28 Jan

Do Felons Deserve a Second Chance, Obama Thinks So [Reader Post]

                                       

Should convicted felons be given a second chance? Barack Obama thinks so, and he thinks the tax payers should have to foot the bill. He made his view on this issue more than evident during a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio on January 22nd. Here is a excerpt from this Ohio town hall meeting, where a 29 year old felon who has never had a job in his life asks Obama if he will help felons get a job.

Jerome the felon asks Obama:

“I’m 29 years old, and I’ve never had a job in my life. I went to jail when I was younger. It’s like hard to get a job as a felon. Is this — any programs that hire people with felonies like something that — because it’s sad, it’s like — 29 years old, I’m 29.”

Obama Answers Jerome:

“Look, I’m proud of the fact that you’re bringing this up because there are people who’ve made mistakes, particularly when they’re young, and it is in all of our interests to help them redeem themselves and then get on a straight path. Now, I don’t blame employers obviously for being nervous about hiring somebody who has a record. It’s natural if they’ve got a lot of applicants for every single job that that’s a question that they’d have in their minds. On the other hand, I think one of the great things about America is we give people second chances.

And so what we’ve tried to do — and I want to say, this has been a bipartisan effort — when I was in the Senate, working with Sam Brownback; my Vice President, Joe Biden — passing a Second Chance Act that helps to fund programs that help the reintegration of ex-felons.

It’s smart for us to do. You know, sometimes people say, well, that’s just coddling people. No; you reduce the recidivism rate, they pay taxes, it ends up being smart for taxpayers to do.”

Shame on Jerome, if he really wanted a job he could get one. He is playing the victim card. In reality he is only a victim of his own bad decisions. Taxpayers already pay for convicts to be in prison, now Obama wants us to pay to get them a job? Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone(well, almost everyone) deserves a second chance, but it is not the responsibility of everyone else to provide that second chance.

Now before you start sending me nasty emails saying “you are stupid, and you just don’t understand how hard it is for felons to get a job.” Please allow me to stray from the beaten path for a moment and tell you a bit about my own experience.

I am a convicted felon. Five felonies to be exact. I spent the later part of my teenage years (15-19 years old) as a drug addict. Between ages 18 – 19, I lived out of the back of an Oldsmobile, and skipped around from job to job (i kept getting fired for some odd reason, hmm) to raise money for my heroin habit. I continued this pattern of living until I was finally arrested, charged with 9 felonies, convicted of 5 felonies, and sentenced to 1 year and 2 months in prison. One day, as I was sitting in my cell, I thought to myself, “this isn’t the life I want. I want something better, and I’m going to get.” So I made a plan for what I was going to do when I got out, and I decided to use my time in there wisely by educating myself. I started studying college algebra, then moved on to calculus and finally computer science. I also applied for college while I was in prison, so I could attend as soon as I got out. My release day came, and guess what, I went out and got a job flipping burgers the next day.

I worked the early shift at my new job . Public buses didn’t run that early in the morning(in VA, if you receive a felony conviction you lose your license), so I walked to work, 5 miles, every morning. When my shift was over, I hoped on a bus, and went to the local community college to take a couple of classes. When I got out of class the buses weren’t running so I walked home, 4 miles, every night. This process repeated everyday for 9 months until I finally saved up enough money to pay off all of my court costs, and go through all of the red tape required to get my license back. When I finally got my license and my car back, I went out searching for a new, better job. I found 2 jobs. Who would have thought that a convict could get 2 jobs (Jerome couldn’t seem to find 1 in 29 years). I met a wonderful girl at one of these jobs, and we eventually got hitched! Fast forward 4 years and I am happily married, the proud owner of a brand new home, 6.5 years sober, have a good job, and I am almost done with a bachelors degree in computer science (I pay my own way through school, so I only take as many classes as I can afford).

I told you this story to tell you this. I know it is hard to get a job if you are a felon. I do understand. However, if you are a felon, you are not a victim of society, you are a victim of your actions. It is not the responsibility of tax payers to provide you with a second, it is your responsibility. In the United States there are infinite possibilities for a second chance, but you have to go out and get it. It will not come to you. Don’t let your criminal record hold you back, use it as a lesson in life. If you work hard, pursue your dreams, and strive to be a good citizen, good things will happen. That is the beauty of liberty and freedom, you have every opportunity to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on the right track in life. How could you not love a country that has allowed a drug addicted, homeless convict to become a sober, homeowner, with a beautiful wife, and lives the American dream everyday. God Bless America!

Crossposted from Liberty and Pride

This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Law Enforcement. Bookmark the permalink. Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 9:19 am
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733 Responses to Do Felons Deserve a Second Chance, Obama Thinks So [Reader Post]

  1. I am a convicted felon that has grew living a life of crime since rhe age of 13. I blame only myself and have never played the victim. Scientist recently did a study and placed baby mice with perfect vision into total darkness for their first year of life. Those mice became blind and never were able to see again. With that being said, i was a product of my invironment and spent many years stumbling and paying for past mistakes. I am now a 38 year old single dad of 3 teenagers and also a successful business owner. I also have a non profit called UrbanBizDirectory that teaches convicted felons and troubled youth how to start a business. I had to create my own second chance. Jesus came for the sick.

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  2. Eric Harris
    strange is in it, you traveled to both extremes of life, you left the first one in time,
    you are still so young for having carried such a big load,
    i am happy for you as you are saved, and so many good years awaiting you,
    with your children you can be proud to be with them,
    i am also happy that you came here to leave hope to other trying to find work
    and some are desperate, this is a GLIMMER OF A LIGHT TO HOLD ON, to them showing them the way to never give up, BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS A TOMORROW DIFFERENT,
    BEST TO YOU,
    EDIT: ERIC , IF YOU FEEL LIKE GIVING TIPS AND HOW TO,
    PLEASE DO SO,
    HERE YOU WOULD REACH A VERY MANY FELONS, NEEDING CLUES AND ALL YOU WANT TO TEACH THEM,

    ReplyReply
  3. monica says: 703

    I’m Peruvian and my sister and brother born in Usa, I miss my mom and family so much and I use the american passaport of my sister to USA and they deport me, I deserve a second change miss all my family.

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  4. Howard says: 704

    Hi ilovebeeswarzone,

    Good to hear from you…I hope all is well. Lots of questions above….First, I don’t believe I said your potential would be “dim”…what I probably said is that you will likely face additional challenges that people without a record don’t have to encounter. What shows up on background reports varies by company and the vendor they use to pull the reports. I can’t speak for all companies so I will only speak for mine.

    At my company, we don’t just run a state background check, but rather a national background and sex offender check. Our company’s application specifically asks for any felony convictions (not interested in traffic or misdemeanors). Again, it depends on the company and what’s important to them.

    The length of time a charge stays on your background varies by the charge and the state. You may need to contact an attorney to obtain the specifics. If you feel there is a charge on your background that should no longer be there you need to look into having it expunged. That is usually handled by the agency that put it there.

    Again, I can’t speak for whether or not employers are following “blanket” policies. I can only speak for mine and we evaluate every issue on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the crime and the role for which they are applying.

    Hope this helps.

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  5. Bryan Miller says: 705

    It’s very difficult now and has been for a while. I applied to hundreds of jobs and took me a long time to find one. But I never give up and I’m patience, which is not always easy.

    Bryan

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  6. HOWARD
    thank”s for the good advices, there is many felons reading ,
    and will take any advice to liftup their life to a better situation,
    THEY NEED ALL THEY CAN GET FROM THE GOOD PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR THEM,
    AM I RIGHT TO SAY , THEIR NUMBER IS AROUND 20 THOUSANDS IN AMERICA,
    WE HAVE NO RIGHTS TO TRY TO MAKE THEM INVISIBLE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE A HEART BEAT
    JUST LIKE THE WHOLE SOCIETY, THEY LOVE SOMEONE, THEY HAVE CHILDREN LIKE OTHER FAMILY,
    THEY ARE AMERICANS, NOT ILLEGALS, THEY ARE FIRST IN JOBS FINDING,
    AND THE BUSINESS BETTER GET IT, IF THEY CLAIM TO BE FOR AMERICA, AND HIRE THEM,
    BEST TO YOU,

    ReplyReply
  7. Howard
    here i come again to mention that when there is opening in your company,
    we have experts here to fill it perfectly,
    you just ask here, FOR THEM TO READ IT,
    BYE

    ReplyReply
  8. BRYAN Miller
    hi,
    you bring hope to all here,
    that’s the food they need desperatly, so to,
    never give up, never give up, WE HAVE ALL A MOUNTAIN TO CLIME, SOME MOUNTAIN ARE SO HIGH,
    THEY CLOUD THE SUN, BUT ONCE WE ARE ON TOP, IT SHINE SO BRIGHT, IT MAKE ONE BLINK,
    BEST TO YOU,

    ReplyReply
  9. FMB42 says: 709

    Jerome to 0Muslim;
    “I’m 29 years old, and I’ve never had a job in my life.”

    Ten to one says that Jerome has never seriously looked for a job. Otherwise he most likely would have said; “I’m 29 years old, and I can’t get a job due to my felony record”.

    Meanwhile, a lot of Dims, and young “adults” (same diff), just don’t want to understand that you almost always have to look for a job to get a job. Funny how that works huh? These people often make a career out of making up excuses for not working.

    ReplyReply
  10. Mr. Perfect (Intro)

    A true story of family and the infinite mercy of Jesus Christ. Mr. Perfect takes a detailed

    look at the detrimental life of the streets and the underworld of robberies, home

    invasions, and selling cocaine. A story of repentance and sacrifice of a young man who

    grew up impoverished and found success in the dope game at a very early age , only to

    ultimately end up in prison, where he began to study the lucrative urban market. While

    serving 2 years in a Florida State prison , Eric Harris wrote a 10 year business plan. After

    his release, he walked a thin line between being a successful businessman and a cocaine

    trafficker in central Florida. All the while raising his 3 young children from his ex-wife,

    who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, all alone , as a single father. With 12

    felony convictions on his record , several brushes with death and federal indictments, he

    began to sink deeper into the dope game and it started to take a toll on his spiritually.

    Growing up in the Church and being taught right from wrong he knew that it was never

    o.k. to do the wrong thing, even if it was for the right reason. Mr. Perfect sought to get his

    piece of the American pie through any means necessary. Only to learn that his life had

    already been blessed to be perfect through his undying love for Jesus…..

    http://mrpefect89.blogspot.com/2014/04/mr_3139.html?m=1

    ReplyReply
  11. David says: 711

    A convicted rapist from mexico that entered the U.S. illegally and fished his way through the system obtains a real estate license . A 41 year old working U.S. citizen with a Non violent Felony conviction dating back 21 years is denied the same License .

    ReplyReply
  12. David
    THE ONE FROM MEXICO bought the politician,
    the other didn”t because he is a proud AMERICAN EXPECTING LINIENCY FROM HIS USA,
    WHICH FAIL HIM,

    ReplyReply
  13. David says: 713

    I Guess the rule Book gets thrown away when you enter the country Illegally . For Them ,RULE Number One ( no rules apply ) .

    ReplyReply
  14. you can call me Ed says: 714

    i’m in community college in a nursing program. i was convicted of child pornography. it is easily available on the internet on the government website for you to see. i’m a tow truck helper now. i passed anatomy 101 on my first try while it took the other people 2-3 tries. if i’m not able to get into the nursing program which needs a background check THEN I WILL SUE

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  15. you can call me Ed
    i DON’T SEE YOU IN NURSING,
    WHY DID YOU CHOSE THAT WORK,
    THERE IS SO MANY MORE FOR ONE WHO LIKED TO SEE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY,
    ONCE IS TOO MANY,
    YOU COULD BE AN HELPER OF A BOXER, DOING TRAINING AND PROMOTION,
    ON HIS BEHALF, YOU COULD MAKE GOOD MONEY,
    GOOD LUCK

    ReplyReply
  16. Vice President says: 716

    I had an intern with a severe anxiety problem. The week before his internship ended, he approached me and explained his anxiety problem: He was a convicted felon. I proceeded to look up his court record (all court records are available through the state’s judiciary case search system) and was able to find a marijuana arrest, which is no big deal. He explained that his arrest was in a different state and that it was over a small street-fight where no one was seriously injured. I was stunned that it was even a felony. He stated that he didn’t think he would be able to find a job. But, if that is the case, then what is rehabilitation about if someone goes to jail and doesn’t get rehabilitated? I told him that he should be able to find another position. The key is that the first position is the hardest to get. I suggested that he look up all of the property management companies that he wanted to work for and contact each of them one-by-one to find out the application process. I told him that he could use me as a reference and I gave him a reference letter. It took him a year, but he has a full-time position now.

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  17. Vice President
    that is very kind of you to help a person desperately trying to find a job,
    as a Vice President you might have some jobs opening in your busyness also,
    tell us when you do so to continue the good will you have to help,
    there are many skilled people here, just waiting to get their chance to prove their qualifications are more
    than just talk,
    best to you,

    ReplyReply
  18. monica
    you come from a very old country which have a great history<
    and a very well like by the tourists who discover beauty in there,
    PERU IS A WELL KNOWN VERY HONORABLE COUNTRY,
    there maybe a way to get a pasport for visiting to begin with for you,
    JUST CHECK ABOUT IT, AND THEN TIME CAN GIVE YOU MORE AS YOU SHOW THAT YOU DID A MISTAKE,
    AND ARE NOT EVER DOING ANY OF IT ,
    BYE

    ReplyReply
  19. Sean says: 719

    Sherry,

    Please don’t do anything like that. If I understand correctly, it sounds like this man, who you believe to be an FBI agent is telling you that you must send more money to these people? Is that right? If that is the case, then I would certainly say that this man is indeed not an FBI agent. It sounds instead like he is part of the scam, and he is attempting to get more money out of you by threatening you. Please do not believe this man. No real FBI agent is going to tell you that you have to pay Nigerian scammers money. The FBI is not going to send you to Guantanamo Bay if you fail to pay money to Nigerian scammers. Sherry, did this Chris Hutton contact you, telling you that he was in the FBI? Please do not believe him. Have you seen him face to face and has he shown you credentials, or do you just contact him over the phone or via email? If you have not seen him and he has not shown you legitimate credentials then I would say with certainty that this man is a fraud.

    Now, you need to do two things.

    1) Since this man is verbally threatening you for payment, you need to go to your local authorities at once and tell them everything that has happened. If I were in your shoes, I would physically go to your local police station and ask to be helped.

    2) Go to fbi.gov/contact-us/ look up your local field office (the office closest to you) and contact them directly. Tell them everything that is going on and report this Chris Hutton. I’ll bet that he is not an FBI agent. Ask them for help, and ask them to please explain to you what is happening. If you tell me where you are located I will help you find the number.

    Sherry, I am very sorry this is happening to you, but please do not do anything that you cannot take back. My brother took his own life and that does nothing but cause pain for those that love you. I know it might feel like there is no way out of this and that you are feeling down and embarrassed; but there are people out there that can and will help you. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the scammers that should be ashamed. Please get in touch with your authorities as soon as possible, and don’t do anything to harm yourself.

    ReplyReply
  20. Bob says: 720

    I think sean really is ilovebeerwarzone. buttcrack!

    ReplyReply
  21. Carmen says: 721

    I am forty one years old and have two daughters age twenty one and nine. I was addicted to pain pills for 15 years. When I finally hit the bottom, I started hanging with a girl that was writing fake prescriptions. With the offer of “free” pills to feed my addiction I took her up on the offer of filling the prescriptions. Well as with anything illegal , eventually I was caught and charged with conspiracy of prescription fraud. After my arrest I cleaned up and educated myself about pain pill addiction. I was stunned to learn how big this issue was. Remember when I first started using , pain pill addiction was not heard of like it is now or at the end of my addiction. Eventually I went to court and took a plea bargin of eighteen years in prison SUSPENDED with 3 years probation. I completed probation successfully and have managed to stay clean of all drugs as well as alcohol. Unfortunately that seems irrelevant to all possible employers. I am on the verge of homelessness. My older daughter is now in college and I am so proud of her. I have no car, no income and at my wits end.

    ReplyReply
  22. PositiveThinker says: 722

    @Carmen:

    You must be a black female felon. Even though I am a felon, thank god I am a white man. THANK GOD. I THANK GOD everyday.

    “Black men who had never been in trouble with the law were about half as likely as whites with similar backgrounds to get a job offer or a callback.”

    Black men who stated they had done time in prison on their applications were only about one-third as likely to get a positive response as compared to whites who had been in prison.

    The study also concluded that those with a criminal record had a 30 to 60 percent less chance of getting a positive response from employers. African Americans who had been imprisoned were at a double disadvantage because of racism.

    White felons get hired over blacks w/no record
    http://www.gaiaonline.com/guilds/viewtopic.php?t=21057729

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  23. Sean says: 723

    @Bob: Sorry for using your name in that last comment. I was typing your name in response, but my cursor was in the wrong box. This is SEAN (the OP, 4 years ago).

    I am seriously intrigued as to why you think ilovebeeswarezone and I are one and the same? I mean, seriously why would I do that? What purpose would that serve? Furthermore, who has time for that sort of nonsense. I rarely comment on this thing anyways, once or twice a year tops. Given that I hardly comment on this post, how would you even come to the conclusion that I am also ilovebeeswarzone? There isn’t enough dialog there to reach your conclusion. There most only be 10 or less comments that I have posted, out of 723.

    Seriously, I’m just curious as to what you think my diabolical plan is by “impersonating” another member of the site. What could I possibly gain from that? I’m dying to know.

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  24. THANK GOD I'M WHITE says: 724

    i agree with positivethinker… this guy is white —

    http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/17378/ex-felon-moves-forward

    ReplyReply
  25. HillBilly says: 725

    i agree with thank god im white too. im white and i do construction jobs. ive seen discrimination against blacks out the ass. i thought there could be something better out there for felons, but i guess restaurants and construction it is. i bet this girl is white – exfelongirl. she is in sales. i also agree with joe, too.

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  26. Carmen says: 726

    @ Positivethinker, actually I am a white female, I still live in my hometown where everyone knows everyone. My mother is a hairdresser for forty + years so we know a lot of people in town. It seems these people I have known my entire life, the ones that REALLY know me, are the worse at judging me. It is sad because I know I am a good person with a heart of gold and have always had a great work ethic. However that big bad word FELON seems to be stamped on my forehead. It does not matter what the circumstances were or are, it only matters that I am a FELON!! People hear Felon and automatically make the assumption that it means everything bad.

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  27. Noah's Ark says: 727

    @CARMEN: WHAT DID YOU DO? I WILL TELL YOU ONE THING — THE WORLD IS MORE LIBERAL NOW. I WILL TELL YOU THAT. …THE WORLD IS MORE LIBERAL NOW. I’M A BANKER. I HAD A FEMALE FELLOW BANKER WHO HAD A DRUG PROBLEM. WHEN WE FOUND HER IN THE STREETS PASSED OUT, SHE HAD TO GO.

    ONE OF MY LATERALS–SHIVELY–IS SURPRISED IF A FELON CAN NOT GET A JOB. HE IS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING FOR A FORTUNE 500 COMPANY, ESPECIALLY SOMEONE THAT DID SOMETHING STUPID WHEN THEY WERE ONLY 20.

    ANOTHER ONE OF MY LATERALS–TAYLOR–STATED THAT SHE KNOWS A COMPANY THAT DOES NOT DO BACKGROUND CHECKS. SHE EXPLAINED THAT IF YOU TELL THEM THE TRUTH, IT WON’T MATTER. IT HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO, CORRECT? OVER 7 YEARS AGO? CORRECT.

    THAT WILL BE ALL FOR TODAY, GENTLEMEN.

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  28. DanK says: 728

    I’m a law student. I was on ADD medication in high school. It enabled me to have straight A’s. Then, I went to college still on ADD medication and I ended up getting addicted to methamphetamine. I was addicted. I’m still not the same, but I am able to think much more clearly now that it has been years since I was on meth. I am 27 and am now entering law school. I am a convicted felon because of something that happened when I was on meth. It has been tough and will continue to be tough, but I have heard of attorneys that were able to become attorneys with a felony, so I know that it is possible.

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  29. thatsme says: 729

    @DanK . Right on. What’s a ‘felon’ to do? The felon’s situation reminds me of a term taught in Accounting, Economics and Finance courses, which is “sunk cost”. It’s defined as a ‘cost’ (our felony) that has already happened and can’t be recovered. Similar to you, I move forwarded continuing with education because it’s possible (to find work with it).

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  30. Carmen H Freeman says: 730

    @DanK, Law school ? Serious ? ….. That would be awesome in every way…. I have always dreamed of being an attorney.. I am in school for criminal justice now and constantly laughed at when people from my past know what I am in school for, I am hoping to soon begin the process to expunge my record. @ NOAH’S ARK My charges were 18 different felony counts. I plead out, plead guilty to 3, Conspiracy of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and honestly could not tell you the other two. This was first and only time I have been in trouble. Basically I am ADHD was off medication for years and addicted to pain pills. A friend of mine had fake prescriptions (that I did not know she was filling in 7 states) I would pick them up for her to feed my habit, HOW STUPID, I KNOW, when we were charged they stuck it to us. I paid 10,000 cash to a very well known attorney and plead out, resulting in 3 years probation. I have truly been drug free for 8 years and constantly thank god for stopping me in my tracks or there is no telling if I would even be alive today….. JUST NEED A JOB!!!!

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  31. Bryan Miller says: 731

    Carmen

    I thought my resume sucked, but I was selling myself and the value that I could be bring to a company. I did the best I could with my resume and did not concentrate on key words. Resumes do not tell you anything about a person. Many are BS. I know, I do a lot of interviews at my company.

    Bryan

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  32. Marie Evans says: 732

    Convicted felons can work. Yes they are limited, but can still work. So technically they are the tax payers.
    Look up the statistics on the amount of felons their are in america, then ask yourself if your hard earned tax money should go towards helping these felons to better their lives, get a job and help other felons. Rather than spending tax dollars on these men and women in institutions because it’s easier to re offend, than to live an upstanding life.
    It’s very easy to gain a felony in this country, stop being narrow minded.

    ReplyReply
  33. Jason M says: 733

    Mike,

    I did not. I don’t meet the qualifications for my state.

    Jason

    ReplyReply

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