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Should We Provide Jobs for Felons Upon Release?

Posted by in Society: Crime  ~  June 15, 2012 03:29:52 PM

In a world where felons are in almost every neighborhood, we are past the point as a society where we can simply release felons into the world with nothing but a couple of bucks. It is not really about whether the felons deserve it or not anymore. There are a number of reasons why we should provide mandatory jobs for felons upon their release from prison.

One reason that jobs for felons are so important is because it gives them options they would otherwise not have. When a felon is released from prison, they often have nothing that they can do that is not illegal. So what happens? They inevitably go back to criminal behavior. If you are hungry, or have a family to provide for, you are much more likely to commit a crime to solve your problem. Especially if crime was your lifestyle to start with. Providing a mandatory job for felons would help to solve this problem.

Another reason we should provide mandatory jobs for felons is because it would allow us to teach them a practical trade. Rather than sticking them on a dock or digging ditches, we should instead demand that they learn a legitimate trade of some kind. This could be overseen as part of their parole, and would be a great step towards rehabilitating felons. If you give them a viable opportunity outside of crime, then many felons would certainly take it.

While we have job placement programs in place for felons, there is no real enforcement or help provided. They are given very little to work with when they get out, and the line of companies that refuse to hire felons is quite long. Should we then expect them to somehow make money out of thin air? If we are committed to rehabilitating felons rather than locking them away for life, we can not then take their feet out from under them upon their release. There has to be a happy medium here.

Jobs for felons do not have to be high risk. They have paid their debt to society, and should be given a fair shot to make a living. If the place is high risk, it is fully understandable why we would be hesitant to put a felon in out of prison. Each case could be reviewed upon release and the felon could be placed in the job that fits their situation best. We should never take chances with our school system or other high risk areas. Still, we can not release a felon on the street and say that they can not work. We might as well invite them to commit a crime or put them right back into jail.

Providing mandatory jobs for felons out of prison would also help the economic workforce. It could help us to finish some of those projects that often get overlooked. Perhaps positions working on the highway crews or in cleaning up the city would be beneficial. The end result is that jobs for felons are good for the economy, society and the felon themselves.