General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Should felons (rapists and murderers) get a second chance at a job?

Asked by chelle21689 (7421points) February 9th, 2015

Let’s say several years ago, maybe 15…he serves time and five years later he can’t find a job because he burglarized someone’s home, kidnapped them, and rape a woman but has been free of crime for the past maybe 8 years. Do they deserve a second chance?

Also, how do people find work with this type of record? Just curious because I had someone for a job and turns out he kidnapped and raped a woman. The thought disgusts me and makes me sick but at the same time I feel like if people aren’t given another chance to try then they’re just going to repeat some crimes. He won’t be eligible for any clients we have.

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14 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If they’ve been to gaol and served their time, then yes, they should be able to get a job and move on with their lives. That’s how our system works. You’re given a sentence, you serve it and then you go back into society. What would you suggest happens to these people? They have to be able to earn a living.

However, his past is likely to limit the sort of jobs he would be able to access. I’m not sure what sort of reporting of previous criminal history is involved prior to taking up a position such as yours (or mine for that matter) but someone with a criminal history would not get a permit to work with children or in some jobs.

linguaphile's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit In the United States, those convicted of a felony are barred from accessing many jobs, especially human service jobs. They can’t get student loans or qualify to lease many apartments/flats, regardless of whether their felony was for something serious like rape and murder or whether it was for something tiny, such as possession of 3 tabs of Oxycodone. There is no distinction.

To answer the OP’s question—I do think some things need to change. Having a felony translates into a sort of social death—it’s a very tiny box to live in, often trapping the felon in a criminal cycle, or forcing them to lie to try to get a semblance of a normal life.

I don’t think there should be ONE life-time punishment for all felons. I don’t think someone with one class 5 felony should have the same life-time consequences as a repeat offending class 1 burglar or rapist. So, yes, I do think some of the crimes in the US that are classified as felonies, or those who are first time offenders, should end in in an equal state as non-offenders. The ones who should be paying lifetimes of consequences are the repeat offenders.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@linguaphile, thanks for the addiitional information. It seems to me that the harder you make it for people to resume a normal life the more likely it is that they’ll re-offend. I can quite see the need to prevent rapists, child molesters and those who have a history of violent crime (and particularly repeated violent crime) taking up positions in human services, but if they can’t rent a flat, can’t get a job or study etc., they’ve been set up to fail. The chances of them feeling they have no option but to commit further crimes or seeking solace in drug use has to be significantly increased.

chelle21689's avatar

That’s why I’m curious. What companies hire felons? It seems impossible to get back to a normal life.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m guessing here because I’ve no personal expereince but I’d say manual labour positions would be likely. Jobs in factories where you don’t interact with people. Shelf stacking in supermarkets. I’d imagine the work available to people would depend on the crime committed. So if you’ve been found guilty of theft, a retail outlet such as a supermarket might not want you working for them. If you were guilty of possession of drugs, why can’t you stack shelves in a supermarket? Truck driving or loading.

I’d say there are lots of jobs where you aren’t directly involved with the public and certainly not with people who are vulnerable, would be popular for those who’ve been incarcerated.

LuckyGuy's avatar

New York State actually offers incentives to companies that hire felons for certain jobs. It is a great program. The goal is to get those who served their time get back into society and become productive citizens. There was (is?) also a federal program called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit where the company gets a reduction in taxes by hiring certain felons.

linguaphile's avatar

Unfortunately, my stepson is on probation—for a felony-reduced-to-a-misdemeanor, so I got to learn more than I ever wanted to know about the legal system.

There’s a list of companies that will hire felons—it’s posted on the wall at the probation office. Most of the companies are retail jobs. Off the top of my head, I remember—Greyhound, Dairy Queen, Ace Hardware, Chipotle, AT+T, Home Depot, Lowes, Red Lobster, Red Robin, Goodwill, Subway, Applebees, Chili’s… I bet an Internet search would give more results.

Coloma's avatar

I think it depends on the felon. A murder that was deemed a crime of passion ( husband walks in on his wife in bed with his brother/best friend and momentarily loses it, hits the guy over the head with a 40 lb. Buddha statue haha ) vs. a hit man or premeditated and cold bloodedly, calculated murder. The first guy yeah, he deserves a 2nd chance, rapists, nope.
Rape is a crime of control and dominance not sexual lack of control. Rapists should never be put back into society, ever. Most rapists are teetering on the edge of being killers as well, serious character disorder, bad risk.

I have an old friend who is now 58. He was involved ( as in trafficking , not the mastermind ) of a counterfeiting ring based in Hawaii back in the mid-70’s. He got off with parole but it was a felony and he has gone on to build a nice life for himself.’
He was arrested by federal agents on a flight between Hawaii and L.A. and the feds actually shared cocktails with him and discussed his involvement. haha

dxs's avatar

I think everyone deserves another chance. Sentences should be more about rehabilitation than punishment.

RocketGuy's avatar

and if they don’t get a second chance, what are they supposed to do for the rest of their lives? Wouldn’t that exceed the length of their sentence?

Coloma's avatar

Well..if they are not reformable they would just continue to rape and murder until re-incarcerated. haha

RocketGuy's avatar

If they are not reformed, why let them out?

Coloma's avatar

@RocketGuy
I meant there is still a risk, either they go straight or they end up repeat offenders. Impossible to know until they are released. Double edged sword thing.
Hard call when it comes to murderers and rapists.

I think serial rapists should not be released, too risky and potential for their crimes to escalate to murder. A one time murderer, depending on the circumstance, maybe, a mass murderer, uh, no.

chelle21689's avatar

It’s funny…a kidnapper rapist and now I have a murderer back in 80’s… Not funny but ironic.

Thing is although the rapist was more recent and didnt kill anyone his attitude was horrible and he was extremely annoying and mean.
The 2nd degree murder guy seemed way more polite and we are reviewing to give him a chance once his background comes back to see how long it’s been and if there isn’t anything else…

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