GA: Do These Sex Offender Employment Restrictions Make Sense to Anyone?

Source: 10/19/23

In the month since I was released from Georgia Department of Corrections custody, I’ve been offered four different jobs. I could have been an account lead at a prominent insurance agency; a receptionist at the same agency, different location; an accountant at another insurance agency; and a paralegal assistant at a law firm. I submitted each offer to my local sheriff’s department, where each was promptly rejected. It appears there are only two available positions in the entire county I’d be allowed to work, one of them at Taco Bell and the other also at Taco Bell. 

People who aren’t impacted by sex offender registry (SOR) restrictions typically think they ban you from schools. They do, but they also ban you from living or working within 1,000 feet (as the crow flies, no matter how long the actual route) of churches, gyms, community centers, parks—public parks, even. Pretty much any job in any moderately urban area is going to be within 1,000 feet of at least one of those.

The insurance company jobs were salaried positions in the $30,000s, with health insurance and dental and monthly bonuses. The paralegal assistant job paid $21 per hour, but in the field I’m actually passionate about and qualified to pursue, and even if that weren’t true it still would have been $6 more than Taco Bell.

The highest-paying offer, $38,000 with potential for advancement up to $80,000, would have had me working from home—that is, the partially constructed boarding house for people on SOR where I rent a room. I would have only had to physically go into the office for four hours on Mondays to do paperwork. Alas, a few hundred feet down the road from that office there is a church.

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Depending on the year of your offense, there are varying laws on employment, housing etc. The older your offense the less restrictions in Ga.

In Georgia you can also petition to have yourself removed from the registry.

I relocated here recently to get away from Florida. I should of done it years ago. I am now looking for gainful employment. I have no restrictions.

The Intensive probation POs here in AZ are just as bad. IMO they want to keep you from succeeding even though they mouth platitudes saying “we are here to help you.” HA! When I was on Intensive Probation, (turning in weekly schedule of where I would be), I had a job offer as a Limo Driver for a HIGH-END Limo Company who promised me IN WRITING that there would be no minors in the car. My PO disapproved it saying “I can’t keep track of you”, even when I said I would call her at all stops. I think it was because I would be making $6k to $7k a month after taxes and fees.

It’s a system *designed* for those subjected to it to fail…the system itself “fails” when registrants, in spite of all the odds against them, instead succeed. Every aspect of the registry scheme is *meant* to either fast track registrants back into prison, make them destitute, or “execute” them (via vigilantes.)

Whatever their “official duties” may be, POs supervising registrants operate according to their own attitudes, beliefs, and opinions…which, more often than not, run contrary to the best interest or well-being of the probationer. Alternatively, many POs are out of touch (or, possibly just don’t care about) the reality of the monumental difficulties registrants face in their daily life, (such as finding work or housing, public stigma, and so on.)