It is generally perceived that the hardest part of being convicted of a felony crime is the time you have to spend in prison. While it is true that being away from your friends and family is certainly difficult, the true pressure occurs when you are released back into society.
It seems like wherever you go, you’re marked. People who don’t even know you judge you on the past, never looking at the person you are but at the things you have done.
While I agree there are certain crimes that are so heinous that they should not be discounted, most offenses are the result of some sort of chemical dependency issue. I know all mine were – property crimes that were committed to support a drug addiction.
I certainly take responsibility for my actions, to the point of addressing my problems through chemical dependency treatment and the prison sentence I served, but at what point do I stop being punished?
Do you know how few places will hire a qualified, skilled worker who has a felony record? I do. Companies that see my résumé posted online will be interested until they find out I am a felon.
How can a man live the right way, be the man he wants to be, when no one will give him a chance? For those of us trying to change, how much do we have to pay before it’s enough?