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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:37 PM
Original message
Most ex felons are poor because society judges them
Edited on Fri Dec-12-03 05:57 PM by DACT
Supposedly ex-felons have a 70% unemployment rate. That would account for over half of the total unemployment rate at any given time, boom or bust (a bit more during boom).

This also accounts for the high black unemployment rate, a third of black men will be under criminal supervision at some point during their 20s. Whites on the other hand have a lot less people per capita involved in the justice system at any given time.

So here's my solution to this problem. Eliminate criminal records once a sentence is complete. People who aren't behind bars need to find a decent job and an apartment. Criminal records forbid this. Thus, ex-felons will have to reoffend to survive.

My plan would also improve the economy.
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Most people are poor because they are ex-felons?
I can't even begin to start with what's wrong about that statement.
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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's not PC, but its the fact
Look at the statistics at BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics) and BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Putting our head in the sand is not going to make the problem go away.
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Your wording implies that most poor people are ex-felons.
Is that really what you mean?
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. It certainly is an exaggerated claim...
but not completely without merit.

Consider the case here in Las Vegas. In order to work in a great number of establishments one needs to have a valid Clark County Sherriff's Card. This card is a photo ID that clearly shows whether or not the person holding it is a convicted felon. The great majority of casinos and other major employers here do criminal background AND credit checks. If your record isn't very close to spotless in either area you have little to no chance of getting one of the better jobs.

I don't know if the same is true everywhere, but this is one city where having a record of any kind is very detrimental to a person's work prospects.
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BigDaddyLove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. If someone is a convicted felon....................
and wants to work in your establishment, wouldn't you want to know that fact about the person prior to hiring them?

It shouldn't automatically disqualify someone, but it would be a handy bit of info to have.
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ldoolin Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
28. Nevada is a special case
Every county in Nevada requires a sheriff's card by state law to work in many jobs. Not just in casinos but hotel maids, clergy, a bunch of other things.

The ACLU periodically tries to challenge the law, or at the very least have it changed to only apply to casino jobs. It's still on the books.

I'm not sure why Nevada has such a law but my guess is it had to do with trying to clear the mafia out of the state 20-30 years ago. Note: I'm not defending the law, I think it's stupid.
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beyurslf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. That statement is so full of holes one post can't tackle it all.
How about this statement: "Most ex felons are poor because society judges them based on their criminal records thereby impeding their ability to re-establish themselves successfully in society."

That is the point you wanted to make anyway.

Your post uses circular reasoning to prove an invalid point. As an example: All the 9-11 terrorist were Muslim. My neighbor is a Muslim. My neighbor must be a terrorist. While the first two are true, the last is not a valid conclusion from them.
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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. I'm going to change my title to that
Thank you.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. that's a good way of avoiding backing up your claims
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Not necessarily true..
Lots of people are poor because their parents were poor.. That does not guarantee that the children will be poor, but if you grow up in a poor household, you are very likely to follow the example that you saw..

Lots of poor people work menial jobs with erratic hours.. Their children often grow up unsupervised ,(lack of affordable day care), and in doing so, sometimes they do not get the parental input necessary to do well in school.. Poor grades in school can be an indicator of future wealth (unless your Daddy is VP and former head of CIA)..

Girls who have babies while in their teens are setting themselves up for a lifetime of poverty too..

Not only criminals are poor..
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. As A Member Of DU
With a lot of relatives in the wilds of Southeastern Kentucky....

The oppourtunities aren't out there; they're trying to survive when factories shut down and after Wal-Mart decides to relocate 30 miles away in an "economically viable area" after driving out the competition out for 20 years.

Social programs and welfare work fine in the cities when the infrastructure exists, but what about asking about and helping others that "fall through the cracks?"

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Don.. were you asking me??
My post did not address those issues.. I agree with you 100%.. People in so many states are just scrapinig by. It's sickening :(
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. how does that account for half the unemployment rate?
am I missing something? :shrug:

70% of ex-felons are unemployed, but how many TOTAL unemployed are ex-felons? Your post omits that figure...
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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I know that there are 2 million people in jail
We second per capita only to Russia in terms of incarcerated people.

It may be less than a half for the "official" unemployed, but I'll bet you many of the ex-felons have become discouraged to even look for a job.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. people in jail do not collect unemployment, nor are they "ex"-felons
and you still did not give a figure for the number of unemployed who ARE ex-felons


this is all just supposition on your part, or can you provide actual info on this?

saying "I'll bet you many of the ex-felons have become discouraged to even look for a job." is NOT the same as saying half the unemployed are ex-felons...
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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Once they get out of jail, they become ex-felons
Very few people are in jail for life w/o parole or on death row.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. you are dodging my question
70% of ex-felons are unemployed, as you say.

You ALSO say that this accounts for half of all the unemployed.

Why won't you provide SOMETHING to back this up???
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Donating Member ( posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. It's against the law to be poor
in Amerika.

(trying to inject a little humor)
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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. We have a few laws like that, unfortunately
1. Vagrancy

2. Child Support Payments

3. Check Bouncing

4. Begging

5. Warrants for not paying Fines

6. Theft (of Neccessities)

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. So.. poor people should just...vanish??
Edited on Fri Dec-12-03 05:58 PM by SoCalDem
A comedian once said.."Everybody's got to be someplace"..

Once you are poor, there's very little chance of reversing that situation.. How 'bout some solutions, instead of generalizations..??

It could also be said that some posters post crap threads , so therefore all crap threads must have been posted by only those people :evilgrin:

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DACT Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. My solution is eliminate criminal records after sentence completion
n/t
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. That does not address the "repeat offender" issues
sorry..try again :)
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childslibrarian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
10. I was a social worker for 16 years
People are poor because:
They are poorly educated
Teenage pregnancy--Practically a guarantee
Family history and behavior matters alot


Being an ex-felon is just a small part of the problem. Most of the poverty in this country are children...
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BringEmOn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. Charles Murray, is that you?
Jeez
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DuctapeFatwa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
17. Most poor in the US are mothers and their children in situations where

the father has elected not to participate in the financial responsibilities associated with his children.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. Would you clarify
how your plan would improve the economy?

BTW, around here when we edit posts, especially when it substantially changes the meaning, we put a notation about what was changed. Your change to the thread header is FAR different from what you originally posted.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
21. Much "better" title..
Ex-felons DO have a hard time getting jobs.. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer for a minute.. In a labor market like we have now, which would you prefer for an employee?

1. a guy who just got out of jail for robbery
2. a kid just out of school with no experience

Is it "fair".. probably not, but when people are asking for work, they are asking their prospective boss to trust the,.. Ex-felons have to prove that they are trustworthy again.. Sometimes that is not possible.. There are agencies who work with ex-felons and find jobs for them ..These arew not great jobs, but it's a start down the path to success..

Some ex-felons actually start their own small businesses so that they can work around the background checks
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TexasSissy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
25. A person doesn't "suddenly" become a felon, usually.
I would say that most people who are felons began doing misdemeanors, and then went on to commit a number of crimes, perhaps even felonies, before being caught, charged, tried, convicted, and then sentenced.

To be a felon usually means, I believe, to be a lifetime criminal. Society has a right to know this fact about someone, for its own protection. Sorry. The felon made himself a dangerous person that others need to fear and be aware of.

There are exceptions, I'm sure. But if someone embarks on a life of crime, they usu. don't wait until they are adults and then start off with, say, murder? Or embezzlement of $25,000? Or armed burglary? A person usually builds up to that level of crime over a period of time.

My sympathies are with the victims, some of whom are no doubt having trouble maintaining employment because of the violence committed against them. If they are even alive, that is.
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ldoolin Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. But...
Far too many things that used to be misdemeanors are now felonies. It's not like it used to be, where a felony conviction meant something like rape, murder, or armed robbery. These days it's most likely to mean a drug charge, and therefore IMHO, something a prospective employer has no business even asking about, especially if the person has kept themselves clean and is not a repeat offender.
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ldoolin Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-03 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
30. Possible solution
I don't think automatically clearing a record after a sentence is complete would go over very well with most voters, R and D alike. A better possibility would be to pass laws:

1. Automatically clearing records of one-time offenders, after a period of time without any repeat offenses. Say, seven years.

2. Forbidding employers to ask about any offense which is not relevant to the job, or for which the sentence was completed many years ago. For example, I think a bank has every business knowing if somebody they are hiring has any kind of theft, robbery, or embezzlement conviction, but I do not think they have any business asking about other convictions. Likewise, a trucking or taxi company should be able to know if somebody they are hiring had any recent DUIs, hit and runs, etc. - but not things that are irrelevant.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-13-03 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
31. Most ex felons are poor because they started out
poor. People with resources can get a lawyer and try to stay out of jail. Even middle class people have more options than the poor. A middle class homeowner can take out a home equity loan to buy a lawyer. These options are not available to the poor.

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