems at times touch sensitive info, and it might be harder to justify hiring a formal felon to work on these (might depend on the nature of the crime), so YMMV.
Good luck to you, I hope you continue to sort out your issues and that you good way to support your family.
On the other hand, we have no idea who made this page. If they want to be taken seriously and given a chance, they need to be transparent enough to at least tell us who they are, and let us make our own decision on working with them.
Besides, any one of us could commit awful acts given the wrong environment. Stanley Milgram showed us all that much.
But as a point of order, I don't think sexual assaults are (or should be) considered as non-violent.
I've been flashed by a drunk guy, I gave a surprised chuckle and walked away. My mum was flashed when some weirdo jumped into the back garden and started showing his stuff to her through the kitchen window; she chased him away with a sword.
Neither of us thought for one minute we'd been sexually assaulted, and these instances just became amusing stories. Unfortunately it seems that doing similar in the USA is no laughing matter.
The implied threat of potential rape makes flashing a young women at least as violent as a credible threat to beat someone within an inch of their life.
I'm sympathetic to ReformedFelonForHire's situation, and regard this humiliating punishment as extreme, unnecessary and destructive to the fabric of society, but I don't think that means we should minimize the harm of his error.
(I know I might sound heartless, but that's how the hustles work - make a pitch that you can't deny without looking or feeling like a jerk, and about which you can't be certain so that it's socially awkward to doubt them.)
* The story: Lots of kids, need money for (something urgent and highly sympathetic), not a hustler just an honest person down on their luck ... I've heard it many, many times. One guy told me he had 7 young kids he needed to feed; when I pointed out he appeared to be in his 60s, he said they were someone else's kids; later the number changed to 5.
* The focus on the story rather than the business. It feels like a con, an attempt to jerk my heartstrings, rather than a business proposition.
* The extremely low rate - 'lucky for you that you caught me at a bad time!' Another one I've heard many times. To be taken seriously as a professional, charge a professional rate.
* The incredible list of projects and of promises ("I can pretty much write any software solution you need, in a reasonably short time"), both almost too good to believe.
I could go on for awhile. Given your background, IMHO you need to be very careful to appear to be professional and not a hustler at all. Otherwise, at best it doesn't look like you understand the professional world. At worst, it's a hustle by an ex-con.
Again, I'm not saying you are hustling anyone, I'm saying you risk that perception.
Have you thought of doing odesk style work or other remote contracts to pay the bills?
Anyway, best of luck with your job search.
You seem very transparent about this, so forgive me if this is too forward - do you face difficulties being on the sex offendeder list with attending events for your children? I.e school plays or whatever.
The prison I volunteered in, there was a classroom full of computers, but the inmates weren't trusted to use them. There was some discussion of a "paper-based" computer-science course.
1) Look into the Federal Bonding Program. This may help some smaller employers overcome fears of working with you. Everyone qualifies and it is free for the employer and job seeker.
2) Be ready to take any position at any rate. You may even consider finding non-developer jobs for the time being, at least until at little more time has passed since your conviction/release. I can't emphasize how powerful it can be to build trust again with employers. Working a warehouse job where you show up everyday, work hard, and always go the extra mile, even if you only do it for six months or a year, can be a powerful step to getting bigger, better jobs. You can always do consulting, freelance work on the side to keep your skills up.
3) Unfortunately for you sex offenses are tough to overcome and even harder to convince employers to hire you for. Your inability to travel out of state with ease, plus other restrictions associated with the registry, can make hiring decisions for sex offenders difficult. Your best bet is to aim for small, local employers or remote contract work. Possibly even starting your own business.
4) Your web page comes across as downplaying the severity of your offenses or as if they were just little mistakes. No offense, but this was a thought out sex crime. While they may be minor crimes, in the eyes of many any sex offense is a major red flag. Even more so when those crimes center around child sex offenses. I would work on getting letters of recommendation from influential people in your life. Your therapist, pastor/priest, probation officer, etc... Let potential employers know that you have these letters instead of just saying that "Everyone I know agrees I'm a different person".
5) Personally, I would avoid the paragraphs of what other offers you received. While you say "competitive rate", you flaunt the offer amounts and you don't mention what that competitive rate is. As a potential employer I may be skeptical that you are looking for a salary around those numbers.
With that said, I will put feelers out to my contacts to see if anyone is looking for a programmer with your skills.
What were the two offenses? I see the one that's cited. I'm not clear on whether that's the first one, or the second one. Or were they both the exact same offense? Was the cited one the 'worst' of the two? Was the first one just shoplifting some gum? Again, I don't really know if it's relevant, but I kept re-reading the statement trying to parse it, and couldn't.
Weird that the US deems it necessary to jail people for months just for some surprise nudity. Cultural differences, I suppose.
The European version of I, Robot shows Will Smith taking a shower so the audience can both learn he has a prosthetic limb and also see the extent of his prosthesis. It happens to include a shot of his butt.
Or so I gather. As an American, I have not actually seen this shower scene because the US version cut that scene as too risqué, requiring them to find some other (less effective, less natural, more awkward) means to inform the audience that the character has a prosthetic arm and the prosthesis reaches well down into his rib cage.
OP maybe you should focus on remote jobs and be transparent upfront?
Also, try putting your resume on Dice.com. Specify some geographic regions you'd consider relocating to, as well as the fact that you're willing to work remotely. You'll have to filter through a lot of junk communication, but it's worked well for me in the past when I was in a pinch.
Also, when talking to the company, here's one way to be sneaky about your background. Apply to every job twice, once with your real profile, and once w/ a similar, but not identical profile. With the 2nd profile, if and only if the company gets back to you, just say you got a DUI about 5 years ago, and have been sober ever since, but some employers have rejected you because of that, so you'd like to know if they do background checks. It might be seem shady, and maybe it is, but it's not your fault company's spend so much time wasting your time, so you gotta do what you gotta do to put your energy where it will get results.
Of the 12 charges I had to sign for 3 felonies to avoid going to prison over being a troll to my ex girlfriend, the worst part is if I had beat her within an inch of her life I would have been in less trouble. Unfortunately that's not my MO or in my character at all. So now I am an engineer with over 10 years of great work history with 3 felonies for Computer Tampering, Harassment, and Stalking (In AZ this is Harassment + Fear of property being damaged) charges.
I was no doubt guilty, and I don't try to minimize my crimes and stupidity, but I am highly annoyed that I will have to be judged by this over and over again long after a judge already did at sentencing.... There are companies that claim to work with people for a second chance but I personally have never seen this during my job search.
Nothing more fun than becoming a felon at 35 :/
We do not have something available right now, but requirements do open up. I wish you luck!
I met him after all of this happened through an Internet marketing forum, where we exchanged ideas for a few years, before working together on several projects. He makes ~$50k/mo working on his own as an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing is only a part of my personal business, but I make more just from that than I could if I were a senior engineer at Google or Facebook.
So it’s something you should consider. While you won’t be curing cancer, as a reasonably intelligent programmer, you’ll have a leg up over most others doing it, and you can pretty easily make a very comfortable living. It’s also something you can do on a moonlighting basis even if you do manage to get a job.
But I don't see a problem with hiring the guy to work from home as a contractor.
I think this poor guy is going to have a rough go of it. Maybe a contracting firm can help provide some insulation. I'll also admit, hearing that it's a bit of a sex crime involving youths (highschoolers are still 'youth') combined with the heightened awareness in the currently climate about sexual harassment and such, it seems a bit scary to take a risk on someone like this. I'd think contracting off site might be the way to go.
If you get contacts from this post but they are hesitant, consider offering to set up an LLC in your wife’s name (assuming the cost in Illinois is not prohibitive). There are probably a few startups or smaller businesses willing to give you a shot given your experience, but given the history they might need the plausible deniability of an abstraction layer.
Maybe there is an argument for a third chance? But a repeat offender is a repeat offender.
reformedfelonforhire.com links to someone's portfolio website.
What evidence is there that these two websites are owned or run by the same person?
The whois both have privacy settings from different companies.
They may be the same person, but surely it's not beyond the realm of possibility that this is someone trying to hurt the reputation of a different person.
Add some basic CSS to the site such as lightly shaded boxes for paragraphs.
The stark red and black styling defaults on chrome leave an unsettling impression.
As others have commented, your best practical course would be becoming an independent contractor and providing your services remotely.
If you provide your services as SD Consulting LLC it should open a few more doors.
I was never convicted (No Contest or something similar), am having to go through unsupervised probation (basically I am in big trouble if arrested again but am not bothered at all by probation), and then after another year, it will be cleared from my record.
I don't think I was ever asked to disclose any crimes in any of the applications. Out of a few hundred applications, maybe 5 even mentioned the position was pending passing a background check. I did not disclose this for any job that I applied for, because I did not think it would be found on my record currently, but I now know that I was wrong. Airbnb banned me from their service for my one drug possession charge after redoing my background check (Such utter bullshit, their statement of purpose claims it is at their discretion if they think the crime was bad enough to ban from the service. It was simple nonviolent possession and I don't understand how having that on my record from almost 3 years ago is going to make having me as a guest any more dangerous).
There were two jobs that I thought for sure I had gotten, but did not receive an offer. One didn't write me back for a month before I finally got the information that I wasn't hired out of them. They didn't inform me of any background checks, but they may have completed one anyways. It definitely seemed like their attitude changed completely a week after my onsite.
My current employer did not complete a background check, at least to my knowledge. I am at an extremely small startup. Hopefully nothing ever comes back to byte me in the ass. Obviously nonviolent drug possession should be lowest priority for all offenses that show up (it really shouldn't be a felony to simply possess any drug).
I actually got really sick and didn't know why, couldn't get much help from doctors when I started using opioids to combat the multitude of symptoms. I got caught with an opioid, was never one to get super fucked up in a recreational manner. Instead, I was always trying to simply feel normal enough to make it through my grad school classes. Anyways, found out later I basically have fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, and I am having better control of my symptoms with medical marijuana and legally prescribed adderal.
OP on the other hand...
(I'm not saying you should be dishonest and lie about your conviction, but if they don't ask then no harm no foul)
I'm guessing that's the fraud bit.
Come on, it's not like he was waving his todger at five year olds. Seeing a spot of unexpected nudity at 17 years old is not a big deal.
(1) Has he experienced an appropriate amount of retributive / vengeful justice for his crime?
(2) Given his current state, what are the chances of additional, problematic offenses in the future?
IMO the prison time probably satisfied (1). So the real question is, how can prospective employers decide about (2) at this point?
52 wks/yr * 5 days/wk * 8hrs/day = 2080 hrs.
So the 2000hr ($130K) estimate assumes 2 full weeks PTO.
$124,800 works out to only 1920 hrs/yr, which is 48 weeks of 40hr/wk work.
ETA: but yes, once you take into account benefits, taxes, and other expenses, one would want a significantly higher 1099 rate anyway.
I agree I think your biggest con (pun not intended) to an employer is the risk/breach of public trust of your prior convictions. However, I think that your messaging can be reframed pretty easily.
I would separate your backstory from your pitch on your landing page. I know you're in a tough spot, but waving a flag of desperation is not your best move right now.
This is how I'd reorganize your pitch if I was in your situation:
[Current Summary, with portfolio link]
[What you offer, with links to portfolio projects and articles where you know a lot about a certain technology]
[Stub of your backstory with a link to another page (see below)]
[You can see my letters of recommendation from... (this is very important)]
[Due to my current circumstances, I'm offering my services below market rate of $25 per hour as I get on my feet.]
[Call to Action, to view portfolio or contact you.]
This is how I'd organize your backstory page:
[I was convicted for...]
[I learned and reformed in jail by x,y,z, give a glimps]
[Now that I'm out, I've done X, Y, and Z but my prior criminal history has made it very difficult to find employment. These people vouch for me, (letters of recommendation)]
[I'm currently at the end of my financial means as a family man with 5 kids... (I'd avoid mentioning unemployment directly, I'd say all government services available to me or something like that.)]
I'd say out of all of this, you should not position yourself as a victim or desperate. We, as humans, aren't inclined to that -- especially in hiring situations. u/jeffmould mentioned the Federal Bonding Program; I really think you should try to get that. I looked at their site and it seems promising. I'd remove the highly competitive rates, they mean nothing if you can't secure them. Your problem right now is potential employers likely don't trust you.
However, honestly. I'd make your reformed URL the about page and make your portfolio the pitch. I wouldn't worry about anonymity because: 1) it's already out there in the newspapers; 2) background checks will happen and you're wanting to get in front of this issue, not hide.
Ideally, you want to create a landing page that people can share.
Lastly, I know you can't move but if ever can or reach the need. I'd check out https://defyventures.org/. Also, most churches have "compassion", "care", or "mercy" ministries run by volunteers or the church deacons that help people in need. It might be worth a shot.
You cannot reasonably expect people to be vulnerable in situations where it is obvious they will face discrimination and attacks. OP does not have a moral duty to give others an extra opportunity to hurt them.