Being accused of crime in the State of Michigan will permanently change a person’s life. Not only could the individual be incarcerated for a significant period of time, their reputation is forever scarred. Even on release, ex-convicts usually find it increasingly difficult to properly re-enter society, particularly as many job applications require background checks a person’s criminal history. This is a problem that aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorneys and ex-inmates alike are concerned with, prompting some local Kalamazoo residents to petition the Board of Commissioners to fight for the removal of criminal background questions on applications.
Numerous members of the Michigan Organizing Project attended a Board of Commissioners meeting this week with a common message: all ex-offenders who have completed their sentences should have a fair opportunity to provide for themselves, this includes having the ability to obtain work. According to John Musick, the executive director of MOP, many employers quickly throw away applications indicating a criminal past. By removing criminal background questions, he contends, ex-convicts will have a chance to be asked for an interview, without “immediately being discredited.” Musick also added that the chance would not only help the ex-offenders, but it would also help lower the recidivism rate. Unfortunately, many former inmates become repeat offenders because they are unable to find any other means of supporting themselves and their families. By allowing ex-cons a fair chance of securing work and income, it will help to encourage them to be law-abiding citizens and not re-enter jail.
At this time, it is unknown whether the Kalamazoo Board of Commissioners will take their advice seriously, despite all of the reasons logically supporting it. The County Administrator Peter Battani informed commissioners that he would consider the data and evidence presented, and report back to the council in June regarding changing the application process countywide.
Experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyers applaud the measures taken by the Michigan Organizing Project, as it reminds everyone that the point of incarceration is rehabilitation. Without providing the opportunity to come back into society and the community at large, ex-convicts are almost certainly pushed towards reentering the correctional system. This is a perfect example of how much a conviction of criminal charges can change one’s life. Because of this, it is essential to be proactive in securing the best defense possible for your case. By contacting experienced Michigan criminal lawyers, not only will your reputation be defended, but your personal freedoms and liberties as well.
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