WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT AS A FELON - PART 1
Most felons serve years on end, where they’re watched 24/7 by the authorities. Most leave the prison with bright hope they never interact with the authorities ever again until job opportunities arise. Finding jobs in the government addressed one of the biggest challenges felonies face once they reintegrate back into society. Most private employers are reluctant to hiring anyone with a criminal history, which is discrimination we’re yet to address as a society.
As a result, many felons end up settling into low-paying jobs despite their undeniable qualifications. Thankfully, the government allows equal opportunity to felons, allowing them to turn their lives around by pursuing a career that interests them.
If you find yourself interested in pursuing a career in the government after leaving prison, fret not. We’ve created this two-part series for you, addressing the concerns regarding felons working for the government. Let’s begin:
How can a felon work for the government?
Most felons are reluctant to pursue a career path in the government, under the notion that they may face discrimination. Thanks to certain laws and regulations, however, felons are now given equal opportunities to pursue government jobs. It’s important to remember that terms still apply, all of which can debar a person from government service. Here are those conditions:
- The nature of the crime is related to the duties of the job
- The person has been convicted of treasonous acts
- The person has been convicted of domestic violence under state and federal law (They can be hired, but any positions involving the use of firearms will be barred)
- The person has been convicted of financial misconduct, including check fraud, embezzlement, and even tax evasion
- The Smith Amendment, which prevents the Department of Defense from renewing or providing security clearance
Other Options: Understanding the Ban-the-Box Movement
The Ban-The-Box Movement is essentially a government program, which has been designed to help felons pursue better opportunities. Employers are asked to remove questions on criminal history, which are often asked when applying for jobs.
This essentially allows employers to make a fair evaluation of all candidates regardless of their past, all before making a hiring decision. Although employers still have all the right to partake in background checks, this movement allows felons to have a fighting chance at gaining employment.
The Bottom Line
Although government jobs are essentially open for many felons, it’s important to first review the job duties and responsibilities before application. It’s best to skip those areas where you’ve previously been convicted of, along with areas like justice and law enforcement. It’s best to seek an opportunity that fits well with your current needs.
It’s also important to remember that how you show your reformation also counts, especially when you’re out of prison to reintegrate back into society. You also need ample support from friends and family, as this will also help you to safely and effectively become a better member of the community.
To help make sure you find a solid career path you can invest your time and energy into, apply to all applicable job roles—in both private and public sectors. If you’re truly interested in a government career, however, stay tuned for our next article!
If you’re on the hunt for jobs for felons in Oklahoma, Fallen Valor has you covered. We are a business directory for ex-felons, dedicated to helping you find a career you can enjoy and learn from. It’s never too late to make a change—apply today.