For a convicted criminal, completed jail time doesnt necessarily mean the sentence is over, but in most cases, is just beginning. Ex-offenders face a harsh reality once justice is served through the service of a sentence. Jobs are scarce, and prejudice runs deep for those with a criminal record. In many cases, a conviction becomes life sentence for nonviolent and first-time offenders as the barriers erected prevent them from reentering society as full members and make it all but impossible to move on with their lives in a self-developing and productive way.
For the sixty-five million Americans with criminal records, there are few employment options. There is no discrimination on a criminal background report between nonviolent first-time offenders to those who committed crimes of violence. Many former inmates grow up in impoverished America and have little formal education. With few options for viable work, and hampered by a debilitating social stigma, survival in meeting the basic needs becomes a hopeless way of life. Rehabilitation, if it occurs at all, is incidental in the present US system.
Frank Gruttadauria, a former investment banker who served seven years for white-collar crimes, understands the challenges faced by ex-offenders. InUnder the Banner of Justice, he describes the journey many young, nonviolent, first-time offenders take as their indigence and lack of formal education grease the skids of their journey through the unforgiving criminal justice system.show more