General Question

justme1's avatar

Do you think that jobs and apartments doing criminal background checks is discrimination?

Asked by justme1 (580 points ) December 5th, 2009

Do you think it is not fair to not give a person a chance due to their past mistakes or things that they have done in the past that they obviously cannot change now? Also do you think that it is fair that it is almost impossible for them to find a place to live that will allow them there?

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183 Answers

jca's avatar

if i’m not mistaken, are you the person that posted the question a few months ago about having your boyfriend, a convicted sex offender, move in with you, without the permission of the landlord? is this what your question refers to? because you won’t have much sympathy if that is what you are asking.

if i knew how to post a link, i would. however, people can look at your previous questions and see what i am referring to.

laureth's avatar

Any time you look at anything and make a decision based on what you learn, that’s discrimination. I mean, if I look both ways before crossing and see a bus coming down the street, I’ll probably discriminate against walking across at that exact moment.

Some people change, some people do not. Some people are good bets, some people are not. If you don’t know a person (and what landlord knows everyone who applies?), you have to go with the people you feel will be the least likely to screw you on the rent payments and trash the place. So yeah, they discriminate, pretty much for the same reason I wouldn’t cross in front of a bus.

It is not fair, true. But growing up, one thing people sometimes learn is that life is not fair. If they have a criminal past, they were also unfair to someone at some point, and karma often comes back to bite you in the arse – which, now that I think about it, actually does seem kind of fair. Perhaps they ought to look for other living or job opportunities, or make their own luck. That’s part of fitting back into society, of making amends for past wrongs. Some people are willing to give them a chance – but some people, well, they just see the bus coming and want no part of it. Isn’t that fair, too?

justme1's avatar

that was justus2 my name is justme1. My question is how it reads, has nothing to do with apartments or having anyone move in without the permission of the landlord

jaytkay's avatar

Would you be happy if your kid’s pre-school didn’t screen out pedophiles?
In my neighborhood, the postal carrier has keys to every apartment building. Would you want a burglar in that position?

justme1's avatar

@laureth What about someone who gets an indecent exposure or something for going pee and has to register as a sex offender, how is that being unfair to someone else at some point, now they are treated unfairly because they took a leak?

justme1's avatar

@jaytkay Maybe not happy, but teachers still get with kids. I wouldn’t be too freaked out

laureth's avatar

I agree that a sex offender conviction for taking a whiz is rather extreme, but on the other hand, if they’re the sort of person to pee in public…?

justme1's avatar

In some people I know cases, it was like behind a bar, or one I heard about was behind a church out of plain view and some lady happened to glimpse and called the cops on the person. What about all the sex offenders who were like 19 with a 16–17 yr old or something?

DrBill's avatar

As a landlord I can tell you we are required by law (patriot act, and others) to discriminate against certain groups, and allowed to discriminate against others.

jca's avatar

if someone told me they were a convicted sex offender and their only charge was urinating in public, i would want to read the police report. people will tell you whatever they want to smooth over their story, but i would want to see proof.

it’s funny that you’re not justus2, because i remember justus2 giving that exact description of the crime that her boyfriend committed to be charged as a sex offender. i just searched for justus2 and i see she is no longer, but i’m sure the question is still on fluther. if i had time i would find it just to see that description. too much of a coincidence if you ask me…..

laureth's avatar

On the other hand, does every landlord and HR manager have the time to check with every convicted sex offender to see if he was just boinking his 17-yo GF or draining the lizard behind a bar, and not an honest-to-God child rapist? Frankly, if I were in that position, I’m not sure I’d want to bother when there are so many applicants that are clear.

DrBill's avatar

@laureth

Landlords are required by the patriot act, and other laws, to treat ALL sex offenders the same, no matter why they were convicted.

justme1's avatar

I didn’t say I wasn’t justus2, I said that that was asked by justus2 and I am justme1. I have seen all the paperwork stating indecent exposure

justme1's avatar

@DrBill Then why are there certain apartment complexes (not many) that don’t do criminal background checks?

proXXi's avatar

Against a group I’m voluntarily not a member of, so so what?

jca's avatar

i know you didn’t say you are justus2, i know you said you are justme1. i just looked at the question written by justus2 and the description of the sex offender is the same description you just gave. the question was “if an apartment complex finds out you have someone living with you can they get kicked ou?” and @ dr. bill answered it, and i did, also. tell me it’s just a coincidence justus2 is no longer a member, you are and have a similar name, and you are asking the same question she asked in July 20009? with the same description of said sex offender?

kheredia's avatar

I think landlords have every right to keep their tenants safe from convicted felons or sex offenders. Sure some cases are extreme but what if some of these guys really are dangerous? I’ve known of some people that have been in and out of jail their entire life. Do you really think someone who is okay with this lifestyle is really going to change? Mmmm.. I doubt it.

justme1's avatar

I didn’t say I was not justus2, I said that that was asked by justus2 and I am justme1. I have seen all the paperwork stating indecent exposure.

Also this is a completely different question about unfair discrimination by jobs, then I edited it to add apartments because i think it is unfair of them also.

jca's avatar

i would think the landlord would be liable if he allowed a convicted sex offender move in and he knew the person was a convicted sex offender, and the sex offender committed a crime against another tenant, the landlord would be sued.

what about the rights of other tenants to a reasonably safe place to live?

jca's avatar

are you the same person that was justus2? be honest, please.

DrBill's avatar

@justme1

They do not have to comply, if they do not know they are registered sex offenders

kheredia's avatar

About the job issue. I would say it depends on what kind of a job it is. If I was an employer, I wouldn’t feel comfortable for a convict to work anywhere near a cash register but I guess I would be okay with them working like in a factory or something labor related. You can’t really expect them to be able to get a good job being a convict but if nobody gives them a job then there’s a bigger chance for them to go back to their old habits.

justme1's avatar

What if the place didn’t run background checks at all. Then they wouldn’t know

@DrBill Do they have to run the background check by law?

Yes they should live in a safe place. Also this question is about unfair discrimination, not sneaking someone into apartments.
Yes i am. By the way we found a condo for rent by private owner better priced and better than any possible apartment we could have ever lived in

jca's avatar

@justme1 :thank you for being honest. thank you also for confirming by your honesty that my detective skills are as i thought, excellent, and my memory, excellent also.

justme1's avatar

I don’t lie, have no reason to

DrBill's avatar

@justme1

No, they are not required to run the checks

justme1's avatar

@DrBill So in my opinion then that makes it the apartment’s choice to discriminate, I personally think it is un fair because a person can’t change what has happened in the past.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Criminal record checks are important for most jobs. In my field of medical radiography, we are almost always alone with the patient, and people always trust people in medical positions. If there was no criminal record check, it would be open to abuse by sexual predators, drug runners, and for a clever person also fraud.

There are plenty of jobs out there for people with records. Since many criminals get off too lightly, it is also an added deterrent for potential criminals that they cannot hold down a job of any responsibility afterwards.

justme1's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Ok but there actually isn’t that many jobs, and most shouldn’t discriminate like that

Jeruba's avatar

I think it is fair. It is as fair as looking at people’s academic records when hiring (But my schooling is in the past! —Yes, that’s where it’s supposed to be when you’re looking for a job) and looking at their work history (That was then, this is now.—Yes, and how else do we know how you will perform?) and considering your record for any other purpose (But those DUIs are over! they’re not in the future!—Yes, but others might be). What else do we have to go on when deciding whether to entrust someone with our property, business responsibility, our bodies, our children, our money, etc., etc., but what they have done in the past? Surely you don’t think a person is entitled to a clean slate every time they want to do something new. Maybe we should pick our government officials by a sweepstakes instead of looking at their records? Ok, bad example, but really. People build their records and their reputations with every act they perform. Why shouldn’t someone who’s considering allowing you to live in property they own want to know key facts about you?

Discrimination is not an evil. Discrimination is a survival skill. It means being able to tell things apart. Without it the human race would have died out a long time ago from eating poisoned mushrooms, not knowing the way home, not avoiding predators, and not being able to tell the enemy from your own tribe.

justme1's avatar

@Jeruba Maybe not right away, but I do think after a set amount of years, different for each crime of not committing the same or anything worse they should be allowed their record to be cleaned up

Jeruba's avatar

Maybe we should have a different law for every person. That way we could take all the special circumstances into account and also keep lawmakers too busy to mess with the rest of us. How would that be?

Committing a criminal act is a choice, one that most of us discriminate against. I agree that a person who has done his penance and served his time should be given another chance, but that does not mean ignoring the record.

If I had a room to rent, I would care very much whom I rented it to. Wouldn’t you?

justme1's avatar

@Jeruba Honestly no. I would refuse to run a background check on that person. Yes it is a choice at the time, however how can they be given another chance if they are discriminated against after it is done everywhere they go to get work or housing?

justme1's avatar

I would care that rent was paid and my place wasn’t thrashed, kept in decent condition with normal wear and tear, what you did in your past was on you. I don’t care about that

Jeruba's avatar

How is it giving another chance if you don’t know you’re giving another chance? That knowledge should be only in the awareness of the ex-offender and not in the mind of the person who is giving the chance? Now, that’s discrimination: forcing people to be ignorant of the fact that they’re dealing with someone who has a felony conviction so the ex-offender is protected and they are not. Good idea. Let’s do that.

justme1's avatar

@Jeruba Actually if you give them another chance and know you are giving another chance, as @DrBill says that is illegal in some cases

kheredia's avatar

@justme1 If you had children I bet you would think differently.

justme1's avatar

@Jeruba How about we put a big RED STAR on them stating that they are no good and worthless, that seems to be what people who deny people employment or housing are saying

justme1's avatar

@kheredia No I wouldn’t, i would still believe everyone should have a job and a place to live

kheredia's avatar

@justme1 So you would let a sex offender live under the same roof as your children? Again, I think you would think twice if you had a little person who depended on you entirely. I understand that you feel this is discrimination, but @Jeruba is right.. committing a crime is a choice and this is the consequence. I would never jeopardize a child’s safety, much less my own child.

master_mind413's avatar

not at all i would prefer knowing if im working next to America’s most wanted then not

I do find drug tests involving herbs piss me off more times then not though you know ?

justme1's avatar

Knowing the truth and what the offense was, yes I would. I will keep my children safe, and if you saw my story my SO is a registered sex offender for indecent exposure when he peed behind a bar

justme1's avatar

@master_mind413 I do know about the drug tests involving herbs piss me off, iI don’t know about the first one. How could you be working next to america’s most wanted when if they are wanted they would be put in jail. I am referring to the ones who have done their time already, but it is still on their record

DrBill's avatar

I once ran a background check on a man who was a convicted felon (murder), he had spent the last 23 years in prison for shooting his landlord in the back because he asked for the rent

oratio's avatar

@laureth but on the other hand, if they’re the sort of person to pee in public…?

It’s just pee, laureth.

justme1's avatar

It wasn’t even in public view, it was behind a bar and the cop drove up on him

Haleth's avatar

@justme1 For some crimes, after a number of year you can have the record sealed or expunged if you continue to have good behavior. The laws vary by state, but it’s usually just for minor crimes like misdemeanors. Where I live, some misdemeanors can be expunged after five years, and you usually need to find a lawyer who specializes in this. Maybe you can file an appeal or argue in court that this should be expunged or that your boyfriend’s record should be appealed, because of the nature of the crime. It’s strange that he was convicted for a sex crime if everything you are saying is true, and you aren’t leaving anything out. Usually with peeing in public, you just get a ticket and a fine.

master_mind413's avatar

okay I can agree to that, but i think it should depend on he severity of the crime also you know a minor drug charge is passable but a child molester not so much

justme1's avatar

@Haleth Yea, I meant for pretty much everyone that should be there after a set # of years. We can’t get it expunged for 3–4 more years, in NV it is 7 years so we have to wait unfortunately

justme1's avatar

@master_mind413 My thing is that if they are a child molestor I wouldn’t want to know because if i know and still rent to them then I could be in danger, however not running the check would mean I dont know, and wouldn’t be discriminating

master_mind413's avatar

….. how could you not want to know honestly… any one who is a decent human being cares for the wellfare of others and this could cause harm to others who are going to live in the apartment building namely children

master_mind413's avatar

or any one in the vicinity of the apartment building, you are starting to sound immature and careless which doesnt hold well for the point you are trying to make here unless that point is very clear and that would be you just dont care

justme1's avatar

@master_mind413 because if I had an apt complex I wouldn’t want to run background checks due to my opinions that it is unfair discrimination, parents need to protect their children from harm

master_mind413's avatar

was it unfair that the child got molested

justme1's avatar

depending on age and consent possibly, if the child was like 15 or something and consented to it, it is still referred to as child molestation in that case no, a small child yes. It sucks that unfair things and there are mean people in life, however that doesn’t mean that I should have to treat people what is in my opinion unfair

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kheredia's avatar

@justme1 The problem with your logic is that you are emotionally compromised because of your situation therefore you side with the offender. Your SO is probably one of the few convicted sex offenders that was convicted unfairly but you have to put that aside and think about the others who really did commit a serious crime. In most of these cases the offender will very rarely change his habits. You have to look at it from a different point of view. If you continue to look at it as the girlfriend of someone who was convicted unfairly, then you will never understand the concern from people who are looking at it from the outside.

justme1's avatar

@kheredia I understand what you are saying, however it isn’t just him who I know that is treated unfairly due to criminal status. I wouldn’t run background checks on people, I see people discriminated against unfairly because of it a lot. I wouldn’t want to be one of those people

justme1's avatar

Beside I feel that everyone including child molesters deserves a job and a place to live. If they are a true danger to society they should never be released from prison. If they are released then they deserve the necessities needed to survive, food, job, a place to live

Haleth's avatar

@justme1 I’m actually surprised to learn that sex crimes can be expunged at all, but seven years doesn’t seem unjust. It would take the same amount of time for bankruptcy to be taken off your credit report, for example. Hell, I shoplifted when I was a stupid teenager, and that takes five years to be removed from my record. It’s reasonable to expect people to need time to change their ways. In the mean time, I’ve done whatever I can to improve my reputation- not stealing, being enrolled full time in school and getting good grades, and making sure my work performance is top notch so I stay in the same job. I have had to look a little harder for jobs that won’t mind or won’t do a background check, which usually means small and independent businesses. There are plenty of great jobs out there working for a small business. Or your boyfriend could even start his own businesses. Same with finding housing- you don’t have to lease an apartment directly, you could always sublease an apartment or rent an apartment in someone’s home. One of my favorite places I’ve ever lived was a top-floor attic that was converted into a full apartment, and since I knew my landlady it was a lot easier to take care of things than in a big apartment building. Thinking creatively and actually doing something will get you somewhere a lot faster than complaining about how unfair everything is.

kheredia's avatar

@justme1 I agree but if they have molested children in the past then they should have to live in place where there are few to no children so they are not tempted to do it again. And they should work in place where they don’t have contact with children. It’s all part of the rehabilitation. You can’t change someone over night. Again, these are the consequences to their actions.

justme1's avatar

@Haleth Yea, i have my own business. We will be ok, i don’t think an actual sex crime can be expunged, although seeing as it was an indecent exposure, it can be disputed after 7 years to be taken off or down to a misdemeanor or something like that

justme1's avatar

@kheredia Yea but what I am saying is that if they are released then they should be allowed jobs and housing, not have to worry about finding either due to background checks and stuff.

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justme1's avatar

@asmonet that wasn’t master mind who said that, he was quoting me. That is my personal opinion

kheredia's avatar

@justme1 Everybody is entitled to housing, food, and a job. But those of us who have done nothing wrong are also entitled to be aware of child molesters in our area so that we can keep our families safe. I’m not saying to let these guys live out in the streets. I’m just saying that for at least the first few years after being released they should be looked over to make sure they are rehabilitated and won’t commit these crimes again.

justme1's avatar

@kheredia Ok there are the sites that show all the sex offenders in the are ( which my SO is NOT listed on ) but all I am saying is they should be allowed to rent an apartment, the people living in the neighborhood knowing is a different story

asmonet's avatar

@justme1: I was quoting you.

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justme1's avatar

@asmonet Oh ok. just checking. I accept that most people think that, I happen to think I am very intelligent and smart.

galileogirl's avatar

Most landlords run credit checks. Does having run out on your bills make you a bad person? Shouldn’t a deadbeat get a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) chance too? After all declaring bankruptcy isn’t like you killed anyone. is it? (I always wonder why mention of criminal activity always jumps immediately to pedophilia when it’s such a rare crime compared to other felonies)

Listen, guys, a landlord is a businessman. He just wants to make a good living with the least risk. That’s why he may choose not to rent his studio apt to an unemployed person, a bank robber, six college roommates, a family of 8 or a 17 yo. It’s not unfair discrimination, it’s being discriminating-a good thing.

asmonet's avatar

…You accept that?

Wow. Well, good for you then, I suppose.

kheredia's avatar

@justme1 You’re right. They should be able to rent an apartment. But in that case I think the landlord would have to make the decision that he or she considers to be appropriate. If the landlord decides that there are too many children in the complex and doesn’t want to put them at risk then he or she has every right to deny them. If the complex is mainly adults and the landlord considers that it would be okay to rent them an apartment then that is also up to them. Either way I think it is the landlords responsibility to do what he or she considers best in this situation.

Grisaille's avatar

I haven’t read all the responses, but I assume there’s a whole bunch bullshit being flung about, venom being spit, etc. Whatever.

No, it isn’t discrimination. Why would it be?

As an owner of a building – if you wanted to promote a clean, friendly and safe environment – wouldn’t you do your darndest to make sure you don’t accidentally rent an apartment to a child rapist?

This question is absurd.

Grisaille's avatar

@jca “if i’m not mistaken, are you the person that posted the question a few months ago about having your boyfriend, a convicted sex offender, move in with you, without the permission of the landlord? is this what your question refers to? because you won’t have much sympathy if that is what you are asking.”

Ooooooooooooooh.

Hahahahahaha

asmonet's avatar

^Lurve.

chelseababyy's avatar

Sure, it may be shitty to have to register as a sex offender because of indecent exposure, but that’ll teach you not to pee in public.

“Do you think it is not fair to not give a person a chance due to their past mistakes or things that they have done in the past that they obviously cannot change now?”

If you have made stupid mistakes in the past, well, you’re going to have to live with the consequences. End of story.

Fernspider's avatar

This is ridiculous… saying it over and over again isn’t going to change the fact that people deserve to be safe.

Who knows, your bf may be the exception but that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangerous predators out there that people need to know about.

justme1's avatar

Ok here is one then. My earlier comment was based on the laws about if you rent to someone who is a criminal and you ran the back ground check you can be held liable for their actions.
It should be that you can run the background check, only to know who you are renting to, not to discriminate, and you are not liable for any of their actions. You tell them I am going to rent to you, but I am going to run this check in order to know who you are, that way the offenders are living somewhere people know about rather than in the park next to your house where you don’t know about them

chelseababyy's avatar

“Beside I feel that everyone including child molesters deserves a job and a place to live. If they are a true danger to society they should never be released from prison. If they are released then they deserve the necessities needed to survive, food, job, a place to live”

Well then, why don’t YOU live next to them when you have a family and children, eh? Better yet, if you feel that they should have a place to live and a job, let them rent a room in your place, and nanny your children!

justme1's avatar

I would and if i had a place to rent, and I knew of someone even a child molester who needed a place to live. I would rent to them, that way people know where they are, if they can’t rent an apartment or get a job, they have to sleep somewhere which is in a park or woods, or somewhere that could be near your place. Also what about all the sex offenders they don’t know about, I bet there are sex offenders unknown about with no record because no one knows in all apartment complexes, so they are already renting to sex offenders.

chelseababyy's avatar

I’m sorry but that’s just sickening. Why would you want someone who has molested a child or who has done whatever in your own home? That’s just asking to get raped and maybe even killed. I’m honestly sorry that you think that way because I know that 99% of people in the Fluther community would never ever do something like that. You’re so willing to put yourself, and others at danger, which ultimately makes you a danger to society.

justme1's avatar

I am going to try to explain this so that it is understood. We as a society cannot allow the majority of child molesters or sex offenders not to have a place to live that is stable, because if they don’t have a stable residence then they move around, and we have no way of keeping tabs of them. And therefore are creating a society where it is dangerous to walk through the park.(hypothetically)—because somebody has done a background check and found that John Doe who applied for an apartment was a convicted sex offender, and was denied a place to live. So he slept in a neighborhood park, could be in your neighborhood, but nobody knows he is there because since he has no stable address he cannot register. One day a little girl comes up missing in that neighborhood, so they pull up the registry and there are no REGISTERED sex offenders in that neighborhood, and John Doe is no longer at the park. All this could have been prevented by not discriminating against John Doe and instead renting to him and notifying his P.O. of his residence and request that he is watched closely. In this scenario if the girl had come up missing, at least they would have had an idea of where to start looking. They got to live somewhere, I would like to know where that is.

PS : I didn’t say in MY home, I said if i had a place to rent.

oratio's avatar

Even though some statements you’ve made seem a bit odd, misguided even, I think you have a point, and you raise a question about an important issue. Some of the comments made in this thread are not very pertinent either.

seeing_red's avatar

@chelseababyy You can speak for 99% of the fluther community? You don’t even know 99% of the fluther community. It always works best when one speaks for themselves rather than trying to state they know exactly what 99% of the people around them know.

People, even sex offenders, deserve a second chance. Would I want to live right next to one? I’m not sure, but that would be my choice, as long as I knew the person was living there. People need help with their mistakes. We can’t just throw them out on the street and spit on them as if they’re trash. This idea of them being less of a human deserving respect simply based on a mistake (albeit a horrible one) is absurd. Before anyone tries to say I would feel differently if my child was molested or if I had been, etc., let me make it very clear that I do have experience with this. I do lobby against the death penalty and harsh sentences for crimes that I feel do not deserve the long sentence, such as the drug trafficking laws. We’re too quick to judge people. Who knows how many of these supposed sex offenders, rapists, murderers are actually guilty.

belakyre's avatar

I don’t think that this should be concrete absolute yes or no, but if you ask me, I would say that if the person was willing to change, then let him in. If the person isn’t going to change or shows no signs of it, then give him/her some more time.

jca's avatar

@justme1 : you keep saying that sex offenders and criminals would be living in the streets, the park, homeless. that’s not true. many privately owned multi-family homes don’t run any kind of check on the renters – they just go by how the person seems when they meet each other. if what you’re saying is true, then all of the criminals and convicted sex offenders would be homeless, and they’re not.

you also keep saying that you would not run criminal background checks on potential renters, even if you had a child (it’s very hard to predict how you would act if you had a child, believe me, once you have one it totally changes your outlook in ways you cannot predict or imagine). maybe you should own an apartment complex and advertise “Criminals and/or Convicted Sex Offenders Welcome. We don’t discriminate against anyone!””

Kayak8's avatar

I have been a landlord and DID run criminal background checks on potential tenants. I have also rented in the past and have had criminal background checks run on me. I would prefer to live in an apartment knowing that the OTHER tenants had passed background checks as well. These are some of the minor consequences of criminal behavior (not getting the apartment you want).

I am more curious that many employers and landlords would run background checks on potential employees and tenants, respectively, but most of us would never think to run a criminal background check on someone we were thinking about dating (inherently a more vulnerable relationship). I am getting to where I want a relationship resume complete with references and I may have to add the background check thing to my list! LOL

laureth's avatar

@justme1 – you say that landlords shouldn’t do background checks because children live in the complex, and that it’s the parents’ job instead to make sure their children are safe. But what if the parents purposely live in a complex where background checks are done as their method of keeping their children (relatively) safe? Your boyfriend might be the best, most upstanding, least harmful sex offender in the world, but not all sex offenders are like your boyfriend.

laureth's avatar

@DrBill – I just did a text search of the PATRIOT Act for the word “sex,” none found. Can you provide a link? (Here’s a PDF of the Act.)

justme1's avatar

@laureth Why don’t you respond to my previous post right above Oratio?

avvooooooo's avatar

@jca You are absolutely correct with your identification. Good job.

@justme1 Your parenting notions, as well as your opinions on sex offenders, neither of which are in line with reality, are noted.

justme1's avatar

@jca that is a very good idea, then as previously stated we would know where all the rapists are and stuff. Please read post above Oratio, otherwise I feel like you are just picking at me for my beliefs.

chelseababyy's avatar

@seeing_red I’m saying that 99% wouldn’t want to have a child molester living with them. I’m not saying that these people don’t deserve a place to live, I’m saying that I think that it’s good that background checks are done. I’m also saying that I would not want to live near or with these type of people. Sure you’re right, how many of them are guilty. However I’m not taking chances.

master_mind413's avatar

I cant believe that got deleted there was nothing there that was offensive

chelseababyy's avatar

@master_mind413 Someone probably got all butthurt and flagged you.

avvooooooo's avatar

@justme1 You seem to have several ideas about sex offenders that are not correct. First, they are required to register their address and their change of address. Most are not lost track of because if they are, they run the risk of legal repercussions when the authorities figure it out, as you well know. Another thing about sex offenders is that any registry check site like this one list offenses. Anyone checking the database can learn whether someone is on the registry for indecent exposure, sex with a minor, child molestation, child exploitation, or any other offense.

It doesn’t take much time at all to check the details and if someone were up front about being on the registry, why, and provided a print out from an official sex offender registry site that stated their crime, then it likely would not be a problem if someone was convicted of one of the lesser offenses. If someone were on the registry, taking such a printout to verify that the offense was minor to be up front and honest about their status while applying for housing or a job might be helpful. But if people find out later that someone was dishonest about it, then the have every right to fire, evict, or whatever. If a person is dishonest about their past activity, who says they’re being honest about current and future activity?

Child molesters, to this point in time, are almost impossible to rehabilitate. It is the general consensus of the mental health community that you can work with these people to try and keep them from offending again, but that it is absolutely impossible to say that they will not do it in the future. Sex offenders in general can be a danger to society even if they have been released from jail because of the extreme difficulty of rehabilitating them. It makes sense to take general precautions, including background checks, when dealing with people. But it makes even more sense when potentially dealing the sex offenders and exponentially more sense when it comes to dealing with people who choose victims who cannot defend themselves.

If people choose to keep themselves and others safe by running background checks, they are completely within their rights to do so. You might see refusing to rent to a child molester as discrimination, but most people see it as due caution in an area where there are children who might become victimized. There are areas where people can live, I know of several, where there is not a large population of kids. But if you go into a “family” neighborhood or apartment complex looking to rent with a record, the landlords have a right to try and protect people.

What it all boils down to is this. Not all people with criminal backgrounds are harmless or rehabilitated. Not all people on the sex offender registry are harmless or rehabilitated. People have a right, and even an obligation, to protect themselves and others. This includes running background checks in order to do so. You might not think it makes sense and is unnecessarily discriminatory, but it makes perfect sense to a great many people.

Forgive me for saying, but you seem to be one of those people who gets an idea in her head and nothing in the world can move it or convince you that it might be wrong. Because you have something, its something you believe and nothing’s going to change it and you can’t make me change my mind! Perhaps taking other people’s words and thoughts into consideration might be beneficial.

justme1's avatar

@avvooooooo First of all you are incorrect, we just ran my husband’s name and address and it says NOTHING about him. Although for a fact he is registered.

I hope that the aprtments you are in or are NEAR you don’t run the background checks so that the people have a stable REGISTERED address, instead of a registered address that is not stable, in a homeless case sure they can register their address, that doesnt mean that is where they will always be. They MOVE around, and make the parks and local neighborhoods where they sleep unsafe for children in that case. Sure there are places that allow them, however those places have waiting lists or the offenders can’t find them, then while they are waiting or not knowing where to live, they live in a park, possibly near any one of your houses, and go ahead and read my full answer right above oratio, the hypothetical. Looks like only one person here understands my point.

@master_mind413 Yes you were offensive, insulting me or where I grew up, bringing my family into it.

Maybe not all of them are homeless, but I guess you guys are ok with the ones that ARE HOMELESS living in neighborhood parks and possibly near your homes???

galileogirl's avatar

Back to the job part of the question, honestly @justme1, you would hire a convicted thief to handle the money in your business or want an arsonist on the fire department?

avvooooooo's avatar

@justme1 I’m not sure why he isn’t listed, but he should be. That is just one website, there are others.

I do not currently live in apartments. However, I’ve lived in a few different ones. One was a complex that had no children and was basically full of college kids. That is an example of a place where a child molester would be able to live that is more safe than another that I’ve lived in that had playground equipment and other attractions for families with children. There are places where these people can live, they are not hard to find. There are also places like halfway houses where people can live while they search.

The main thing is that people are honest. Your previous questions show that you don’t wish to be honest about your finance’s status. That its left to the potential landlord or employer to find out through a background check what they could have been told up front is what makes it more difficult to find housing or employment.

I did read your full answer. It doesn’t change anything. People understand your point as you’re trying to make it. The problem with it is that it is not in touch with reality nor does it make sense. I have a feeling that I am far more familiar with the issues of homelessness than you are, your ideas about what happens when people are released are also lacking in actual knowledge. You’re assuming a lot about what actually happens to/with people that doesn’t actually happen. People can find places to live, parole officers and other people in the system help with that kind of thing, but it requires honesty.

Kayak8's avatar

People who get into car accidents see their insurance premiums go up or cancelled altogether (e.g., drunk driving). We have already heard about the consequences of bankruptcy (above). In the spirit of creating a level playing field for the honest and upstanding, laws have been written that offer specific consequences for specific behaviors.

As individuals, we have choices—we can follow the rules or suffer the consequences. In some parts of the world, the consequences are even more drastic than they are in the states (e.g., cutting off the hand of a thief). Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time AND any of the other KNOWN consequences of your behavior.

I am usually a bleeding heart liberal on most topics, but folks who somehow think it is OK to even remotely put children in ANY kind of danger don’t make any sense to me at all. The kids are the ones who get the consequences of adults’ behaviors through NO fault of their own—that’s why laws are designed to protect them.

Val123's avatar

Absolutely it’s fair. Everyone has the right to live in a place that they can feel secure and comfortable in. The “rights” of criminals do not supersede those of the rest of the world.

justme1's avatar

I know the laws are designed to protect children, if you read my post above it explains how the background check actually can very easily endanger children more so though.

laureth's avatar

@justme1 – It’s not like they’re not allowed to live anywhere. It’s not like every single place kicks them out. They can live places. Just not where the landlord says no.

avvooooooo's avatar

@justme1 If you would read my post above, you would know you need to learn some more about what happens when these people are released before saying that you know that children would be more endangered.

Val123's avatar

@justme1 “The kids are more endangered by a back ground check?” I don’t follow the reasoning….

asmonet's avatar

@justme1: Go to your states registry, not one of the private wesbites. If your husband isn’t listed there – he isn’t registered and he is breaking the law. Period.

In looking up my own states website I ran a check for offenders in my zip code – I live and work within the same 5 mile radius. I just found out one of my bosses – well, a boss of a boss who frequently works within ten feet of me is a registered sex offender. Listed as violent, and also has failed to register in the past. That tells me he’s not doing his best to be honest and follow the law. I do not trust him.

I never have really. There’s a lot of talk about how pervy and creepy he is. This isn’t much of a surprise. I don’t know what I’ll do if anything with this knowledge. At best I’m disturbed and not that jazzed about going in to work tomorrow.

But, would I rather not know?

FUCK NO. I’m much better off knowing.

My states website is http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov – Google ‘YOURSTATE Sex Offender Registry’ for your husband.

DrBill's avatar

@laureth

The patriot act says I cannot rent to an illegal alien.

The sex offender falls under Illinois law, stating I cannot rent to a sex offender if the house is within 500 yards of a church, school, playground, daycare, etc.

master_mind413's avatar

I was just breaking down the fact that if your raised in an abusive household you have more of a chance of being abusive when you raise a family you just pass on that great knowledge of abuse to another generation , because that is how all family’s should be raised right ?

it is a proven fact that sexual abuse is also passed down if you were sexually abused then you are more likely to sexually abuse yourself if you don’t believe me ask your psychologist because I am almost positive there is one

your opinions and beliefs have led me to the conclusion that your delusion of the world is more psychological then anything else because of scientific research and psychological classes ” I have taken” im also automatically led to believe it is more then likely because the fact your significant other is 45 and you are only 19 the chances are you were raised in an abusive household “sexual or not without actually talking to you I cant assume” which has led you to the delusion and opinion you hold that is so different from society’s view

the fact is what you think and believe is positively absurd that we as a society don’t have a right to protect ourselves from people that are a danger, it will never happen and will never fly,

my last comment on this subject because the fact is you are a lost cause if you don’t see the reality here I have a firm belief that you will more then likely end up in prison in the near future and to be honest i think thats were you belong

I also believe in population control some people just shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce

laureth's avatar

@DrBill – okay thanks, I must have misunderstood your quip.

justme1's avatar

@asmonet You are most certainly Incorrect on that. I am HOLDING a copy of his up to date registration paper in my hand right now. I am also on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Web Page, and typed in our address and he is not there!!

I also went to the Statewide registry page and in the search part put in his social, here was what it says “A search of the Statewide Registry has not produced any information that is available to the public through the Statewide Registry. ” Also ran his name and it is not there.

but when we get pulled over by the cops and they run his name, they know who he is and about his indecent exposure.

@Val123 Seeing as I guess no one here will listen to me and read my previous post above Oratio I will quote it here so you all can see it.

“I am going to try to explain this so that it is understood. We as a society cannot allow the majority of child molesters or sex offenders not to have a place to live that is stable, because if they don’t have a stable residence then they move around, and we have no way of keeping tabs of them. And therefore are creating a society where it is dangerous to walk through the park.(hypothetically)—because somebody has done a background check and found that John Doe who applied for an apartment was a convicted sex offender, and was denied a place to live. So he slept in a neighborhood park, could be in your neighborhood, but nobody knows he is there because since he has no stable address he cannot register. One day a little girl comes up missing in that neighborhood, so they pull up the registry and there are no REGISTERED sex offenders in that neighborhood, and John Doe is no longer at the park. All this could have been prevented by not discriminating against John Doe and instead renting to him and notifying his P.O. of his residence and request that he is watched closely. In this scenario if the girl had come up missing, at least they would have had an idea of where to start looking. They got to live somewhere, I would like to know where that is.”
That is how children are in danger by being denied apartments.

@master mind There you go personally attacking me again. i was not raised in an abusive household. You don’t know me, I am probably one of the last people who would end up in prison. Also you don’t know mine and my SO’s story, so you have no room to judge there. We will make wonderful children and raise them in one of the most loving best houses they could possibly raise them, so although maybe some people shouldn’t reproduce, we are not any of those people.

@avvooooooooo I also stated we found a great condo. We were honest with an apartment up front before, you know what happened, we got denied. I wish honesty actually worked, but it doesn’t. i know people who have been homeless before, a couple of friends of mine, so I do know about it. I have also checked too many of those sites, he isn’t there and like i stated at the bginning of this post, I am HOLDING a copy of his current registration paper

avvooooooo's avatar

@justme1 Repeating yourself does not make you any more right. I have pointed out to you that you are mistaken about what happens when people get out of jail. Instead of remedying your ignorance, you repeat yourself. That does not improve what you say, nor will it make a point that makes no sense into one that does.

I don’t know what’s going on with the sites you’re trying. I’m not responsible for those sites and their content. As a registered sex offender, he should be listed. But as I said, I have no control over those sites and what information they may or may not contain, I only know what they should.

Your possession of marijuana is probably what will land you in jail. If pot is part of your future plans, no. No, you will not be a good parent and you should not reproduce.

Val123's avatar

Back to square one. What “sex crime” has your acquaintance been convicted of?

avvooooooo's avatar

@Val123 Purportedly, indecent exposure for peeing behind a bar.

justme1's avatar

@Val123 Not a “sex” crime, peeing behind a bar.

@avvooooooo Sorry to tell you, you are wrong again i have a medical card. I also was reposting that in response to Val asking me for an explanation as to what I was saying, although there are also places for sex offenders to go there aren’t enough and a lot of them end up homeless in a public park due to numerous denials.

Tell us what happens when people get out of jail, please elaborate on it for us, obviously you have lots of knowledge and we are curious to hear.

Val123's avatar

..Uhhh….say what? Peeing behind a bar? That’s alll?! I mean, that’s gross and unutterably tacky, I don’t care how drunk you are, but not what I would consider a “sex offense”

justme2's avatar

@Val123 yes your right very low class im a sloppy drunk so i dont drink at all now. I am justme1’s husband and it was very tacky but in no way sexually motivated i just had to pee.

Kayak8's avatar

The Nevada search site is at http://www.nvsexoffenders.gov/Search.aspx

What happens if you put in your previous zip code? If he owns a vehicle in his name, what happens if you put in his license plate?

If nothing comes up, I would consider him lucky and leave it alone. A real police background check should turn it up, but if the landlord (or employer) uses this site, he may pass under the radar. It is cheaper to use a site like this (free) than to pay to run a real background check (about $35 in Ohio if you get the national check).

justme2's avatar

@Kayak8 believe me i have checked every registry thats free that i can find and i dont show up i must go in yearly for my annual verification and inform them within 48 hrs. after i move. i went to prison for 15 months for failure to register as a sex offender. i refused to register as a sex offender because what happened had nothing to do with sex. the judge changed my mind with that sentence. so now i register although i still feel the same. im sure if i use one of the pay site i would find myself, but i dont need too i already know

p.s. please excuse me for not using proper punctuation and caps ill try to keep my posts fairly short and to the point if i can

asmonet's avatar

Personally, I think both of your accounts are the same person. No 45 year old man should type like you.

proXXi's avatar

sockpuppetry?

justme2's avatar

@asmonet ok i just said that apologize for my typing and the first thing you do is say something about it so OUR conversation is done for the night i will not respond to your post any more this evening.

asmonet's avatar

@justme2: Aren’t we in a huff?

And you will be on your state’s registry website – which is free by law. If you aren’t you need to contact them.

Leanne1986's avatar

@justme1 I work with children. Part of my job is hiring other people to coach children (as young as 2 and 3 years old) in a number of different sports including swimming, trampolining, football etc. Do you honestly think I shouldn’t do a background check before hiring someone to work with these children? Do you really think I should take the risk and give a convicted sex offender a job working with children wearing very little in a swimming pool?

If your answer is yes to either of these questions you should never, ever, EVER reproduce and be responsible for the care of child.

justme1's avatar

@Leanne1986 I am talking about jobs like working in a walmart or something.

However if all it shows is sex offender, I would look into it. Or it should say on the check what it was for. Sex offenders now a days are too broad, range from rapist, to child sending what is said to be in appropriate pics to another or adult.

I read somewhere once that like 90 something % of registered sex offenders are not crimes against children, they are like indecent exposure, or 19 and 16

Leanne1986's avatar

@justme1 It’s the same thing though. Would you hire someone to work with money if they had been a convicted theif? They have to handle money at Walmart. Nearly every company would need to do a background check to protect themselves from whatever it is that makes them vulnerable. Maybe if they were going for a job that didn’t deal with people, money or animals they wouldn’t need a a background check but they’re aren’t many jobs like that.

justme1's avatar

@Leanne1986 A convicted thief, yes would need to be watched closesly.I have known people who used to shoplift a lot, and do things like that for survival. They don’t do it anymore and I don’t believe should stop them from getting a job now

justme1's avatar

Also in that little area on an app that asks about your history, honestly in most all cases will get you hired by me, unfortunately not most people

Leanne1986's avatar

@justme1 For all the people who “don’t do it anymore” there are many, many that still do. I wouldn’t be willing to take that chance if I was hiring someone. It’s all very well blaming society for being unfair to these people but everyone has the right to survive and if that means not hiring someone who could potentially steal from them, regardless of the reasons why they have a criminal record – ie: they did it for survival like the people you know, then I fully support their right to do it.

If you are going to commit a crime you need to respect the fact that if you get caught there will be consequences that may possibily haunt you for the rest of yur life. My advise would be, don’t get caught but if you are stupid enough to get caught then that’s your own dumbass fault! Too many people nowadays blame society for their actions and it’s getting boring.

justme1's avatar

@Leanne1986 That is fine, however anyone could potentially steal, not just the ones who have already done their time for whatever their crime was.

Leanne1986's avatar

Very true but at least employers can attempt to reduce the chances of being stolen from by not hiring someone that was stupid enough to get caught leaving themselves with a criminal record. It’s like keeping yourself safe when driving – you take precautions by driving safely and within the law but that doesn’t mean that there is no chance of some idiot tailgating you and then possibly crashing into your behind if you have to stop. Does this mean that you don’t drive safely yourself because hey, someone could still hit you from the backside regardless of how safe you are? No.

justme1's avatar

@Leanne1986 true. I am sorry I just believe in that in most cases it is unfair discrimination, and with the actual sex offenders I believe apartments doing it actually endangers children more than letting them have a place to live that they HAVE to register at in order to live there.

Leanne1986's avatar

@justme1 You are entitled to your beliefs but you should also realise that things aren’t always that straight forward and you need to look at it from everyones point of view not just the person that you feel is being unfairly treated. Personally, having been a victim of sexual abuse in my own childhood, I would never be happy living close to someone who was a convicted sex offender regardless of whether or not I had children. I need to know that the law is at least making the effort to protect me and those close to me and if that means that someone is treated unfairly in your eyes because of something they did in the past then so be it. I have lived in fear too long so the fact that these checks do take place puts my mind at a small amount of ease.

justme1's avatar

@Leanne1986 Well I am happy that it puts you at some ease. It isn’t just the unfairness, I think that children should also be safe in public and our public parks…..which if they register a homeless address they move around, could be sleeping in any park, anywhere. If they are in a home or an apt that is stable and more easy to find them if a situation arrises that they need to investigate the neighborhood

Leanne1986's avatar

@justme1 If the sex offensive was enough for the criminal to be sentanced to time in prison then (unlike you boyfriend’s who’s offense wasn’t really a risk to anyone), upon their release, they are found homes that they can go to that helps to keep them away from children thus keeping the children and the convicted criminal safe. They aren’t just released back into society without at least some help to keep them on the straight and narrow and let’s be honest, allowing them to live close to children is not helping the criminal at all.

Kayak8's avatar

There will always be homeless people and, logically, some of them will be sex offenders. Making a link between sex offenders and homelessness is like the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster making the link between global warming and the reduction of pirates in the world (e.g., as global warming has increased, the number of pirates has gone down, but they are NOT necessarily related conditions).

jca's avatar

@ You continue talking as if all sex offenders are homeless and all apartments do background checks that eliminate sex offenders. there are many places that don’t do background checks and most sex offenders have homes. Why do you keep talking as if every park has a sex offender living in it? i think also that people on probation or parole are mandated to have legitimate addresses (even if it means a homeless shelter) so that thows your theory right out the window.

justme1's avatar

@Kayak8 I am not necessarily saying that all homeless are sex offenders, I am saying that the sex offenders who can’t get a place become homeless and are less easy to track. In no way would I ever see a homless person and automatically think sex offender, sorry if it came off that way.

@jca no im not, read what I say please. I am talking about the offenders who cant find a place and no one knows where they are at any time, could be sleeping in a neighborhood park, and go ahead and think that all you want to. Truth is that the sex offender population keep going up, and what about the ones filling up the shelters are the ones that aren’t rapists or real molesters, then the actual rapists and molesters are homeless and have to find somewhere to sleep, I would think peope would rather that be a place where they can track them

Jeruba's avatar

If you look at the registry of sex offenders you can see that most of them have listed addresses. That strongly implies that someone is renting to them. If some people don’t, so what? How many apartments does one person need?

justme1's avatar

@Jeruba Of course it is listed if they are registered, a homeless registered address could be a lie though, or the tree at the park. Also what about the ones that because they are homeless move around, and don’t register because they have no stable address??

jca's avatar

what about ones like your boyfriend/fiance/husband who are living with someone else (in your bf’s case, living with you) and maybe not on that person’s lease, just “staying” with them, therefore, address is not registered, and most people don’t know the person lives there.

despite many people telling you otherwise, you persist with your opinions. i find it unfortunate that you are so young and yet so mixed up.

justme1's avatar

Didn’t I previously state in this thread that we found a condo by a private owner, we are both on the lease. even when he wasn’t on the lease in a previous place, he was still registered. it didnt matter because no one knew because he isn’t listed on any of the sites, because he isn’ even a tear level, what he did was in no way an actual sex crime

Fernspider's avatar

@justme1 – Perhaps you should be rallying against the law to which your partner is classified as a sex offender as a result of an episode of seemingly harmless peeing instead of rallying against background checks…

jca's avatar

you did mention living in a condo, you DID NOT state anything about the lease.

The question is “Do you think….” and yet everyone here that has stated their opinion you have argued with. why ask a question if you are just looking for a soapbox to state your opinion? if you don’t want people’s opinions, don’t ask.

justme1's avatar

I stated that we are in a condo that is owned by a private owner, in other words, no checks

I didn’t, I answered questions and with a lot except a couple of them I discussed, and if you are here to try to start an argument please leave me alone.

justme1's avatar

@Rachienz I rally against that also, but unfortunately we have to wait a few years before it can legaly be petitioned against. I am against background checks for other reasons also….....

asmonet's avatar

@justme1: Some ‘private owners’ run background checks. You got a lazy one. Good for you. Just because it’s a private owner it does not tell anyone that you didn’t go through a background check.

jca's avatar

@justme1 in addition to what @asmonet said, just because it’s a private owner of a condo does not mean you don’t have a lease with them, and does not mean you’re not paying by check. in fact, the owner and the renter should prefer check because the check is in itself a receipt that the rent was paid. so please don’t cop an attitude about that you stated there was a lease when all you stated was that you rent a condo from the owner.

chelseababyy's avatar

@justme1 Are you an idiot? Do you not think that there are private owners that do background checks? You are sadly mistaken.

I’m with @jca on what they just said. You don’t really care what we say or think because you’re going to find a way to disagree with us. All you care about is your own opinion and ours never really mattered.

justme1's avatar

here it is people. We found a condo for rent by a fair private owner, who knew we were good people and good tenants for him when he met us. Sure some do run background checks, but not him. We do have a 1 year lease with him, and are both on it.

Now unless you people have something nice to say to me, please quit trying to antagonize me.

@jca i meant we didn’t do a background check, not that we are not paying by check, had nothing to do with payment.

Response moderated
laureth's avatar

Disagreeing with someone is not necessarily the same as trying to antagonize them.

chelseababyy's avatar

“Now unless you people have something nice to say to me, please quit trying to antagonize me.”

Well maybe if you didn’t shoot down everything that anyone has said to you, you would have a better chance at getting us to understand. Probably not likely, but we’d be a bit nicer. However like I have said, you don’t give a damn about what we think. It’s as if you did this for some unknown reason, just to complain or bitch or whatever. We’re giving you our point of view, and you don’t even care. So how about stop complaining about us giving our opinions, because that IS what you asked for, isn’t it?

avvooooooo's avatar

Its the “This is what I think and nothing’s going to change it.” attitude that people object to. Instead of shooting down everything everyone says as not true, not applicable, or whatever other justification you have for ignoring it, perhaps it might be good to listen to people.

Several people have told you the same thing that I did. That sex offenders aren’t just let out onto the street, they’re not populating our parks all over the place. How many people have to tell you something before you decide that there might be something to it?

Poser's avatar

If I invested my money into a property or business, it would be perfectly within my legal, moral and ethical rights to research potential tenents and employess to protect my investment. Society doesn’t owe anyone a second chance. Is that fair? I learned that life isn’t fair when I was a toddler. Sorry your parents never taught you. Time to grow up.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Flame off folks.

justme2's avatar

i’ve pretty much kept my mouth shut and just listened to everyone in this thread. First just so it is clear on August 3rd 2005, i a convicted sex offender was released from the Northern Nevada Correctional Center ( that is one of Nevada’s prisons in Carson City) I got in a van that morning and taken 8 blocks away and dropped off. i expired my sentence which means i had no parole. i was told that i had 48 hrs to register and since thats what i was sent to prison for (not registering) so i went down and registered right away. I’m not a fast learner but i do learn lol

anyway that was it and i am sent an annual verification which I HAND DELIVER as to get proof that i am registered.

its true that some sex offenders have certain conditions placed on them as conditions of their release, but many like myself choose not to except there parole and expire there sentences so as to not go through the parole process. when they expire there sentence they are free to go. now of course the higher tier level there crime is the more restrictions are put on them.

there were 3 vans that morning with maybe 10 guys in each. of those 30 men, i know 3 were sex offenders and we we all just dropped off and have a nice day.

a lot of people do have family and friends they can live with but many dont and a lot of times are refused rentals, there are many that are homeless. some do still register when they are homeless and you can see them on the sites as registered but most of the time they will stay in the same place only a few days.

i think it is important for people to know who is living around them and back ground checks do have a good purpose. it is important to protect our children and you do have to know of a danger in order to protect against it. i don’t believe it is right to deny a person the basic necessity of a residence based on past deeds for which the sentence was served. it’s very difficult to re-enter society after leaving prison it shouldnt be a major hurdle to find a place to live

justme2's avatar

@Poser you are most definitely right society doesn’t owe anyone a second chance, but as a society we owe it to ourselves to try and fit them into society and let them rebuild there lives or as we all know they will continue to offend. once an offender is released back into society they will either make or return to the life they were living. i would much rather see them become productive parts of society than return to crime. so i would give a person a second chance but i would watch them real close

Poser's avatar

@justme2 Perhaps “society” owes them that, but society shall not force on me, a business owner, the responsibility for rehabilitating those individuals at a risk to my livelihood.

justme2's avatar

@Poser i would think the true risk to your livelihood would be un-rehabilitated criminals running around. i too am a business owner and am very careful with everyone that works there but if a person needs a job and wants to work who am i to deny them a chance. and again i said that society does NOT owe them that, but it is in society’s best interest

Dr_C's avatar

So provide sex offenders with a stable residence so they won’t move around and become predatory.. since when is prison not a stable residence? (moving around problem solved no?).
This may seem a bit flippant… but this question is based on a biased view from someone who asks for opinions and then does their best to refute them with ill-conceived and misguided arguments with little or no regard to social consciousness or child safety in the interest of not having a hard time finding a lace to live. (They should have a hard time finding a place… why make it easy for them? I’m not saying make it impossible.. but it’s hard enough to find a decent space without a criminal record)

Edit: @Grisaille called this question absurd… i counter with “preposterous”

Poser's avatar

@justme2 I never asked for the responsibility of rehabilitating criminals. If I start a business, I do it for the sole purpose of making a profit. Hiring and boarding known deadbeats is counter-productive to that. Your willingness to force business owners to do your will is evidence of the selfish sense of entitlement that is ruining society today.

Kayak8's avatar

OK, it was a three part question and all three parts have been answered by any number of flutherites . . .

“1 Is it discrimination?” Yes it is legal discrimination based on the behavior of the person being discriminated against.

“2. Is it fair that our past deeds might come back to haunt is in the future?” Not only is it fair, it’s life. That is how life works. It is unfortunate that our brains don’t learn to handle impulse control until after we have reached the age of majority in many states, but that’s how the law is set up. (By the way, life often is NOT fair).

“3. Is it fair that it is impossible for them to find a place to live?” This is a single question with two variables which is causing a lot of confusion.

A) Is it fair that one of the consequences of being a sex offender and having to register may make it difficult to find a place to live? It would appear that many of us do not have a problem with sex offenders having to register and allowing the general public to see the registry so that we can make appropriate choices for ourselves and our families. Any consequences are being born by the offenders. You are trying to imply that society (we) also have consequences due to the registry but you have not been compelling in your arguements that society suffers because people who break the law have consequences.

B) Is it impossible for them to find places to live? It is not clear that this is even a true statement. Were people homeless, then offended, then were homeless again after serving their time OR are otherwise fine, upstanding sex offenders now homeless because of their offense?

To hear your responses to the comments offered on this site, I would be led to believe that there are a plethora of sex offenders lurking in the woods near my home. From this question, I have learned to be sure to check the registry and to avoid places where the homeless lurk.

The law also allows for correction of mistakes (the bankruptcy falls off your record after seven years). Similarly, there is a possibility that the offense of peeing behind a bar may be expunged based on circumstances. For serious crimes, the record likely can’t be expunged, So for some period of time, there will be consequences resulting from poor judgement—we all have this type of consequence in our lives. It is how we learn to do things differently the next time.

Val123's avatar

@justme, you said, “risk to your livelihood would be un-rehabilitated criminals running around.”..... Urm…aren’t they supposed to be “rehabilitated” when they get out of prison? If they aren’t then that pretty much answers all the questions.

BTW, as to your SO, he doesn’t sound like any particular “threat” unless he’s been drinking….and that fits a large part of our population! So I think it’s safe to assume that the answers being given, are given in the context of true predators and felons….the majority of which never do change….the majority end up back in prison for the rest of their lives, but not until they’ve been let out once and then killed or raped someone again..

philosopher's avatar

Companies have the right to do back round checks on possible employees . Landlords have the tight as well.

life_after_2012's avatar

people can change and everyone deserves a second chance, but if i owned a collections agency and i hired a guy who committed credit fraud years ago – i would still want to know – i think my clients would have a right know aswell

galileogirl's avatar

@life_after_2012 When someone commits credit fraud, I’m all for giving him a second chance but maybe as a butcher, baker or candlestick maker, not in the credit industry. The temptation might be too great.

life_after_2012's avatar

i agree, and thats is my point – just didnt word it correctly – if i found out later i would fire him and he could still get uneploymnt -

rahm_sahriv's avatar

No, I don’t think it is discrimination, in fact I think landlords and employers should ALWAYS do background checks to know what they are dealing with. Sure, there is your occasional person who messes up once and then tries to abide by the law, but the majority of time, the person will go back to their unlawful ways.

As for those who get labeled a sex offender because they whipped out their dick in public, well, they got what they deserved. It belonged in their pants. For 18 and 19 year olds who get with a 17 year old or younger, they should have followed the law. Tough.

plethora's avatar

Yes…it discriminates against the criminals

MissA's avatar

Someone got mixed up here!!!

There was Justme1, Justus2 and now, Justme2.

Somebody needs to get their stories straight.
There also seems to be some confusion regarding wife, husband and girl/boyfriend.

Jesus, Jerry and Josephine.

Nullo's avatar

I’m gonna say that discrimination isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Gardens, for instance, are the product of very positive sort of discrimination on the part of the gardener.

laureth's avatar

@Nullo – it tends to depend on the criteria one uses when discriminating, eh?

Nullo's avatar

@laureth Perhaps, though there’s a hefty amount of PeaSea involved in the more common renditions.
People tend want to use terms like “discrimination” to frighten others into doing what they want. I see a poor little word that’s being abused by these heartless monsters, and now and then want to point out that they’re words, not crowbars.
I have a similar rant about the way that people try to use accusations of racism to beat their opponents into silence. Even when the accusation makes no sense, as with Islam.

laureth's avatar

Fair enough. If you’re discriminating for something useful (like a better tomato), it’s a good thing, but if the quality makes no sense (I don’t want to rent to [ethnic group]), it may not. Clearly both are discrimination. But the language changes, and the term has taken a PC turn. The Swastika was also an ancient religious symbol, but nobody really sees it as anything more than a Nazi icon nowadays – the meaning changed. Perhaps “discrimination” is changing, too.

FR07en's avatar

There is a law, though not specifically cited in any law texts in the US as such that most people can agree upon exists: “guilt by association.” If you have a car insurance policy, in most instances, if not all, you will find that once that insurance company is made aware of anyone who shares your residence (as on file with your insurance policy,) that has been convicted of any driving offense that could adversely affect his or her own driving privileges or record, that same record is then factored into your own policy’s premium cost. If you ask the insurance company, they will politely explain that though you may have neither no intention or condoning of the individual in question ever setting foot behind the wheel of your car, you cannot entirely guarantee that such incident could not ever occur. And it is for that reason, that in fact, the insurance companies are then within their rights as insurers to protect their interests; your policy, and their bottom line.

I would think it would be no different in the case of a person with criminal/questionable background (under the law,) to ill-affect the current lease/contract to rent for another person who has shown their condoning or petition for the person in question to reside in the rented establishment. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a basic rule of thumb in life, I think: guilt by association can lead to problems for the person associating with the guilty party. You can throw religion or dogma or karma at it all day, and, again, unfortunately, it’s not likely to change any time soon.

The best thing to do is be aware of who you associate with, and if you choose to associate with people that could cause you problems, then you choose to take on the responsibility for both that person and their problems resulting from their own choices, no matter how mundane/harmless those choices seemed at the time. This choice in taking on other’s problems does not give one carte blanche to attack others who practice the law of guilt by association, nor to insist that those persons wishing to protect their own interests should divest themselves from their own “good standing” in either the community or with the law, itself, simply to make things easier on those who chose to take on the extra burden of association with those proven already guilty of some crime. I suppose that’s my personal opinion, based on legal and societal knowledge.

Joybird's avatar

I’m pretty hard core when it comes to this issue. I told my story of horror at being chased down by a potential rapist and cowering under the base of the stairs in my apartment building while he attempted to beat the door in with no one else home in the four apartment building. It prevented a Class 3 Rapist from being moved into our neighborhood by the prision missionaries who decided he had been rehabilitated. And here’s the kicker….could have been the man who had attempted to attack me decades earlier based on his location of attacks, timing, and his appearance. It is my opinion harsh or not that you are taking on the consequences of your behavior. Legalities have nothing whatsoever to do with the harvest you SHOULD reap. And in many cases ostracism by society is the correct harvest to have to experience. If you bail on your bills, commit financial crimes, sell drugs out of your residence, commit violent crimes than you don’t have a right to live where ever you choose. This is the very real consequence that humans have always placed on other humans who don’t understand what is necessary to live amongst others with more favorable conditions. You call in your own reality based on your choices.
So if you have taken up with someone who fits that description know that you too are making choices that have consequences. You either accept those or you look around and make some hard changes.

WasCy's avatar

I haven’t read through the string of responses, so perhaps I’m merely repeating what some others have already said.

Of course it’s discrimination! But it’s legal discrimination. It’s the kind of discrimination that you use when you decide that your children should or should not associate with certain people. The kind of discrimination that you use to pick a mate or a friend. The kind of discrimination that allows – nay, encourages – employers to choose the right people for rewards and for promotion to positions of power and management.

It’s being thoughtful and properly discriminatory in deciding who you associate with.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. How is it not tinged of discrimination any way you look at it? Look at the responses. Many are knee jerk reaction because people see the emotional or personal comfort threshold side instead of the logical. In the end, it is a smoke screen away from real dangers and concerns. Sure, there are jobs a background check is warranted for; they should also only screen for those offences that are most likely to happen within that work environment. If a person is working securities big whoop if he has a weapons charge. If he had a conviction for fraud, embezzling, or something with money or a drug problem that might temp him to steal, then it would make since. If he ran a chop shop and he sold stolen parts that is a far cry from being a stock trader, etc. Even if it was a sex offence it would have little do to with trading stock, being a coal miner, being a sand rat digging tunnels, etc. those jobs have very, very little exposure one-on-one with children or any children at all.

You let someone out of prison when their sentence is over, they have to eat, live, and earn money. The de facto plan seem to be to back them up in a corner and force them to steal to survive then you can lock them up again. To give them life by the installment plan is disingenuous to any rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is not the goal, because in the US prisons are big business. The food service, the t-paper, the textiles, the office supplies not to mention the electric spent to keep it running. Everyone wants to dip in that well so they sure do not want it drying up, to do that you need fresh felons coming in all the time.

People are worried about sex offenders, they can’t keep track of them. Hard to do when they do not have even a semi-permanent place to stay. In Cali they virtually can’t live anywhere they can afford because they can’t live 2000yr of a school or park frequented by children. They roam wherever. It isn’t like anything is keeping them from rolling up their bedroll and moving to another district or tumbling through many districts like a weed in the wind. Who watches them when they move from one town to another, 3 days here, then off to another town where they might stay 5 days, then on the move again. By the time city ‘A’ knows he is gone he could be 6 cities away and who are they going to call? Who is going to be the sex offender czar and spend all their time keeping tabs on them?

A lot of that junk, they did wrong, slap them to the dirt and never let them up sound good, but is it not practical sense in the long run. If they can’t earn money they will be busting into my car to get my stereo, or maybe take the whole car. They will also be in the wind harder to track because they have no home.

Your kid will have a greater chance of harm from a neighbor up the street driving home drunk. You have no way at all of knowing which of your neighbors have 3 DUIs under their belt.

AshlynM's avatar

Background checks on potential tenants are not required for the landlord to do. It’s their personal preference on whether they do or not. However it’s an excellent idea and provides peace of mind to the LL and is in their best interest to do so.

I don’t think it’s discrimination. It’s all about a matter of protecting everyone’s safety. I don’t buy into the whole serving their debt and trying to make amends with society. Everyone is responsible for their actions and there are consequences to be paid. If you break the law, then you need to pay the price.

Think about it for a second. Would you want someone who’s been to jail or have a known sex offender, child molester moving in next door to you, especially when you have young kids?

I don’t blame the landlord for not wanting to rent to an ex con. I wouldn’t either.

Landlords/management cannot protect their tenants or assure their safety while living in the rental property, but a good first step in preventing criminals and ex cons from moving in is to perform background checks.

bluejay's avatar

They should definitely check their criminal background and take it into consideration. It’s not discrimination. A black guy does not choose to be black (would be discrimination) but a criminal chooses to commit a crime.(not discrimination). After all how much do you really want to live next to a criminal, active or not?

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