The one undoubtedly affects the other and that is how it should be, and though this new program profiled by The Crime Report, is laudable in its intent, it’s deficient in its method.

The way involvement in the working world helps those who have lost their way, is to take any job they are able to get and work their way up, rather than having expectations created by crime-as-social-construct narrative rather than the truth, that crime comes from individual choices criminals make.

An excerpt from The Crime Report article.

“Paroled from prison in August 2010, Sandra France was bent on finding a job that steered young people away from the drug addiction and drug-related crimes that had her cycling in and out of prison for 35 years.

“That job hunt, however, initially bore little fruit for the 50-year-old ex-offender.

“Then she heard about Project ReNu, launched in early 2012 by the Brooklyn, NY-based Center for NuLeadership On Urban Solutions to help the formerly incarcerated figure out precisely whether their recorded criminal histories were undercutting their employment prospects and, where possible, boosting the ex-offenders’ image among potential employers.

“Project ReNu’s sole counselor—one of four full-time members of NuLeadership’s staff—steered France through a process aimed at equipping ex-offenders with the details of their “records of arrests and procedures” (or RAP sheet) and correcting errors that those documents sometimes contain before a potential employer sees them. 

“France completed Project ReNu with what she hopes is a ticket for entry into a legitimate world of work with which she is barely familiar: a state-sanctioned “certificate of good conduct” granted to successful Project ReNu clients who, like France, have multiple felony convictions.

“(A “certificate of relief” is available to persons with just one felony conviction.)

“In addition to that certificate, France received a document detailing her criminal history, including the date and time of her convictions. And she was schooled in how to articulate other aspects of her life, such as her ongoing drug rehabilitation and involvement in peer support groups, her active church membership, and her on-the-job training in the field where she hopes to be hired.

“These documents show how far I came [and] that, although I have been incarcerated and I’ve been on drugs, I’ve been doing a lot of positive things,” said France, who is now interning at an outpatient clinic for substance abusers—a step toward becoming a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor.

“Those accumulated documents are a package that can be given, perhaps preemptively, to employers.”