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Old criminal record haunts job seeker

READ MORE: Old criminal record haunts job seeker

Getting a job is hard enough right now. Imagine trying to do it with a criminal record. That's the struggle a Brunswick County man is facing. It was a mistake he made when he was 18, hanging with the wrong crowd, and it's haunted him ever since.

Jeff Norman has filled out about 200 job applications since he was laid off from Walmart more than a year ago. He is not having any luck.

He was charged with second-degree burglary and convicted of breaking and entering and larceny in 1989. It's been nearly a quarter century, and he's never committed a crime since. Norman says as soon as potential employers find out about his past, they move on to the next candidate.And with a state unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, employers have quite a lot of options.

"We need an opportunity," Norman said. "I have a wife, I have a home and I have bills to pay just like everybody else. It just worries me."

Norman may have a few options. The Employment Security Commission offers a federal bonding program that gives employers financial security for taking a chance on a felon. It also has a program that offers a tax credit to employers who hire recently released felons. The ESC also offers financial aid to people with criminal records for on-the-job training and education through the workforce investment act.

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criminal background

i went to school to be an aoda counselor and screwed up in the past 7 years with dui's.all misdeameanors.i do not drink anymore and am sober.i couldnt even find a regular job.i have a part-time job 20 hours a week at 9.00 an hour.1 place i tried applying at was a cook at an assisted living place.they turned me down for my dui's and dismissed charges.well i turned arounbd and filed a discrimination complaint with equal rights in my state.they are being investigated as we speak.they denied me the job even though it was only for a cook and doing dishes and driving and they held my dui's against me.they will get fined big time and i will get money also if i win.i didnt do this to won money.i did this so that companies can learn the rules.they were not following the rules at all.the person who interviewed me wanted to hire me and checked my regerences which were very good.the head cook interviewing me also said she had a dui from her they face up to $100,000 if fined guilty.see how they like having a blemish on their record.if you feel you are discrminated against because of your criminal background file a complaint with equal rights because this is the only thing that will change it.

Not all situations are the same...

So, since I was forced under threat of death to write NSF checks by someone I thought loved me, in a state where I knew no one( he said we were going to visit his family and instead took me on this hellish trip), I am a bad person who doesn't deserve a second chance? I was charged with a C class felony for writing NSF checks over equalling together just over 500 dollars on my own account. At the time I went to court I was afraid to tell them my bf abused me and forced me to write the checks because he told me if I did he would kill me. Snitches and all that...I spent 90 days in jail before sentencing because i was not from the state i was incarcierated in and no bail bondsman would bail me out and now have a record ( I hadn't even ever had a speeding ticket before this) I had to escape from him in the middle of the night after he picked me up from jail and get family to help me hop a greyhound away. I have an awesome résumé but I can't even get a minimum wage job because everyone runs background checks and no one even lets you explain anything. They see you have a record and trash your app.

Unfortunately, nobody cares

Unfortunately, nobody cares about your story. The how's and why's really don't matter. Once you are convicted, your guilt is assumed by everyone and anyone. I've been a convicted felon for 14 years, it sucks, and up until recently, you couldn't do a damn thing about it. Now, after 15 years, you can get an expungement. Personally, I think that period of time is more than twice what it should be.


This is one of the problem we have in this country: Everyone attacking one another instead of giving kind and encouraging words. I myself do not have a criminal record and graduated from an awesome college that be rank top 10 every year. I graaduated 2010 and is umemployed to this day. I feel like all my side jobs as a college student to keep my head above water did not do me any good or going to college. A friend of mine left college due to it costing too much has a great job of 5 years without a college degree making the max which is $26 an hour. So, just about anyone can have a hard time. I am married, has 2 children whom I took in as my own girl from 1st relationship was 2 now 14 and son from my wife since he 7 now 15. Both children has 2 different mother and father. To make it sound even sweeter, I am 38! Do I feel blessed..YES! It is hard out there and we have to encourage one another. Look how people treat each other in other countries with suicide carry on good people.

Im on the same boat. next

Im on the same boat. next year it will be 10 years since i was charged with delivery of a controlled substance in the amount of $20.00 (twenty dollars) to an undercover officer. this took place in the state of Rhode Island. I had a bum public defender who practically forced me to sign a 10 year probation deal (on my first and only charge) which ends next year. well long story short.. i have obtain a college degree (GPA 3.6/4.0) in computer science, that I owe over 30k for and two children to support and i can even get a job at McDonalds. Sad but true. No one gets a second chance in my state. and i have no other option but to not have a job and default my college loans. o-well they can't get blood from a stone. I just wish it was possible to leave this country and start over because I'll never get that chance here.


Here is a crazy thought, don't have children you can't afford to raise. And it isn't too late to leave this country. Get a passport and buy a ticket to wherever your heart desires and get going.

wow really?

i think most of you need a counselor! i honestly had to take a step back and remember what website i was at! i thought we were talking about bettering ourselves and finding a career with a felony


Well at least u chose the right name maybe u need to take a slow boat to China......we wouldnt want u to live in a country as flawed as the good ole US of A........adios

To the people laughing!

For those of you who laugh at people with criminal records, I laugh at you. One day it will happen to you, yes maybe not tomorrow but one day. Maybe you'll be at a backyard barbque and a little argument brakes out and a neighbor calls the police or at a bar and had a couple of beers with the boys and a cop stops you or with your friends leaving a job Christmas party and some cowboy cop throws you to the ground for walking past his gun side (yeah the a real thing) and as you fall to the ground your foot hits his leg. Now you will be like me charged with battery and assault on a police officer, that’s a felony dropped to a misdemeanor I was 18 years old now I am 26 My dreams of be coming a fire fighter are over, I can't get into the military, I can't even get a job on the books because I'm a "cop beater". I can not expunge or seal this record in my state. What’s the other option suicide, is that what is left for so called cons like me, I haven’t even had a speeding ticket since then, can you say that. You’ll see

I can assure you...

I will never have a criminal record. It's called common sense. 99.9% of the population has no criminal record, but you go ahead and tell yourself whatever makes you sleep better at night.

And I can assure YOU...

Just about everyone has done something wrong or illegal they just didn't get caught andust because you don't have a criminal record doesn't mean you will in the Book of Life on Judgement Day. Good Luck pal.

felony convictions

wow, why are you even on here? these people with felonies are not on this site to listen to you trash them, lots of people have been wrongly convicted of crimes they didnt commit, they need help and sound advice, not some jerk just running their mouth because they can.

you're an idiot

You are truly an idiot if you think that 99.9% of the American population does not have a criminal record. There are 2.3 million Americans in jail and prison, with about another 5 million on probation, parole, or some other kind of community corrections. 1 in every 34 Americans has some kind of record whether that be prison, jail, parole, or probation. So again I say, if you truly believe that 99.9% crap, you are truly an idiot.

Actually, 25% have criminal

Actually, 25% have criminal records--teachers to Predidents (bush). Grow up Mr. Sanctimonious

you should apply for

you should apply for sainthood,, you mean you've never ever ever done anything wrong, no minor infractions that you could have gotten in trouble for, NOTHING? lead us to the rapture

Simple google search. 6.5%

Simple google search.

6.5% of the population have a felony record.
15% have been to jail for one offense or another, that number is rising as the number of jail able crimes on the books increases.

To the people with criminal records, don't give up. I have 2 felonies from 6 years ago. I went back to school, got degrees in IT as a JAVA programmer and various other systems, point to point project management etc.

I started my own company and bill myself out as an independent contractor. Last year I made $97k and am on my way to doing over $130k this year. It rough, and it takes a lot of foot work but it is doable.

Don't bother trying to get a job at a large company, wont happen. You need to go out and do it yourself. Redemptions a pain, but it can be done.


Im having the same prob, and it's sick how people can walk around and have that attitude of that so called crazy person. Your crazy for thinking like that. You walk around and judge others for what they have done, when god already forgave us for our sin. We payed our debt to society, and you have the audacity to act like that.. if you never sin..he who has not sined shall cast the first stone. I'm 33 and have been dealing with discrimination from employers for my conviction for 2 years. There eliminating anyone from a conviction, they only want the best of the best, they feel that they can be pickey and chooses now. Basically it's discrimination because there banning us ex-offenders from a position because of a conviction, there not takeing any factors into consideration. They don't even ask questions. The question I pose is how long do I and my family suffer with out and job opportunity. That leads me to 2 options.. Get evicted or live a life of crime. I was 18 when I got my misderminor and I can't get a break today. I've stayed crime free, and in my state I can't get and expungement just a pardon from the governer ..I'm a single mother :(

Just maybe

Maybe your company is letting you go because you are unable to spell or put together a coherent sentence.


Boy I can tell you have never had any problems in your life. I am very happy that you are very successful in what you do, but to be truly successful in life, one must show compassion to others and not as a good deed to put on your resume. I hope you NEVER find yourself or a member of your family in dire need, because what goes around comes around. Maybe one day your heart will become less heartless.

I've had problems

I have had problems in my life just like everyone else, however I didn't choose to become a criminal to solve any of them.

I have the same problem

I was charged with burglary 11 years ago when I was 18. I'm 29 and relocated from Wisconsin to Tennessee recently and am getting shot down left and right. I've held a career in sales as a mortgage loan officer for 6 years since. And have been doing inside sales the last 5 years. I'm more than qualified for the positions I've applied and interviewed for, but still. Can't pass a background check so.... Oh well. It's unfair and there needs to be something done about it for people like us who have changed our ways since we were young and dumb.

It is Killing Me

I became addicted to drugs by age 16 and continued to do them up until my early thirties. While abusing drugs I was lucky enough to always have a job. I am not violent I never stole anything. I just got caught with possession, twice. I did some time in county jail for it. When I got out I got a good job in a matter of weeks. This was about 2 years ago. Since then the company was bought out and was relocated about 2 hours away from my residents. I was laid off and given unemployment. I have been on unemployment now for nearly a year. I have a nice resume and much experience in my field but I cant even get a call back and when i do they all want to do a background search. It is killing me. I had landed a great job with Comcast shortly after being laid off. THe job was a perfect fit for me...I aced the interview and I was elated until of course they did the record search. I try to apply to large corporations and they all require background searches and no small companies are hiring. For the most part I blame the Obama administration. Due to the looming health care mandate small companies are afraid to hire. That is if they are still in business. Our country is falling apart thanks to this inexperienced piece of crap socialist president. He wants us to rely on the government so that we will vote for him so we keep getting money. Not to mention is only cost a few bucks to do I background search. I am a nice smart clean cut guy that just wants a job. NO CAN DO! People are getting pushed to the brink, stressed out depressed and even thought about saying F it and pick up the drugs again. You can also thank the lawyers for this mess too. When an employee goes crazy and hurts someone on the job the victims sue the employer too. So the employers are forced to protect themselves by conducting these background searches. Any smudge on your record and you are tossed to the side like garbage. I really feel like my young life is over. Yeah I can go back to school but that won't do much but put me in more debt. I still won't be able to land a job. Tall bridges are starting to look good to jump off of. I wish I could get a second chance. I feel worthless.


"I blame the Obama administration. Due to the looming health care mandate small companies are afraid to hire."

I blame YOU for being an addict and getting BUSTED twice !! Trust me the President has NOTHING to do with your rap sheet. This country has been falling apart for many many years under many different presidents.

not seeing this

I did not read that he blamed the president for "his rap sheet" as you called it. I read that he was putting blame on the president for small businesses having problems.

Administration Sucks

The Obama admin is attacking small business owners and threatening them will higher health care costs and higher taxes so they are in a holding pattern or trying to stay above water b/c of the bad economy. The $700 billion stimulus plan did nothing but help the unions. Up until recently I was able to find a job with no problem. Unemployment is at least 9.1 percent probably higher. Obama is killing this country. This you can not deny.

Small business

I am a small business owner here in town and in the last 26 months we have had 25 months of growth. My business is almost up 40% the last 2 years. The economy is getting better, folks. I have added 2 additional personnel in the last year.
Those of you that say small businesses are scared, blah, blah, blah, obviously don't own one or have any idea what they are talking about. There is probably a good reason you can't find a job but it is not anyone's fault but yours.

So are you

a foreclosure attorney or a LEO?

done some reserch

i ran into the same thing i was running with the wrong person and got caught up in it even though i wasnt guilty they already had me guilty before i went in front of the judge it was already on my record so your guilty till proven inercent and they they make you guilty but after 5 years you can get it off your record unfuturenly i have another 3 years contact expungement and they can help you any one and they tell you what to do every one makes mistakes i made one and payed for it dearly and god only know i did not deserve it


I have to comment on this one...can't refuse. Our own goverment officals are corrupt yet still have jobs, our own police have screwed up, but still have jobs, and never mind hollywood...poor little Paris we can't punish her OMG! You have to realize we live in a world thats all about who you know or who you b**w!

The only way to obtain

The only way to obtain gainful employment with a troubled past is to be "special." Politicians, actors, athletes, and entertainers make millions off of us while routinely getting into trouble time after time. Not only do they get a second chance, but a third, fourth, and fifth as well.