A felon constitutes individuals convicted of a serious crime at one point in time. In the United States, persons convicted of dangerous crimes experience challenges such as ineligibility to vote and difficulty in landing quality paying jobs, among other benefits associated with the rights and freedoms at the disposal of American citizens(Swanson, Langfitt-Reese, & Bond, 2012). Law and policy restrictions for persons with previous felonies aim at protecting the community from employing unscrupulous criminals(Kethineni, & Falcone, 2007). However, I would think that such restrictions make it more challenging for persons with past felonies to access vital opportunities for basic human survival.
Drug-related offences are commonly linked to marginalised communities that mainly engage in such crimes as a means to survive. Convicted felons who released from prison can barely get any employment to cater for basic needs, which can cause racial inequalities in terms of distribution of labour(Wheelock, Uggen, &Hlavka, 2011). Housing is also a problem since no one is willing to trust people with a history of crime with their property.
I believe that the inability to access housing, employment, welfare benefits and academic opportunities only makes released convicts more desperate than ever before, even with the authorities continually monitoring their movements. Therefore, chances are, the desperation will result in more criminal activities, and this will create a perpetual loop or circle that is not only unfair for the released convicts but also costly to the American government and taxpayer. Therefore, policies should be established to enhance access to education and other opportunities to help better the lives of released felons.
Kethineni, S., & Falcone, D. N. (2007). Employment and ex-offenders in the United States: Effects of legal and extra legal factors. Probation Journal, 54(1), 36-51.
Swanson, S. J., Langfitt-Reese, S., & Bond, G. R. (2012). Employer attitudes about criminal histories. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 35(5), 385.
Wheelock, D., Uggen, C., &Hlavka, H. (2011). 10. EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH FELON STATUS AND RACIAL INEQUALITY IN THE LABOR MARKET1. Global perspectives on re-entry, 278.
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