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Ex-convicts struggle to enter bleak job market

From Patrick De Oliveira | 05:48

The economic crisis has made it difficult for everyone to find employment, but ex-convicts have been hit harder than the rest.

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Michael Miller’s union offered him a job as soon as he started his job search on Feb. 1. But he wasn’t able to accept the offer. Miller had just been released from prison and the job was farther than what he was allowed to go.

Months later, Miller continues the search for employment. People with criminal records have always had difficulty securing jobs; having to face the legal barriers and the discrimination associated with a criminal record. The economic recession has made matters even worse. Ex-convicts are often being placed at the bottom of the ever-growing pile of job applications.

According to Roberta Meyers-Peeples, executive director of the National Helping Individuals With Criminal Records Renter Through Employment Network or more commonly known as National H.I.R.E, unemployment is one of the main contributing factors to recidivism, which means that ex-convicts are now facing increasing challenges in their reentry into society.