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Criminal History and Job Prospects

August 11th, 2011 at 05:28 pm

Iíve run into quite a few clients who are in a never ending cycle of poverty all because they canít get a decent paying job due to past criminal histories. Part of my job as a counselor is to help my clients to create a budget and stick to it. How in the world do you make a budget without an income? Most of my time is going over the necessities of their budget so that they know the least amount of money they would need to bring home to make ends meet.

Iíve met countless women who are married to men that canít get a job and if they do get one itís dead end. They end up having to carry the family on their income because their husbands simply canít. Iím not judging people with criminal histories and felonies but it does send a message to me and my personal life that it may not be a good idea to end up in a relationship with someone like that who hasnít already made something of themselves.

I have a client who is behind on her rent due to her food stamps getting cut off. Theyíve just moved here so she hasnít become acclimated to the area food banks to get by until her stamps are restored. She lost the stamps due to missing a re-certification. I know, her fault. She tells me how she just started a new job but itís only part time. I already figured that her husband was working so surely whatever she brings in is going to help out with their budget some sort of way. I then find out that her part time job is the only income source theyíll have. Her husband has applied but consistently gets turned down due to his felony. I usually donít probe about the details of a clientís criminal history as I didnít here.

Is it her fault for marrying a man with a felonious past? I know love is blind but clearly you would have to consider the possibility of a low income job future when you choose to marry someone and have children with them. Iím not saying I would NEVER do such a thing but Iíve seen too many members of the working poor or the near homeless and unemployed that have ties to criminal histories that may likely keep them there for the rest of their lives should they choose to stay in that situation.

2 Responses to “Criminal History and Job Prospects”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    My ex-brother-in-law has a criminal history, but he got it while he and my husband's sister were married. SIL made some really stupid choices. They decided to get pregnant with a second child even though it looked like he was about to be convicted. Then when he was convicted she had to go through the second pregnancy on her own, though he got out just in time for the birth, and at least he had work release while doing his time. The crime came back to bite him later on when he almost got a decent aluminum factory job until they found out about his crime. He had already quit his job at the rope making plant and he was very lucky they took him back. The marriage fell apart eventually and they divorced and I can't help thinking his inability to get a better job was part of that.

  2. Jerry Says:

    It's really true that you marry who you date, and that leads it to be all the more important that people are extremely careful about who they date. It's no insurance for a perfect life, of course, but it's at least a decent start to date someone who doesn't have a spotty legal history.
    Jerry

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