While it can be more difficult for convicted felons and individuals with criminal backgrounds to find work, it isn’t possible. There are still opportunities for them to find and stay employed, and it is important that felons get work, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.
According to Todd Jermstad, a community supervision and corrections director for Lampasas and Bell counties, it is essential that these opportunities be available. He said, “From a public policy standpoint, these people need to be employed. If they are not employed, it is a huge drag on our system.”
There are many reasons felons need to find work, aside from just having money to spend. They often are released from prison with various fines and restitution to pay, even while on probation, plus taking care of their families, paying rent and bills, and paying taxes. If they can’t find a job, the risk for them turning back to theft or other crimes as a means for meeting family obligations is increased. Just being at work during the day also keeps their mind on other things, without free time to think about going back to their previous illegal activities.
Central Texas Workforce Centers director, Jerry Haisler, believes they will go right back to these illegal activities without being employed. “If we don’t give these folks a chance and give them gainful employment, they are going to revert back to criminal activity.”
There are special programs in Texas that provide residents who have a criminal background to find employment, including the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas located in Kileen. They are helping approximately 8,000 people a month to find stable employment. They work closely with local businesses that are willing to give felons a chance for certain types of jobs. While they want open communication about their criminal background and that they are currently up to par with probation instructions, these employers are more than willing to hire someone that has a criminal past.
One of the top employers in Texas providing employment for convicted felons after they are released from prison is Goodwill, which also helps those recovering from substance abuse and other difficulties find a job. They offer job training and other resources, not just fitting them with proper employment. Aside from goodwill, other industries like food service, construction, home care and healthcare industries also provide jobs for felons.
Some counties in Texas also tend to have more opportunities, which requires felons to either move or commute. For example, Temple has a tendency to have more available jobs for those with a criminal background than Kileen does. Many of these employers who hire felons have previously been in the same situation themselves, or someone close to them has, giving them a reason to offer someone else the same chance they got.
Want to see which retail jobs are available near you? Click here to see.How Convicted Felons Can Find Employment by Jim Vassallo