HARRISBURG – State officials are launching the first statewide council to help former prison inmates navigate the challenges of finding housing, work and health care as they adjust to life outside bars. – Sarah Mearhoff, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
At age 35, Jermaine Myers has spent most of his adult life incarcerated. The cycle started when he was 16, charged with armed robbery as an adult. He got out at age 21 with the idea of getting a commercial driver’s license. Instead, he said, “I went back to drugs and guns within two months.”
To be sure, many people coming from prison will return to a life of crime. That’s been the experience of career prosecutor George Parry, now a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia. “I’m sure there are people who make a mistake and go to prison and change their lives,” he said.
When it comes to how poor people are treated at work, Sharon Dietrich gets mad. “I’m mad on a daily basis,” said Dietrich, 55, litigation director and managing attorney of the employment law practice at Community Legal Services. – Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer
Important information if you have a criminal record. Effective November 14, people with certain misdemeanor convictions can ask the court to seal their records. The sealed record will only be available to law enforcement officers, and, if your record is sealed, you can truthfully tell a prospective employer that you have no criminal record.