Category Archives: Employment Opportunities for ex offenders

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Jobs for felons during the recession

When I started this blog one of the ideas that interested me was the ability to assist felons with legit and high paying jobs.  The reality is felons have a hard grind in the job market unless they have an inside hookup or a massive amount o f family support.  And since I would confidently wager that the overwhelming amount of felons do not have an inside hookup for a legit job, nor a massive amount of family support, it’s safe to reason that there is an online need for proper and sincere guidance.

I’ve been absent from this blog for a little while because I’ve had a lot of personal distractions to contend with.  I’m in the process of relocating and I’ve had unexpected visitors to my living space.  That being said, I must say that when my original thoughts for this blog space developed, I had the notion to focuse on things that were important to ex offenders hence the entire jobs for felons mindset.  Somehow down the road I noticed distractions within my own though process which pretty much derailed my original focus.

It did occur to me that ex offenders might just need a place to vent or share some views, concepts, ideas, and some of their own personal insight on life in general as an ex offender.  There were a lot of things going on in the country when I began this blog, there was and still is the war in Iraq, there was all of the hype and buzz about the historic presidential elections, then all of this news flooded the media regarding the credit crunch and the world economic downturn.  Then there was all of ths stuff about Bernie Madoff and the multibillion dollar hedge fund scams, then I became majorly preoccupied with the Federal Reserve Banking system and potential zionist influence within the world money markets etc.

Being a bit of a news junkie and not being a writer, I admi I became increasingly distracted by most of the headline news that was happening in our world and I think this has had a major impact on my wavering thoughts and blog contributions.  The good thing about my own blog is that I’m not really accountable to a supervisor in the traditional sense of the word, yet it was browser comments that sort of inspired me to take a more dedicated focus on where this blog should go.  Ok ok,  it was 1 browswer comment but the comment was clearly an earnest request from a convicted felon who was seeking a job.

This indicates to me that I need to focus on content specific for Jobs for felons as much as I can.  In order to help out where I can I’ll do some research, perhaps make some phone calls and compile some useful content specific to the availablity of jobs for felons during the recession.

I won’t rule out discussing other things but I think it’s important for me to honor the title of the blog since I know first hand how frustrating it can be to enter in search term and find results which are not meeting the expectations of the keywords entered into the search engine.

By the way has anyone heard the statements that Hulk Hogan made recently about “understanding OJ Simpson”?  Hulk is currently involved in a messy divorce and if he’s not careful with his emotions he may end up in the slammer.  Naturally none of us want to see that.

Until next time,

Because every ex offender should have a little Phoenix in them.

Phoenix

Are Jews and Bush the master enemies of all Americans? Pt 2

My last post was moving into a direction where I was beginning to analyze or discuss the situation of Jews and their hand in the current world financial meltdown.  I’ve been really busy lately so I must apologize for taking so much to follow up on this train of thought that I was developing on this matter.  I’m rather new to wordpress blogging and I didn’t know that my user control panel tracks the amount of “views” to this site.  Now that I’ve seen the traffic logs, it’s amazing how this little thread drew the most attention and had the most amount of actual views to my blog.

In a sense though I guess it’s not surprising since the title does appear to be quite controversial, or rather I could see how many would consider this to be a controversial topic of analysis.  But I didn’t really think anyone was really reading this blog anyway.  Well I suppose I owe it to those who are following this blog to complete my thought on this matter.  After all, a blog which purports to focus on Jobs for convicted felons which has now detoured to what may appear to be an alternate subject matter is obviously of interst to some.

The truth is as I complete my thoughts on this subject matter, it will be abundantly clear that my original blog title, “Jobs for convicted felons”  will tie in neatly with the outcome of my analysis.  However you will see how the outcome actually effecst all of us Americans, not just ex convicts, but everyone who is a tax paying, air breathing citizen of this great country of ours.

Hopefully the viewers to this blog have followed the suggestion and my personal recommendation to educate themselves by viewing the Zeitgeist on YouTube.  Having this background of knowledge under your hat before giving this issue serious and unbiased thought is extremely important.  Otherwise my comments may seem wacky or overly conspiratorial.

Focusing on the FACTS is required.  Once you digest the facts a clear analysis can be entered into.  For those who wish to join over 2,000,000 YouTube viewers in educating yourself on this matter please begin your education here first.  It’s a short YouTube video CLICK HERE TO VIEW

“The real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the Government since the days of Andrew Jackson.  Franklin D. Roosevelt (President of the United States 1933)

“There is something behing the thrown greater than the King himself” Sir William Pitt (House of lords 1770)

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes” Benjamin Dislaeli (English States 1844)

Don’t take my word or analysis for it, again I’m a convicted felon.  The aforementioned men are all prominent statesment, what or who exactly are they referring to in their inside awareness of the powers that be behind the thrown?

Consider the facts as I’ll return here to analyze the wizards behind the curtain that affect us all.  It’s time for America to wake up and set things on track, the way they were truly intended to be.  But with all things of significance what matters most is AWARENESS of the problem.

Until next time,

Phoenix ;-)


Are Jews and Bush the master enemies of all Americans?

Yesterday I had what I referred to as the “Convicted felon blues”. This is a condition which normally afflicts me whenever I tend to be more thoughtful than perhaps I should of things which I have a sense of no control over. Yesterdays rant kind of put me in this mindset that reminded me of how things were when I was on lock down and I spent a lot of time reading books and publications which pretty much framed American culture as the evil empire of the world.

Often times I’ve noticed that convicts have a reputation for what many would consider extreme anti government or anitestablishmentarian thoughts. I do think that for most ex offenders who would fit neatly within this category, this is certainly true. But I think that for most convicted felons who actually take the time and study global matters which effect them directly ie, the Prison Industrial Complex, disproportiate sentencing laws, the economics of the prison system etc, these kinds of topics have a natural gravity.

For sure, it gives the convicted felon something to focus his or her energies on, it’s a way of doing the time, insteading having the time do you so to speak. Religion has a very similar if not identical affect on many convicts, many of whom as we all know “find religion” only during a post incareration state of their lives. My own personal observations prove that religion and anti establishment reading and thought becomes like a narcotic addiction, some would even consider it an obessive compulsive behavior pattern. I wouldn’t agrue with either label, sense essentially the meaning is the same.

Blacks particularly have a huge propensity to find religion in prison, the common sterotype is that most black muslim men embrace islam while in prison. I don’t know the statistics on where Islam has it’s strongest conversion platform within the US, but I would not be surprised at all if prison is genuinely the gateway to conversion within the the top 5 conversion points for the faith.

I began today’s post with the title Are Jews the master enemies of us all, and it was intended to be sort of a continuation of yesterdays writings on the not so Federal, Federal Reserve Banking system. The connection between the Jews being that since they appear to be at the foundation of what many consider to be the illegal creation and continued exploitation of Americans and the American financial system, they by default most certainly must be the master enemies of all Americans.

Before anyone decides to raise the misplaced flag of anti semitism, remember my title is a question and as such is open for rational discussion.

I’ve read enough about Jews to recognize that just like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc, there are “Jews” of many different persuasions, beliefs, and ideologies. In short, for the purpose of this blog post, when I refer to Jews as a potential enemy to all Americans, I’m referring to “Zionist Jews”. The Jobs for convicted felons author who is Me, Phoenix Armstrong is of the understanding that a Zionist Jew is a Jew who believes that European Jews are intended to rule the planet since they are biblically Gods chosen people. These are a super aggressive sect of Jews who hold this opinion and take daily action to see to it that their ideologies are manifested to reality.

These Jews are not to be confused with Jews Against Zionism, Jews for Jesus, or any of the other Jews who do not share that Zionist ideology. It’s fair to state that any KKK member will tell you that they are Christians, yet many Christians do not share the vision or ideologies of Christian KKK Klansmen.  Islam also has it’s fair share of muslim terrorist, yet many sects of Islam distance themselves from terrorist ideologies.

I’ll use this ending as a back drop for my next post which will move deeper into my thoughts about whether or not Jews are the master enemies of all Americans.  And yes there is linkage between these postings and the blogs Jobs for convicted felons theme.  I appeal to your patience, I’ll tie it all together soon.

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BEN FRANKLIN – THE TWO BANKING SYSTEMS

From the autobiography of Ben Franklin as reported by Gertrude Coogan in Money Creators:

…the inability of the colonists to get the power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the Revolutionary War. (Reference 4).

Ben Franklin answering a question about the booming economy of the young colonies: “That is simple. In the colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it in proper proportions to the demands of trade and industry.” (Colonial Scrip had no debt or interest attached.) (Reference 4)

BANK OF AMERICA

International bankers saw that interest-free scrip would keep America free of their influence, so by 1781 banker-backed Alexander Hamilton succeeded in starting the Bank of America. After a few years of “bank money”, the prosperity of “Colonial Scrip” was gone. Benjamin Franklin said, “Conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity had ended and a depression set in to such an extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with the unemployed!” Bank money was like our FED money. It had debt and interest attached. By 1790 Hamilton and his bankers had created a privately owned central bank and converted the public debt (interest-free) into interest bearing bonds, payable to the bankers. When Hamilton’s bank charter expired in 1811, the international bankers started the war of 1812. By 1816, another privately-owned U.S. bank was started with $35 million in assets – only $7 million of that was owned by the government. This bank lasted for 20 years. U.S. history shows that currency with debt and interest attached created a depression.

Until next time, :-)

Phoenix

The convicted felon blues!

Not exactly sure what I’ll write about today, but I do know that I need to write about something. It’s seems like for the most part the news is very negative and always seems to focus on the negative aspects of society and the current economic condition. It’s actually quite annoying and I wonder if it’s actually counterproductive in the sense of creating this sense of ongoing financial panic.

Natually people need to be made aware of exactly what is going on the world economy and within the economy of the country as a whole but jeeze it’s really out of control to hear these staggering numbers..
Over 600,000 jobs losses in the month of January alone, over 3,000,000 job losses since the downturn began, which was “officially” in 2008. My God how did all of this economic turmoil actually begin?

I mean really, this shit didn’t happen overnight, nor is the cure going to develop overnight. Anyone who has ever done any Federal time and has spent time reading “interesting material” are probably familiar with the concept of the Federal Reserve system, and how the federal reserve banking system is as “federal” as federal express. Meaning it aint “federal” in the true sense of the word at all. It is a private banking institution owned and founded by old European banking families.

In a nut shell, although the common American perception identifies their currency as being printed by the United States Treasury, the money is in fact printed by a Private Corporation and our government actually pays for the privaledge of distributing and circulating this money, this is basically “interest”. If you need a quick understanding of this information you can find it by clicking here This is a very insightful YouTube video which explains the entire situation in an easy to digest format.

The Federal Reserve system seems to be the perfect scam, and ongoing criminal enterprise. It’s very thought provoking stuff, I encourage everyone to watch the YouTube presentation CLICK HERE

Types of Jobs for convicted felons in New Haven Connecticut?

Tuesday of next week, the city of New Haven Connecticut will take a vote on weather or not to “ban the box”. ( Ban the box in New Haven, Alan Cohn)

For those unfamiliar with the ban the box legislations which appear to be sweeping the country, heres a bit of background.

Ordinarily when someone applies for any job, there is a box which ask in some manner, “have you ever been convicted of a felony”. What the city of New Haven is putting on the table for vote next week is weather or not this probabitive box will be entirely scrapped for any city job. Which I think is a great idea.

This box merely serves as a defacto discrimmination tool for people who have already paid their debt to society and are seeking to re enter back into thier communities and support their families. Discrimmination towards convicted felons is rampant and contributes to a high re incarceration rate and also contributes to more social cost.

New Haven has taken this ban the box consideration to an entirely new level however by indicating that if the City of New Haven votes to actually ban the box, then all City Vendors must also do the same. This too is a good idea in my eyes, since it is a first step in banning the box entirely for ALL employers statewide. Hopefully it will catch on in such a way which encourages all states to follow suit, which will inevitably lead to a “federal like” ban the box result.

Certainly there are those who are against the ban the box ballot, and who will vote against the intended progress of the city. For some reason many people have this twisted notion that all felons should be stigmatised, alienated and tagged throughout their entire life. What this translates into is a literally a life sentence for beinga convicted felon.

Any convicted felon can emphatically tell you that a life sentence is exactly with the label of FELON brings into their world. This is not an easy situation to cope with, even with all of the family and community support that some may have. So imagine the difficulty in the experience of life that a convicted felon has to deal with absent any realy family or community support. It’s a devastating set of circumstances which must be confronted and many can’t cope properly and simply turn or return to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and crime.

I’m not exactly sure what types of jobs for convicted felons actually exist in New Haven, perhaps someone out there can provide a list of what these jobs will actually entail, that would be illuminating.

I’ve written about available jobs for convicted felons as traffic cops, but all I know about the jobs which may be available in the New Haven area are that they are “city jobs”, which is a bit broad and I’d like to narrow that down a bit if I could.

Anyway for those who think that this ban the box legislations may pose some kind of security risk, it’s important to understand that although the question of a having a conviction record will not be asked on the application, ALL potential job candidates do in fact undergo a background check. And when it is discovered that the applicant does in fact have a criminal record, a review is conducted to see if there is a RELATIONSHIP between the offense and the job opportunity. Which of course makes sense and is a right headed way of managing this delicate situation.

Until next time.
Phoenix

A sex offender and drug dealer as a traffic cop?

I’m certainly about second and even third chances etc for convicted felons, yet I was very surprised to read about a recent story where a guy with a felony record which included 15 convictions, 1 for a sex offense and another for drug distribution was given a city job as a traffic cop. A cop directing traffic in inclimate weather.

The story actually takes place in Cleveland Ohio, and according to the article is a part of the city’s new Second Chance program, where convicted felons are given the opportunities to work, as long as they exhibit the willingness and desire to put their life back on track. I think the idea is quite noble. Everyone knows that felons are the last hired and the current economic condition just makes things far more difficult since the job candidate pool is swamped with qualified applicants who don’t have conviction records.

The major of this town is catching some heat from law enforecment folks, yet he seems undeterred and committed to the process of ex offender rehabilitation through job opportunites. Job opportunities which extend to even city jobs, which many cities don’t even consider convicted felons suitable for. I think the mayor of Cleveland’s intestinal fortitude should be commended and I do hope that more city administrators will take note of his example and in fact adapt his approach for post conviction job opportunities.

Jobs for convicted felons is not an easy road to navigate. Equally it is my hope that the offender Lorenzo Shepherd exercises far better judgement in disciplines and choices than his extensive rap sheet reflects. As a convicted felon myself I certainly have high regard for those who extend a helping hand to good intentioned convicted felons, the last thing I’d want to hear about or experience is this guy Lorenzo doing something absurd while the city has already extended the olive branch of civil nobility. This is not an easy thing for the major of Cleveland to implement. I imagine there are plenty of people just sitting by and counting the days where Shepherd re offends, and then the loud voices declaring “see I told you so, once a perp, always a perp” will surface swiftly and aggressively.

This is what I hope does not happen. The job itself according to the news source “Metro breaking news & More from The Plain Dealer”… Directing traffic in inclement weather is a hazardous job with a high turnover rate”

The city had seven openings for traffic controller jobs and six applicants. Shepherd was the seventh applicant and got the last job, city officials said.”

The irony is the police chief who interviewd Shepard for the job, Police Chief Michael McGrath had encounters with Shepherd decades ago when the chief was an East Cleveland cop early in his career. McGrath interviewed Shepherd for the job after he was recommended.

“I want to do well and be representative of others coming out of jail,” Shepherd said. “This is more than a paycheck. This is bigger than me.”

Do employers treat you different because you are a convicted felon? Part 1

This blog is basically the ramblings of an ex offender aka a convicted felon. I had it in my mind originally to use this blog space as a resource for ex offenders in an attempt to assist them in their quest to find employment opportunities which they can actually be proud of. Also the the goal was to share ideas, life journeys and any other suitable feedback into the life of convicted felons and how it relates to actually jobs for convicted felons.

I was reading a story today about the mortgage company Countrywide. Countrywide was I believe one of the top 5 mortgage lenders in the country. The story that I read was about an it employee who resorted to sabatage against his employer. Naturally the article described the employee as “disgruntled”, a word we’ve all heard before. Anyway the story interested me because I was in a similar position at one point in my post conviction life, this is not a happy place to be in. I’m sure that anyone who has had a post conviction job has had experience with employees who take advantage of your conviction status to the point where it’s just too much to bear.

The question is, did you get even some kind of way? Or did you just let it slide and consider it your new reality? We’ve all seen the movies or heard the stories before where you’ve got the abusive employer who is aware that A) You have to work, and B) that if you don’t work you will be sent back into custoday or violated from your parole or probation officer. For unscrupulous employers this presents the proverbial “I got you by the balls” syndrome that many seem to suffer from.

The most vivid memory of this for me that hollywood has exhibited is in the movie HEAT, starring Al Pacino, and Rober Deniro. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s an ok heist movie. Lots of people like it but I tend to like movies which aren’t so predictable, meaning when the cops or so called good guys don’t always get the bad guys in the end. :-) Yes, often times I still find myself rooting for the bad guys in the film. But because I’m of the mindset that the bigger so called “bad guys” are in charge of the country and the world, my worldview is a bit more unorthodox than most. Anyway, back to my point which was?…… Oh yea, the guy in heat.

There was an opportunity for a bank heist “driver” in the scene where a brotha who had done time with Robert Deniro was asked by Deniro if he was interested in one good job. Of course the brotha was working like a slave in the kitchen for what was certainly minimum wage, and his stupid ass boss was constantly over working him and holding it over his head that he had better work extra over time blah blah or else he would lose his lousy job. The boss even threatened to call his parole officer and aggravate the situation further to the brothas detriment. After this scene of what can only be reasonably considered employer abuse against an ex offender employee, Deniro walks in to the cafe and sits down with his heist crew.

End of part 1

If a person has served their time and paid their debt to society, how long does one pay for a mistake?

I stumbled across the following article which articulates perfectly the unfortunate experience of many ex offenders. This ties in with the general theme of this blog which is focused around the availability of jobs for convicted felons.

By Seth Stern | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Sharon Lattiker has two master’s degrees and is finishing up a PhD. But it’s another credential earned more than a decade ago that controls her career: felon.

Even after a pardon from the governor of Illinois, Ms. Lattiker’s check-fraud conviction makes landing her dream job as a public-school principal nearly impossible. “The X is always on your back,” she says.

Nationwide, a growing number of convicted felons are seeking to erase any trace of past crimes as more employers perform background checks on job applicants – particularly since 9/11.

About a dozen states do wipe out at least some felony convictions. Most require ex-convicts to stay out of trouble for a set number of years and will only expunge first offenses. Most, too, refuse to erase crimes, such as murder, arson, and child molestation.

Now, amid rising concern that a criminal record can unfairly penalize some people for life, more states are considering relaxing their laws. For instance:

• In Rhode Island, legislators are debating whether to cut the waiting period between sentencing and expunging from 10 years to five.

• The Oklahoma state Senate has approved a bill that would allow the expunging of drug-possession convictions.

Felons in Oklahoma are barred from getting state licenses required for a variety of jobs, including working as a beautician. Convicted felons are also prohibited from hospital jobs or caring for children and the elderly.

“It’s a big handicap on them the rest of their life,” says Oklahoma state Sen. Frank Shurden. “If they straighten up, I want to give them a clean slate.”

Illinois state Rep. Constance Howard says she, too, realized while hosting a career fair on the rough South Side of Chicago that while interviews went well, few landed jobs once employers performed background checks.

She’s had little success convincing fellow lawmakers to approve proposed laws making it easier to erase criminal records – including legislation that would erase some criminal records where charges were later dropped or the sentence was served without any new arrests.

Wiping out criminal records, though, isn’t welcomed by many employers. They say they fear unwittingly hiring thieves as shop clerks or bank tellers.

“Retailers do hire people who’ve made mistakes … but we want to do it with our eyes open,” says Rob Karr of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

It’s not just job seekers applying for expungements. Stricter gun laws in Utah, for example, helped push expungement applications in Utah up 50 percent in the last three years, says Nannette Rolfe, of the state Bureau of Criminal Identification.

Expungements can make punishing repeat offenders harder, prosecutors say, because a record of prior convictions may increase bail or stiffen later sentences.

“Having that anchor around your ankle provides some deterrent,” says William Guglietta, Rhode Island assistant attorney general. “That’s the cost of getting involved in criminal activity.”

Expungements may also erase any record of serious crimes by people who plead to lesser offenses, a study of Rhode Island expungements by Brown University’s Taubman Center found.

A Rhode Island man, for example, charged with murder for killing his 4-month-old child was convicted of only assault and battery. After a year in jail and 10 years of waiting, any trace of the crime was cleared from his record.

In Chicago, Ms. Lattiker wonders if the problems of her past will ever disappear. Since being caught up in a check-writing scandal in the city office where she worked alongside her mother, she became a born-again Christian, paid restitution, and was hired as a private-school principal.

“If a person has served their time and paid your debt to society, how long does one pay for a mistake?” Lattiker asks.

Have you ever been conivcted of a felony before?

Right now, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul , Boston, San Francisco, are among the cities that have removed “the box” from applications for government jobs. Boston’s rule extends to vendors with government contracts. We all know “the box”. It’s that box which reads in some form, [Have you ever been convicted of a felony before]. Usually it’s a simple check Yes or No. Sometimes there will even be a space for [If yes please explain].

Well, it would appear that after many years of on again off again efforts,
Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and Minnesota are some of the states that have either adopted or proposed legislation reducing employment barriers for the previously incarcerated. These legislations clearly enhance the job availability for the types of jobs for convicted felons in these areas.

All of us who have paid our debt to society and have genuinely pursued legitimate employment have probably encountered “the box”. It’s refreshing to see that some of the most talented minds in politics recognizes the fundamental reality that barring genuine ex offenders from employment, based on a prior conviction(s) poses a larger risk to society and encourages re-incarceration for those who will inevitably return to crime in the face of automatically being barred from employment by checking the box Yes.

I have mixed feelings regarding checking the box since my intuition and experience has proven to me that doing so is the equivalent of trying to sell an employer explosive diarrhea. Not because you are necessarily explosive diarrhea per say, but because the job market is already competitive enough without your prior conviction causing automatic disqualification by a potential employer. I believe that anyone answering the question affirmatively may as well understand that the application process is a complete waste of time for them. In fact I’ll take it a step further and say that you are delusional if you think you will receive a call back, even if you are qualified for the position.

Truth be told I’ve operated in my post conviction job seeking experience with honesty, (which never yielded a call back from a single employer) to flat out deception by checking the box NO. (which ALWAYS led to an interview and actually being hired) Now, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has played both sides of the do I check or not check side of the fence! I would be interested in anyones feedback or experience in this matter.