I went from prison to professor – Here's why criminal records should not be used to keep people out of college -
The Conversation US by Stanley Andrisse
Beginning next year, the Common Application – an online form that enables students to apply to the 800 or so colleges that use it – will no longer ask students about their criminal pasts.
As a formerly incarcerated person who now is now an endocrinologist and professor at two world-renowned medical institutions – Johns Hopkins Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine – I believe this move is a positive one. People’s prior convictions should not be held against them in their pursuit of higher learning.
While I am enthusiastic about the decision to remove the criminal history question from the Common Application, I also believe more must be done to remove the various barriers that exist between formerly incarcerated individuals such as myself and higher education.
Amendment 4 in FL means increased voter rights
Truth Out, by William Rivers Pitts
Nov 7, 2018
About 1.6 million people with felony convictions in Florida just got the vote back, thanks to the passage of Constitutional Amendment 4. Those convicted of murder and sexually-related offenses are excluded, but the rest will see their rights restored after completing their prison sentence.
Truthout reporter Mike Ludwig covered the issue today:
Of all the efforts to combat voter suppression and gerrymandering appearing on statewide ballots this year, Florida’s Amendment 4 has perhaps received the most attention. That’s because the initiative would automatically restore voting rights for an estimated 1.6 million people. Nationwide, 6.1 million people have lost their right to vote due to a prior felony conviction — including 1 out of 13 would-be Black voters, according to the Sentencing Project.
Florida accounts for roughly 25 percent of those who have lost their right to vote due to felony convictions. Rules in Florida and 11 other states make it extremely difficult to get voting rights restored, even after serving a sentence and probation or parole. If approved, Amendment 4 would automatically restore voting rights for people with prior felony convictions upon completion of their sentences, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.
A significant victory for social justice that strikes a blow against the molecular-level racism of the penal system. More voters is always a good thing. Always.
Read more on our LIVE BLOG: bit.ly/2SJMRvH
Second chances: Employers more open to hiring people with criminal backgrounds
Chicago Tribune by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz and Lisa Schencker
September 11, 2018
...Doors long closed to people with criminal records have begun to crack open in industries ranging from health care to banking as employers seek new sources of talent and as lawmakers bet that gainful employment will reduce the risk that people will return to prison.
In Illinois, lawmakers have changed licensing laws to make 100-plus occupations more accessible to people with criminal records, including in real estate and accounting. The state also has expanded the types of convictions that can be sealed and therefore invisible to most employers. Meanwhile, tweaks to federal banking policies make it easier for banks to hire people convicted of minor crimes. ...
Article: Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.
May 26, 2018 NBC | Adam Edelman
Half the states bar ex-cons from getting the occupational licences they need to re-enter the workforce. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it doesn't make sense.
Mike Grennan, a former convict who's getting by piecing together small construction gigs in Port Huron, Michigan, says he's paid his debt to society — but, when it comes to getting an occupational license to be a home-building contractor, he just can't outrun his criminal past.
That's because Michigan, like two dozen other states, has laws on the books that prevent ex-felons like Grennan from getting the professional licenses they need to work in a variety of blue-collar trades, including cutting hair, welding, doing makeup and cosmetics, construction and more.
At 18 Kingley Rowe Went to Prison for 10 years - Now He's 47 and Still Wonders When He'll Be Free: Salon 1-1-2018
Lowering the prison population isn't enough, not if formerly incarcerated individuals are denied jobs after release.
...It comes down to whether, as a nation, for people branded as violent offenders, if “second chances” are not just written into law, but possible. ...
Read more about Mr. Rowe
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive