From an ex felon's perspective it is not quite as easy as you would think. I have been out and honest for over nine years, nearly ten. I have been working within some significant job fields since I was released and worked hard to overturn my old ways and means of living. I went from selling drugs to doing technical support for a firm. I have a family now and am currently about to get married. However, I have been attempting to find a new home since last month due to an increase in income and have found that no matter how long it has been and forgetting that I was not deemed a violent or dangerous criminal by the court that found me guilty it is damn near impossible for me to find someone even in Columbus OH that will rent to me. Sure, Iinform them of the facts, they don't care.
Also, all of you people that say it is acceptable to not rent to a fellow such as myself are ignorant. The recidivism rate for American penal systems is at 67%. Since 95% of all prisoners here WILL be released at some point or another then it only makes since to house them and help them get gainful employment. When I was released from prison I had the hardest time finding work that would allow me to support myself. There were quite a few times that my gas and electricity getting shut off was a toss up due to the fact that I had to p[urchase food and gas to survive and my paychecks, even at 10-20 hours overtime, wasn't enough to pay all of them and my rent. Desperation makes a man turn to the only unrestricted means of making money he knows, crime. If you are hungry or depsperate enough you will do whatever it takes to survive, God instilled those instincts into you for a reason.
When you keep me from finding work or allowing me to find a legal residence you are pushing me to go back to crime. You know, that thing you state you don't want me or anyone else to turn to in order to live.
See, when you flat out refuse to help an ex con you force him into a bad position of deciding if he will roll over and die because society won't give him the legal means to live on his own and he doesn't want to break the law anymore or committing crime in order to keep afloat and hating the system that caused him to go back to that way of life even after convicting him for it.
Wake up America, you create your own problems and then cry about it.
Most of Europe supports rehabilitating it's prisoners and finding them gainful employment and housing so they don't end up right where they left off. They end up paying less to take care of their prisoners and they have a much MUCH lower recidivism rate. Take a note from a much older, wiser brother continent and stop being so narrowminded.If not, then the next time you get robbed or have your car stolen, or someone sells drugs to your children, you'll have to understand that there was a percentage of possiblity somewhere around 50% that you could have prevented that action by being a more understanding person and allowing people to move on with their lives. Trust me, if a criminal is going to return to crime he will do it within the first year or two of getting out. If it has been over five years since he was released and he hasn't been sent back due to parole/probation violation or a new offense, chances are he's actually reformed. Allow him to stay that way by giving him a chance at living a normal life.
Sheesh. Apparently common sense isn't common or everyone would have it.
Ex Drug dealer and current technical support agent
helping make your whole world run more smoothly.