The police department in Albany, in partnership with the Stop the Violence group, has been working together to help people with criminal records get jobs. They recently hosted a forum to talk about HB 1176, the new Georgia law that restricts access to criminal records. It took effect on July 1st of last year.
This law lets people who have minor criminal records ask prosecutors to keep those records sealed off from potential employers who want to see them.
The chairman of Stop the Violence, Bishop Frederick Williams, said that he wanted to help create a community of easily hirable people because there are so many people out there who can’t get jobs because of the things on their record. He said that it was part of a process to restore the community.
The district attorney in Albany was a speaker at the forum. He said that the law does not apply to those who have felony convictions.
This new state law is kind of like a beacon of hope for people who have a criminal history who are seeking jobs.
Albany Second Chance has been hosting workshops geared toward ex-offenders. People from the Georgia Justice Project spoke and they said that the state is the second worst in the whole United States for obstacles that prevent ex-offenders from getting jobs, but that they hope the new law will help.
Many people who attend the workshops have a criminal record. Lots of the ex-offenders attending the workshops have families to support, and they are trying earnestly to find jobs in the tough economic climate, an economic climate made worse by their criminal history.
Employment is one of the serious issues that ex-offenders face when they get out of jail. Organizers of the workshops said that Georgia’s new record restriction law would help ex-offenders stay out of jail. The reason is that most offenders cannot find a job.
It can be really difficult for ex-offenders to find work when they get out of jail, especially in Georgia. One ex-convict said that he had no luck at all finding jobs. He said that nobody called him back, and that he didn’t have any luck. Another ex-convict said that he was stigmatized in his own community, and that that emotional pain really hurt him a lot, especially when he was trying to find work. He said that he couldn’t find employment, and that made him even more maligned in his home community.
Steady work is usually the final stage of rehabilitation for an ex-convict. Organizations that try to reduce the obstacles for ex-convicts who want to find work are godsends to these ex-offenders. Luckily, this new records restriction law in Georgia has helped ex-offenders a lot, and it has been lauded by organizations that want to reduce the obstacles to ex-offenders getting on a healthy, steady, stable, and productive path in life.