Life with a Criminal Record

Life with a criminal record can be torture. First, you pay your debt to society and serve time in prison or pay your fines. Then, you have to reenter the outside world with nothing. You may or may not have a place to live, probably have no money or car, and need to find a way to get back on your feet. It’s tough—no doubt about it.

To add insult to injury, a criminal record makes it hard to get a job or rent an apartment. If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone. However, some states make it harder for someone with a criminal record than others.

This site will look at life with a criminal record in all fifty states. Below, you’ll find some facts on this topic that apply to most all states.

Voting Rights Issues

Anyone convicted of a crime is likely to have a hard time voting in the United States. Each state has different laws that determine whether someone can vote after he or she has been released or is on parole. Overwhelmingly, the voting rights of those convicted of crimes are going to be limited.

Housing Could Be an Issue

Some states do not have laws in place that prevent landlords from discriminating against people with criminal records. As a result, many landlords will refuse to rent a home or apartment to someone with a criminal record.

Getting a Job Could Be Harder

Many employers refuse to hire anyone with a criminal record, making it much harder to gain employment. Even though this is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers can “consider” it, and that makes it more likely that they will hire someone who does not have a record over someone who does.