Myth One: I’ll never find a job with a felony record.
A felony conviction makes you ineligible for some jobs. Fear not, however. Plenty of jobs and opportunities await if you do your research and start to plan for gainful employment while still inside. The U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons, better known as BOP, delivers training in most facilities across the country.
Inmates who speak English as a Second Language (ESL) can receive classes to make it easier to write English, speak English and prepare for the resume and job interview. No high school degree? You’re living in a third-world country if you haven’t heard about the General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Get it now and be ready upon release.
Myth Two: High-quality employers won’t hire me with a felony record; I might as well wash cars
All employers, and that includes high-quality employers that pay fair wages, seek a profit. March into the interview equipped with information about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), because you’re in a targeted group now. Employers receive valuable tax credits when they hire ex-felons and qualified veterans. The tax credit ranges from $2,400 to $9,600 per employee. The program, now extended through 2019, saved U.S. companies over $1 billion since its start in 1996.
Myth Three: Face it, I stole money. Nobody’s going to hire me now.
You can offer the employer a bond free of cost to you. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) manages the Federal Bonding Program (FBP) and provides it free of cost to ex-felons. The bonds carry a $5,000 limit and employers face no deductibles.
Look, you’ve done your time and now you’re ready to re-enter society and become part of the American Dream. You’ve got options. You just have to do the research, plan and be ready to hit the ground running upon release.
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