Many violent crimes are classed as felonies. Felony convictions have collateral consequences, which are negative occurrences that impact a former felon long after he’s been released from jail. Collateral consequences impact housing, child custody, and social networks, but they also affect a person’s ability to secure gainful employment, which has a range of negative results.
It’s estimated that one out of four people in the United States can’t obtain employment because of a past criminal conviction. In some cases, a person is unable to gain employment due to prevailing rules and regulations on hiring former felons. For instance, many governmental positions on the state or federal level prohibit people with felonies from gaining employment. Private companies may also create their own rules regarding criminal records. These may be attempts to safeguard the public or prevent internal theft, but they still have a devastating impact on former felons.
There are obstacles in place even when an employer isn’t restricted in terms of hiring. Many hiring managers have preconceived notions of people with criminal backgrounds, particularly when it comes to job skills. This is most relevant to a person who has served a lengthy sentence, as their lack of job experience may prevent them from being considered a worthy candidate.
While problems finding employment is just one of many collateral consequences accompanying felonies, it is considered one of the most serious. Lack of stable income increases the risk of a person returning to crime, while also preventing the person’s family from having their material needs met. It also has a major impact on the economy, with up to $65 billion lost due to decreased production caused by felony discrimination.