Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ex-Felons Continue to Find Worker Discrimination

Letter to the Editor
Ex-felons suffer from legal discrimination

by Danieal Kase - It was nice to see an article on how hard it is for ex-felons to get a good job (“Applying for a second chance,” Business, Dec. 23). I am an ex-felon and cannot find a real good job that pays. I have found that a lot of empolyers will not even give me a chance, even though I’m more qualified than any of the other people trying for the same positions.

During interviews I’ll explain that ex-felons are a tax benifit to the companies that will hire us, but it’s like they think that they don’t need to save money. I would think that in today’s economy saving money would be a good thing. But not if it would benefit an ex-felon. We just can’t have your kind in our line of business. Haven’t we heard that somewhere before?

Did you know that most companies that have janitors at night will not even let an ex-felon clean toilets? Or that 99 percent of the large trucking companies require drivers to have a hazardous materials endorsement on their licenses? Thanks to good ol’ Department of Homeland Security, ex-felons have been blackballed. What do they think I’m going to do with a load of dirt I just picked up from a construction site?

I know I screwed-up. I was an alcoholic for many years. I have been in and out of the county jail and Comcor many times. But it finaly took a prison term to wake me up and make me fly right. I have paid my debt to society, without any problems. I’m no longer on parole and yet I’m still sentenced to life at the bottom of the totem pole. I’ve lived a very clean and sober life for the past five years. I don’t even hang around the old crowd. I have above-average intellegence and two years of college. But none of that carries any weight.

I really wish The Gazette would have published that article in the news section instead of the Business section. Most of the people who read the Business section are employers who don’t care about us. In the news section, a larger group of people would have been able to see legalized discrimination at work.
Daniel S. Kase
Colorado Springs


Anonymous said...

Decades ago, in California, if you completed your sentence and completed your parole, except for applying for government jobs (nice of the government to always exempt themselves in all issues), your record could NOT be revealed to an employer, your charges were dismissed to a mis-demeanor and dismissed by judicial action....penal code 1203 or something close to that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Daniel. I am 50 and was convicted of a felony in 1985.

I recently graduated from college and I am trying to find a job that pays more. In the past I applied for State of VA jobs and suspected that I was not hired because of my conviction. The last three jobs have been a bit more up front. I had an interview at Norfolk Public Schools that actualy called to offer me the job. They asked if when I had my civil rights restored did that mean that my felony was reduced. I said no and he said that in that case he could not offer me the job. They did not hire felons. I was hurt. It doesn't matter how long it has been since my conviction or what I have accomplished, I am still held back because of my conviction.

What is wrong with this society? The only difference between me and the people that judge me is that they never got caught. I know darn well they are not as perfect as they appear.

As a result I am trying to get a law passed called the "Second Chance Bill". Please follow the link and sign my petition. I hope to make a change for all of us.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am a resident of colorado springs and I am in school right now learning HVAC and I have a 3.8 GPA. I have over 15 years of construction experiance and I cant even get a job digging a ditch. I have a none violent conviction and it is proving very hard to find a good job. I remember when in the construction industry if you had the skill to do the job you where hired but not anymore. I made a mistake in my life and I have learned from it. Why is it that I am ruined for life because of it?

Anonymous said...

The main problem with the U.S. Justice system is that once you are in it and part of it your are set up for failure. Most of the times you take a look at what cause the reason for people to commit the crimes they did and you will find. Unemployed, drug addicts, and just in general people that are down on there luck and don't know where to turn. The people that truly made that one mistake that cost them dearly are who I have sympathy for. I to made a mistake a few years ago and am now paying the price for it and will be for the rest of my life.

Anonymous said...

I am an educated 30 year old woman. I am an alcoholic, and because of my wrong decisions (I refuse to blame my legal issues on my disease) I was convicted of multiple DUI's. I broke the law, and served time in county jail, and am currently on supervised probation, along with thousands of dollars in fines, loss of my driving license for 5 years, DUI classes, and random urinalysis and breath testing. I have been successful on probation and will have it completed in 2012.
I have applied for employment at a variety of businesses (privately owned, and large franchise) and I am honest about my record. I have not been hired or even called back for an interview.
I am frustrated, and I am broke. I have one child whom I have full custody and I feel like a failure. I don't know what to do or who to talk to. I have inquired the local human services and even the probation department for resources to help me and have had no leads. I am about to give up. If anyone knows of anything, please respond.

Pamela Clifton and Christie Donner said...

Anonymous send me an email. Pam@ccjrc.org