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Life After Prison, on YouTube (nytimes.com)
52 points by danso 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

All criminal records should be sealed to the public as long as there are no truly egregious (violent/murder/etc) crimes.

Society can't expect people to do their time and integrate back if it never gives them a chance. The lifetime branding of "felon" is one of the biggest issues in recidivism and creating career criminals.

What's made this worse is the Internet. In the not so distant past, only big companies would do pre-hire background checks. Often only for records in the state you were applying to work in.

Now, even tiny mom-and-pop businesses can do a nationwide background check online. At a very low cost.

A conviction these days, even for a misdemeanor, can kill your job prospects for life.

Completely agreed. That being said, efforts to address this problem have actually resulted in more racist practices in hiring. [0]

When the question on a job application asking if you'd been convicted of a crime was banned, employers discriminated based on race - using this as a proxy to guess which job applicants had a criminal background.

This study found that people with a felony conviction and a "rehabilitation certificate" were just as likely to get a call back for a job interview as people with no conviction at all. This suggests that employers are willing to give people a second chance if their risk in doing so is (perceived to be) low.

[0] https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?stor...

Pretty sure the study was restricted to the lowest end skill jobs. And perhaps only to places that even know what a rehabilitation certificate is.

Federal level crimes often do not appear on even large corporations background checks. I told the agency I was applying with about it, but the background check came back clear when I went to work for #bigshipyardcorp. We still decided to tell them anyway.

There's a strong case for public records (and public trials) as a check on the government. Public records allow public scrutiny of government action.

The ex-con should be empowered to decide upon release whether his criminal record is public or private. The only time a private record will be read is in sentencing him for a subsequent conviction.

The flip side to allowing this is the probability of incentivization/intimidation by gov't to cover up past prosecutorial wrong-doings. There's no good solutions it seems.

That's the original intent for expungement of records.

Two challenges:

1) Criminal records are digital and searchable online now. Hard to expunge the internet.

2) Employers in the U.S. now ask "have you ever been convicted of a crime greater than a minor traffic violation or ever had any records expunged?' - As long as employers can ask question #2, the purpose of expunging records/your idea are rendered useless.

Just lie and say no worst is you don't get the job

Even worse is getting the job, keeping it for a month or two, getting fired for not disclosing your record, and then having to either: explain why you were fired or why you have the gap in your work history, on your next job application.

I'd rather disclose on the job application than continually dread my secret being found out.

If it's a problem for the company or hiring staff, I wouldn't want to work there, because I probably wouldn't be happy there.

For someone who is carrying the label "ex felon" around, simply lying can help at least make ends meet for a while.

I'd rather work with an employer who values honesty.

I lied, my bosses boss brought it up in a roundabout way, nothing happened because I'm pretty good at what I do. So, maybe biased.

2's just a dumb loophole to fix. Obviously the expungement needs to cover the existence of the expungement.

I agree completely.

That implies that probation is useless, and we should keep people in prison until we are highly confident they will never recidivize, instead of saying, "OK, you are generally low risk, but still are not trustworthy to be alone with children or huge stacks of cash".

It doesn’t imply that at all. What does probation have to do with your public record? Probation is part of your sentence and administered by law enforcement.

> as long as there are no truly egregious (violent/murder/etc) crimes

If that's still relevant, shouldn't they stay in prison until they're completely rehabilitated?

You can’t just dismantle Jim Crow 2.0 like that.

A bunch of laws designed to keep non-whites in second class jobs, housing, and away from ballot boxes would suddenly be neutered.

Seriously though, this should happen.

We should also change the laws around sex crimes so public urination doesn’t put you on a list next to Jared and teens sending nude pics of themselves aren’t child pornographers.

Secret courts doesn't seem like the best idea from historical experience.

I don't know what makes you think society wants felons to integrate back. Of course, that's what everybody says out loud, but for many people, that's not the truth.

True, many don't and would prefer criminals to be locked away out of sight. It's an issue of greater good though, and reducing the prison population and the criminal cycle is better for everyone.

This is the guy you want to watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/FreshOutSeries

I got to say yes, that's a straight up great channel. "Gotta learn how not to get your wig split".

Seriously, it's always some woman author at NYT that has to go find some woman to write a story about. When did liberal start meaning feminist?

Who is the NYT to decide that women should be allowed on the Internet?

Seriously, I have no idea what GP was getting at...

I really thought the article would be about him.


Big Herc is an OG.

Article could have included a few other great examples. Titan Gilroy of TITANS of CNC for example. Among many other programs, he has helped building a huge CNC school/shop at San Quentin State Prison.


im somewhat surprised this wasn't about AfterPrisonShow [0], that's quite a wonderful channel and it is great to see someone who managed to turn their life around and also turn a negative part of their life into a positive and to help educate and assist others.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSonmKTLAPC2bTCF4JHQ1lg

Came looking for this. Then watched his channel for an hour. Hands down a great primer of what to expect in jail and why you (yes you) should have money set aside to stay out.

The linked article is trash.

In my opinion, those who’ve went through life being very safe and not doing anything risky that would warrant going to prison should have an advantage compared to those who were convicted.

Prison records should never be hidden. Let those in charge of the decision weigh the pros and cons.

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