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Something for Ex-offenders to Think About

Recently I was reading a few articles about pending legislation on both the state a federal level that would make it illegal to discriminate against ex-offenders with regard to employment, housing and public services.  This legislation would be a seemingly powerful step in helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society.  It would great if the law dictated that legally no one could be denied employment for being an ex-offender.  Being a product of the Civil Rights movement, I hold little faith in legislation.  Laws do not change attitudes.

 Belief that ex-offenders are victimized by their legal status may be founded but few employers are apt to sympathize.  They have a responsibility to hire the person they feel will give them what they need to run a successful business.  The ex-offender must think of himself as kind of a person with a type of handicap.  Anyone who has seen a person with any type of visible impairment has noticed that the handicap forces them to work harder just to keep up.  The same is true for the ex-offender.  Not only must he have the necessary tools to compete for a job, he may have to work harder just to put himself in the position of consideration.  He will have to make more contacts, have more interviews and just simply outwork the competition.  This may mean he may have to get up earlier and work later.  He may have to work harder on his interview and presentation skills.  He may have to work at developing the skills that will make him more attractive to prospective employers.

As we all know, life is all about choices.  The choices we make today will impact our future successes. We can wallow in self-pity about our current situation, or we can make up our minds to improve our condition.  The choice of self-improvement is far wiser that waiting for someone to change.

For more great advice for ex-offenders looking for work, visit