Wednesday, September 26, 2007

hope, faith, and background checks

i sometimes find powerful messages left on old posts. paging through these comments can be disheartening, or inspiring, or both. i forwarded the first one to my research team yesterday, since it reminded me what our grant was all about. i was happy to send out the follow-up this evening.

yesterday's message was powerful bad:

Hi im Pam and am also like most of you a convicted FELON > this one thing has literally destroyed my life>...I have been struugling with my addiction for 7 Yrs now - During this time (1999) I was arrested for possesion of narcotics-this was nollied I was arrested again (2000) I was convicted. So now at 42 yrs old I am a convicted felon -I lost 1 job and not hired for countless others due to this/ Today I was offered a job at a national insurance co. thru a temp agency _ Iwas soooo excited until she said the dreaded words "I'll need you to sign for a background check" I felt like i would faint-sick to my stomach-So i managed to get thru the rest of the coversation and here I sit and now I found so many others just like me-It is somehow comforting to know that others know and understand my pain and suffering-thanks to all who took the time towrite in. I think somehow we need to stand up to this practice of background checks and limit it to crimes that may directly affect the safety of other workers and the company-not just someone who has one arrest one conviction in their entire life-How does my relapse prevent me from being a good person, qualified to do a job now that I am clean from drugs-they obviously liked what they saw on my resume and how I presened myself in the interview it kills me to think i may not be able to keep this job when the background check comes back.It no wonder why so many felons re offend we dont stand a chance to put our past behind us -we are forever branded as not suitable before we can prove ourself to others - thats the real injustice from our wonderful "Justice System" I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. ---Pam

and today's was powerful good:

Hi This is Pebbles1 again - I wrote in yesterday about a job offer with the stipulation of a background check -- Well I got the phone call this morning and my background check came in and of course my felony posession of narcotics was clearly there. The temp agency sent it to Aetna (Employer)and they said I can start my new Job on Monday at 8:00 am !!!! I am still in shock, my hands are still trembling and i just dried the tears (happy ones) off my face. I just had to share this because my heart was and still is with all of those who didnt get that phone call this morning. I want you to know there is hope. I have been trying to get a job for the past 2 1/2 years and if I gave up this would have never happened for me. Please keep up the fight you are all worth it we just need to find that one person who can see our worth through a cloudy past. Dont stop trying if it can happen for me it can happen for any of us. Just 3 months ago I was living at my moms house to avoid being homeless I am now able to start over to rebuild a broken life. I hope my story can pass along some hope to all of us who really know how it feels to feel HOPELESS. ... Hope to hear from you if you need some support , hope or inspiration. I am so glad i found this web site it came as a comfort to me when i almost gave up for good. Pam.

thanks for keeping the faith, pam. you're an inspiration.

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