Sex offenders need not apply

By Mike W . . . At our core we cherish opportunity and equality as key American values. They define us. They make us who we are.  Any obstacle that inhibits opportunity and equality is not only a major barrier; it is discrimination when it limits people unnecessarily. When discrimination is a barrier to opportunity, we have a responsibility to eliminate it. We must not tolerate discrimination in any form.

One of these barriers to opportunity and equality is the sex offender registry. The registry is a double whammy to those trying to be effective citizens. One is the conviction, then on a published list outlining the offence – some that are decades old. Larry Hill, 34, of Mt. Pleasant, MI, knows this process too well. In 12 weeks’ time he applied to 62 different companies trying to get a position as a truck driver. Larry completed several months in jail, time on probation, and therapy which presented the tools needed to ensure the likelihood of re-offense is greatly reduced. None of the 62 companies have given him a second chance after seeing he was listed on the registry.   “It’s hard, ya know? I’ve been clean and sober for over 5 years, and paid my debt, made my amends. You think that would count for something.”

In fact, putting people on a registry eliminates opportunity and equality in that it:

  • Focuses on the worst moments of people’s lives rather than the present;
  • Fails to account for what rehabilitation was completed;
  • Neglects to explain how those injured were compensated;
  • Lacks any accounting of what positive actions were taken post-offence;
  • Discounts any improvements made such as getting an education, supporting a family, participating in the community, etc.;
  • Creates collateral damage for family members;
  • Dismisses the skills that can be gained by the company versus an event that occurred in the past;
  • Actively discriminates against people with records;
  • Disregards whether the job at hand has any connections with the elements of the offence;
  • Prevents those on the registry from beginning a stable and productive re-start;
  • Shames people for an event they can’t change;
  • Instills a constant fear of accusations and blaming from unknown people who were never involved and are ignorant of the facts surrounding the event.

We have a compelling and clear responsibility to ensure that government allows freedom and equal opportunity for all.   We must do that without adding to the barriers that people face emerging back into society. We should hold clear policies that welcome second chance opportunities for those who have changed their lives around. Once people pay their debts to society, they should be encouraged to become full, productive, tax-paying citizens. It is in everyone’s best interest to remove barriers to success so that people who have paid their debts really do get a second chance. The best way to make amends to society is to give back without harmful restrictions.

We call on people everywhere to oppose and eliminate the sex offender registry. It is an ineffective, harmful barrier to employment and prevents people from making full re-entry into society.

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Mike W

Mike W publishes articles, writes letters to those who have circulated inaccurate information that needs correcting.

  • This topic has 12 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 years ago by AvatarJZ.
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    • #42525 Reply
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      d

      Now if I could just make every American citizen read this article we might get somewhere. This was a very good article thank you. I think we need to also make a list of how many peoples lives were lost because of the registry via Vigilant murder, Starvation, Homelessness, and Suicide.

    • #42592 Reply
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      Chris

      This almost happened to me I needed extra money and applied for a job I was extra qualified for. I went in filled out my app met the owner and went to work the same day. Impressed the owner and the Kitchen Manager was told to come back the next day and do my paperwork and start officially working. Well when I got there I was told I wasn’t needed by the office manager that the owner would call me later. Got a text from the owner that night and was told to come in the next day. So I did and nothing was ever said. Come to find out a couple weeks later from the Kitchen Manager who I had become friends with that day was because they did a background check or google check one or the other. and well my past conviction from 2010 had come into play but the KM went to bat for me and said we need him that he didn’t care. No Judgement which was cool too know. From what I was told it was because they weren’t sure if they could even hire me. With me being on the registry and all. I wonder if thats the case with a lot of employers or its just a refusal. I read alot of article and comments on here and I am thankful though that I live in a state that is not as bad as others. My 8 years so far has not been as hard as it is for some. but still go through the same BS. Pray for change esp the Residency Restrictions Change it would make life on me so ,ucjh easier to be able to live with family and not have to kill myself 14 or 16 hours a day working to survive.

      • #42612 Reply
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        Maestro

        Some places, even corporate owned restaurants like the one I now work for, will hire people with criminal records because they get a tax incentive for it.
        I kinda like it, kinda don’t. I’m not fond of how money is the key to giving someone a chance rather than the person’s qualifications.
        Government funding for the states is also the reason behind the registries. Have the registries and the feds will nail the state out of their financial woes. It’s a scam. It’s borderline bribery from the fed gov.

        I’ve often wondered who will be left to do certain jobs that absolutely won’t hire anyone with a criminal record when people are getting criminal records every day for all sorts of things.
        To not be able to get a job is proof that we live in an unforgiving society. This is another reason why I cringe when people bring up religion. How many employers go to church with their families and then deny someone a job? Spare me!

        • #42631 Reply
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          Maestro

          Typo in my above comment: bail* the states out of financial woes. Not nail. I hate typos. I wish we had the option to edit our own comments.

        • #42750 Reply
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          WC_TN

          I agree that many self-proclaimed “Christians” are nothing of the sort. These are the hypocrites that stand for law and order while simultaneously thinking it is poetic justice when some vigilante violently assaults or kills a sex offender or when some “upstanding citizen” makes a stink with the offender’s employer and gets the offender fired because threats were made to stir up negative publicity for companies that would “dare to hire such degenerate scum”.

          I am blessed to worship with a group of REAL CHRISTIANS and can tell you that the ones who are for real believe in second chances and forgiveness because the real Christians realize their own sinfulness and the level of mercy and grace shown to them when they obeyed the Gospel and were added to the Church and the roll of the saved by the Lord Himself. The real Christians understand that they must be merciful and forgiving of their fellow man if they expect to receive any mercy and forgiveness from God on Judgment Day.

          The “Christians” you describe are pseudo-Christians and their unforgiving and self-righteous attitudes show them for what they are. Truly a tree is known by its fruit. Those “Christians” who would in any way prevent a registrant from attending their congregation are showing themselves for the hypocrites they truly are. They give the real Christians a bad name.

          I can honestly say that those with whom I worship know all about my past and the rules I have to live by. I have not had ONE unkind word said to me in the 6+ years I’ve been home. I teach the adult Wednesday night Bible class. I am one of two song leaders. I have been very blessed. I have found nothing but forgiveness and support. I know that my reception and how people treat me relies on me. I know I have to stay clear of befriending or playing with the kids. I am in no way involved with the youth ministry of the Church. As long as I conduct myself appropriately I will continue to be well-treated.

          • #42889 Reply
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            Jerry P

            Pray for me!
            I need work
            I need to find a group of “true” believers!

    • #42797 Reply
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      James Paul

      I agree. This registration is no doubt a punishment used against harmless people including everyone close to him/her.

    • #42812 Reply
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      R. Arens

      The whole background check b.s. is a little dated don’t ya think? Our “land of the free” incarcerates more people than any country on the face of the Earth. Those in and those out and as many as there are, felons in the US are not exactly a minority. There needs to be a law to abolish background checks except to those who’s crimes are relevant to the job they are seeking. A sex offender shouldn’t work in a daycare or school like a armed robber shouldn’t work at a bank, or drug dealers working at a pharmacy. It’s bogus that a company that processes meat (for example) should do a level 3 pentagon grade security check on a person doing lowly factory work. All I’m saying, is that’s bull s__t. Plain and simple.

    • #42832 Reply
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      Saddles

      Wow I wish I could say I cringe at being fearless but I do cringe and have my good and bad but I don’t fear man. Even the best of the best have to do a background check or do we all go on good faith or our own faith or are we back in discrimination laws with the sex offender stigma.
      Standing up is what its all about. Some should be lucky they have a job and than some do also get fired or terminated, dismissed, suspended or what have you. I wonder if anybody did a background hceck on anybody’s conscious before they set them up or before they played around with little girl or whatever.
      Sure we all could go that route. Sure Maestro called me down for saying we are all sinners. Well excuse me, someone even said that before I even said that. Should we call employers or potential employers jerks because they want to know something about who they hire?

      Sounds a bit one sided but some of this sex offender stuff is one sided in favor for the Authorities and in favor for the female if there is an type of victim. I wonder who gets the short end of the stick thru. The one looking for the job or the one telling the truth about their certain sex regristry offense. Now if employers is sensire enough and he seems you are tooo than your hired. So its better to tell the truth in the long run.

    • #43237 Reply
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      Bill

      When I started my job 15 years ago; they would ask if you had a felony yes or no and what was the felony. The felony did not matter back then; we work at a warehouse(they aren’t that particular). Hower, about 10 years ago they changed the policy. All felony applicants are allowed to be hired; except for sex offenders now(This company is only 2nd to the state of Michigan in number of employees).

      However, give kudos to this big company. I didn’t know it was going on… but apparently I was targeted by 3 people in the last 6 years because of my past and all 3 of them were fired.

      I remember(12 years ago) one time when I was involved in Business Networking International(BNI) and some how a commercial realtor found out about me in the group and was passing info around from the Michigan State Police site. Luckily for me; the members did not like this guy because he was a bully to them…and they called the state police on him(this is before they changed the law). They came and arrested him… while the meeting was still going on…boy did he have a look of shock on his face.

    • #43590 Reply
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      Eric

      I had the same problem being a truck driver. I had a conviction from 2012 finished my sentence and found out no one wanted a sex offender as a truck driver. Well January if this year I went in to a small company and told her about me being a sex offender and what happened. Anyone who is an so knows that when you go to an interview they always say it’s not a problem.. then you never hear back. Well I got the job and have been there since. NEVER give up!

    • #46138 Reply
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      JZ

      The sad truth is employers don’t even need to run a background check. All they need to do is search your full name and address, Google does the rest. Anyone on the registry will be on the first page of results. Just try it and you’ll see. I have applied for ten jobs in the last two weeks. Three instant rejects and nothing on the rest. Just like politicians, employers don’t want to be known for helping “the worst of the worst.” It’s a sad day in the so-called “land of the free.”

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