Focus: long-held stigma against job seekers with criminal records

There are of course many generalized comments that can be made about the criminal justice system. We prominently stress a most specific point on our website at the established North Georgia law firm of Miles, Hansford & Tallant.

We note this: the realm can be “both very confusing and intimidating” for individuals targeted by authorities for alleged involvement in criminal activity.

Being arrested and criminally charged is obviously a novel and frightening experience for most people. Proven criminal defenders make unstinting efforts to fully protect their valued clients against downsides at every step of the process. Their advocacy focuses on securing optimal outcomes that eliminate or maximally mitigate adverse consequences.

Such potential outcomes are obvious in many criminal matters. They include jail or prison time, fines, community service and various other penalties.

They can also include post-release fallout too, which can be unanticipated and weighty. As a recent national article on post-release life for many ex-offenders notes, the challenges for an individual with a criminal record seeking to get a job can be stiff. Many employers routinely spurn job applications from persons with criminal histories.

That is sadly unfortunate, especially because evidence firmly shows a link between a released offender having employment and that person’s reduced chance of becoming involved again in the criminal system.

Put another way: Communities fare far better when ex-offenders are given a fair chance to gainfully work.

That assessment is stated multiple times in the above-cited article, which notes a perceptible change in the thinking of many company hiring managers toward criminal-history job applicants. Some national employers no longer include application questions regarding criminal convictions, with others deferring such queries until late in the hiring stage.

Of course, the changed attitudes on display hardly spell a sea change, but they are encouraging, as is the public’s increased understanding concerning the value of gainful employment for persons with criminal records.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys always focus on the big picture in their client representation, fully realizing both the immediate and longer-term consequences that a conviction can yield. That is why their resolve in securing best-case outcomes is both unremitting and absolute.

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