Every year 600,000 justice involved individuals are released back into society. They are labeled "ex-felons" and many have no where to live or work.
The right to work has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This has taken on a confusing meaning.
Does the right to work mean the right to a job? To a living wage? And does that extend to a person with a felony conviction?
A brief history lesson may be in order. In 1946 the Employment Act was written into law. It directed the President of the United States to "promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power."
But what about ex-felons. Where do they fit in? Especially since felony convictions come with collateral consequences.
For example, many professional occupations that require licences cannot be obtained with a felony.
Legal-Eagles has attached a video of Tanaine Jenkins who speaks about this issue. She is a returning citizen, a business owner, CEO, and despite all that, says she is still labeled by her past mistake.
Tanaine committed fraud by computer to hack Wells Fargo for $80,000 dollars. She has been released and is now a successful entrepreneur.https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tanainejenkins_tedx-returningcitizen-secondsentence-activity-6990390029797715970-KF3T?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android
In 2004 President George W. Bush enacted the Prisoner Reentry program. The program released funds and grants to state agencies and faith based organizations to help develop work for those released back to society.
In 2007 he signed the Second Chance Act. He famously stated " America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life."
In these troubled times, Reentry and jobs are should be a lightning rod issue. Instead, it seems the political debates are focused on how crime has skyrocketed and the economy is in free fall.