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ACSOL’s Online EPIC Conference: Empowered People Inspiring Change Sept 17-18, 2021


Discussion: How can registrants make a living?

This is an open discussion where you can share your ideas on how we registrants can find employment in a society that discriminates against us. For example:

  • What regulations we are up against;
  • Available job resources;
  • Tips on the types of jobs that are most available to us;
  • Your success story.

If your information is specific to your state, please mention the state.

We’d also like to hear your ideas on how registrants can start their own business—preferably without a major investment. What does it take? How can we avoid get-rich quick scams?  WARNING: No advertisements for specific businesses will be posted. We are discussing general concepts.


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Self employment can be an excellent way for R.C.’s to survive or even thrive in this world. Finding a niche market (legal) that doesn’t require anything beyond a business license and an insurance policy that you can provide an in demand service for profit is the avenue that can make any of us a comfortable living. Now I’m not talking about a get rich quick scheme of any sorts, but usually just some old fashioned blue collar or no collar work.If you have any trade skills or a mechanical aptitude, artistic talents that are desireable, there is the potential to… Read more »

“Most of my customers knew of my arrest, and I had a couple customers that still believed in me and were willing to hire me still.”
I would add to this that depending if you live in a small city or town versus a large city where you service several clients per week, it could make sense to simply use your middle name on your business cards and transactions.

Using middle name is wise. I have used my middle name my whole life. It is on nearly every thing. Vehicle registration, SSN card, insurance, tickets I purchase (airline, bus, etc.), debit cards, and more. Even my signature is middle and last name.

Not sure why others are not doing the same.

Very well said Leroy.
I would add , work hard . harder than ever before. I have basickly hidden in my work since I got out of jail 1983. The result is I have been very sucessful in my trade, and recently retired. That in its self has helped me regain some self esteam.
A very good supporting wife has helped !

I agree totally. Don’t give up. Self employment with a valuable trade is certainly a good way to go. Just make sure you’re not violating any laws in the process. Study the laws. Here in Pennsylvania I find that I am a lot more confident knowing what I can and can’t do whether it be in this state or another. Lucky for me my crime was in 2000 and it wasn’t until 2007 that I was forced to register. Between that time I had lost 2 careers because kids would be near even though the girl in my case was… Read more »

Trade skills (metal work and the like) are pretty easy to walk into with little concern of background. And of course there are entry level jobs available as well. The larger companies do a background check and will likely not hire but smaller companies say 200 employees and down often don’t do any background at all as they are well aware they are hiring ex felons. One guy asked the owner of a company i once worked at, “how come we don’t do random drug tests?” the owner replied, “I would have to fire half my crew.” Point being, they… Read more »

Never give up. The restaurant industry is a potential source of jobs for registrants. If you can cook, you can work. And, you can always learn to cook if you don’t already know how. The pay as you move up in some places isn’t bad either. A registrant right out of prison was offered 5 line-cook positions within the first week he was out. A few were eliminated right off the bat because they were in what I’ll call “no-fly”zones, to near a school, too near a greenway, whatever. But he did take a position offered at one of the… Read more »

Why won’t your regular license get renewed?

I’ve made a good living for twenty five years as a highly skilled registered citizen. For some periods of time, I worked 1099 vs W2. I’ve had to work at “under market” rates, but still was employed. It’s not been easy and quite often painful when I’ve encountered unlawful background checks… Where the checking agency quite obviously checked beyond seven years or the printout clearly showed a megans law site used. As the burden/expense of dealing with these instances has been squarely on my shoulders, I’ve found that I should just move on and try again. Do I like that?… Read more »

I am so sad That no one stood by you Bruce . I have a brother that I have been by his side through most of his trouble ./ I believe in second changes . Once you can admit that what you did was wrong -no matter what it was -you can move forward and maybe people will come around . Everyone hated my brother and his charge was child porn . Not me . I stood by and fought and still do . People are coming =around slowing and letting him back into their lives . I hope the… Read more »

Many white collar trades can be done online. I discovered that many foreign companies “reverse outsource” white collar jobs, that can be done online, to Americans.

Can you provide a link or two to even start such a search? How would one find such companies?

Sorry, that’s a “military secret.” More than “one of us” is too many. Hint… EVERYBODY in “this country” has multiple felons on their family tree.

Try or I’m sure there are many others, but those are two I’ve used to hire free lance techs and artists for brochure work.

Oddly, I was able to get a contractors license post conviction in 1993. I disclosed on the application and since it was not fraud or embezzlement they allowed it! I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t happen today. I have lost customers and get glared at by neighbors from time to time. Living in a county of pop 150,000 there is enough work to go around. Most customers want someone to show up and do a good job, if you do they often recommend you to others. I made a good living and was able to retire. Self employment is awesome/terrifying and… Read more »

I didn’t think it was odd at the turn of the century, when I got my contractors license when on probation. Neither did my probation officer. The rule then was to disclose construction related convictions on the application, which I had none. I wasn’t going to work with or supervise children, so what would have been the big deal. It fit into my rehabilitation plan: Find meaningful work. That was more of the general thinking WAY back then, a big 17 years ago. Things have gone way overboard in the blick of the eye, historically speaking. Only now, when any… Read more »

eBay is a great way to earn a living. It has paid my bills for 8 years now. It’s amazing the things people will buy. Start off selling things you have now that you no longer need. Anything old can sell. Any parts from broken things can sell. Purchase things from garage sells for very cheap to sell. Use your smart phone to check on what an item sells for on eBay before purchasing anything. You can take an old broken lawn mower and tear it apart and sell all the old obsolete parts for $100. I recently found that… Read more »

Yes. A client’s son does that. He gets stuff for jeeps, chevy and Ford trucks. Stuff like hitch inserts, jeep soft tops, and accessories, he then resells on ebay. He bought a home in the valley, a corvette, and a viper! He keeps very little inventory and works out of his garage.

New York state has a “ban the box” law that is helpful insofar as you can wait until an interview to decide whether or not to bring it up. Bringing it up in the interview helps you to contextualize your crime, i.e. you can bring along letters of support, talk about what you have done to rehabilitate yourself, put the really important details of the crime into play. You can try to humanize yourself a little bit. I’m lucky in that I work for the non-profit sector, where it seems that, in many if not most cases, hiring mangers either… Read more »

I read these blogs to learn about the issues. I have had two friends that were on the registry. One was a contact crime( he married her!) and the other was a misdomeanor internet offense. My one friend took his life last year after his daughter was harassed by her friend’s parents. We all miss him. He was a good man, husband, and father. He luckily didn’t need to worry about employment since his family owned a nation wide business. My second friend lost everything. His professional license, job, and identity. He went and took his knowledge and experience and… Read more »

California: If you’re good with numbers, consider taking a crash tax course. You can pay a small fee to train under a national company. Then, once training is completed, try getting on with a small tax prep firm during busy season. You may find this seasonal work is enough to carry you a long way at $75 to $150 per return. There is huge demand Jan – Apr. Once you’ve got experience, if you can get a $5,000 bond, you can get your CA tax preparer “license” through CTEC. This is a private (non-govt) licensing agency. If you had a… Read more »

Taxman, Thank you for this post. I read it back in October 2018 and was too late to take the course then. So I kept an eye out for this year’s tax return course. I took the course in late August for $150 at H&R Block. I had to interview with them so I did and they rejected the job offer due to my conviction. It hit me hard but after a few hours, I reminded myself that the goal was to apply with a small preparation company. On Friday, I passed the final exam and submitted the application for… Read more »

Congrats! Way to push past the obstacles and find a way to make it work. Good luck!

I used my pre-conviction experience in electronics from the military (courts-martial) and worked as an electronics technician, even for government contractors. I lost my security clearance, but all that means is I can’t work for some of the large contractors or in certain roles. Also, a big plus is that a courts-martial is not technically a felony per Title 10 of the US Code, so I can legally say no on applications. Only thing that ever showed up was when they did a registry search, most did not. I found a home on the Manufacturing side of the business, and… Read more »

OK while not quite what one would consider full-time employment, I currently use my VA benefits and go to school and get a decent housing allowance. I’ve got about 15 months of benefits left but have completed 3/4 of my degree so will start work on my masters as far as I can. I’m lucky in that my wife brings home the main income for the family, but add in my VA pay and Pell grant really makes a world of difference! Doing all that while being a stay-at-home Dad with 3 kids sure makes it feel like two full-time… Read more »

Good job! VA, good job. I actually lost a professional license in Health Care. It was almost worst than going through my legal process. Honestly, there isn’t a day that goes by (20 plus years) where I don’t think about this loss. I later went back to school and obtained a Graduate Degree. Unfortunately, getting into a business position or utilizing a straight business degree isn’t like healthcare. I had a really great job in the Banking Industry (my offense was expunged). While working in Banking, I applied for an Underwriting position within a large Healthcare Organization (stable/increased pay/great benefits).… Read more »

I started a pressure washing business, which had turned into a handyman service! My customers love me!


No public reviews on any of the websites (who shall go unnamed here) which publish customer reviews and star ratings after providing background checks, etc?

I think a group of registrants should get together and create a workers cooperative. This form of business is growing in popularity, especially with those groups who have been shut out from traditional employment hierarchies.

I had a small motorcycle repair business prior to my arrest. I restarted that company once I was released. It has been hard but not all due to my status. Some months I really struggle, others I do well. But it is growing. Here is my opinion. While I am writing this on the perspective of living in Boise, Idaho, I am sure it applies everywhere. We need to look at this as two separate issues. Getting a job, and obtaining a worthwhile career. They should be looked at completely different. First, get a job. Over my 50 years on… Read more »

I just read this and thought it could be useful here in this thread or maybe on its own, I don’t know and leave that to ACSOL to decide. However, it details the struggle many registrants have (including myself), but he does come out on top in the end, as a felon. The registrant does face an extra layer of issues beyond just a felony conviction which need to be fought continually. There are also many details from general perspectives here that are helpful to put things into the light how folks are held back, e.g. off-limit careers and licenses,… Read more »

@TS: thank you for posting this story. The trials and tribulations any felon goes through at times seem worthless, none the less, the writer explored them all and finally succeeded. Hope we all can too.

Problem is the type of crimes. Even under most places felon can become a police officer. If you look laws on the books (lat time I did) the prohibition of felons of having guns excluded police officers. However, if you look closely, those which are excluded from become police officers, or attorneys are those with crimes of “moral turpitude.”

In case some people didn’t know, the President of ACSOL is proof that a felon could eventually become a lawyer … again. = )

He’s got great courage, bravery, and will power to overcome so many obstacles. I’m just not as strong.

Some jobs that require a background check still might not disqualify you but it’s the discomfort of the ordeal that is most discouraging. best to just gain a skill and be self-employed as I have. I train registrants and/or their family members to sharpen salon scissors for hairdressers. I’ve used this skill to fight back politically by harnessing relationships gained to get politicians elected to office and kicked out.

Oh if anyone whats to learn a hands on skill (I invented the machine) that can be used to also fight the registry give me a call Robert (949) 872-8768.

Do not forget about going back to college and earning degrees. I am 50 now and have been going on four years now in college, had all my general ed to make up, including math and English and all that in every semester. Took two years of GE classes just to get caught up before I could even start taking real college classes. I worked and paid my wife’s way thru college for her bachelors degree, of course she has some serious debt from student loans but that was from before we got together. By the time we got together… Read more »

I was able to get a licence to be a car saleperson.

I now work in IT.

This is an interesting article on how employers should consider sex offender registry records in California:

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