October 19, 2020

Having a criminal record: “Once a criminal always a criminal”


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If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, no matter how small, you will carry that stigma with you because of that conviction. Unfortunately, even something as minor as a shoplifting charge or disorderly conduct conviction can make life difficult in so many areas.

Probably the area where a criminal record has the most impact is in applying for and getting a job. Even when countries have laws against discrimination, and even where not hiring somebody because of a past criminal offence is considered discrimination, these laws are constantly being broken and are almost impossible to prove.

If you look at any typical job application there is almost always a section that asks if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a crime other than a motor vehicle offence. Many ex-convicts are hesitant to fill out this section because they are afraid that it will cost them the job. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because if the employer checks, the conviction will turn up unless it was while the person was a juvenile.

One of the few industries that does take ex-criminals are restaurants and catering companies, but again not all. Small independent restaurants are the best bet. There are also temporary employment agencies that primarily work with the service industry. However, someone with a criminal record may have to put in extra work to get hired. Some construction companies also will take on an ex criminal if he has certain skills.

Gaining employment isn’t the only place where an ex-convict has problems. If you are not a citizen of the Cayman Islands and you need a work permit to be employed here and you have a criminal record, don’t bother to apply. You will not get one. If you were a visitor here and/or gainfully employed and you committed a crime on these islands you will not be permitted to enter this country even as a visitor. This situation does not only apply here. In most countries, if you have a criminal record, you are unwelcome. Every country has more criminals they want of their own without you adding to their list.

There is the social aspect of his or her life that probably gets the biggest beating. Imagine a guy meeting a nice girl, taking her out for a drink or maybe dinner, they get to talking and the girl asks what he’s been doing with himself. Now if he’s been out of prison for a long period of time this can be fairly easy to get around. But if he’s just been newly released from jail and has been out of society for a while getting around the issue is close to impossible.

In the same situation, hardened criminals who have been serving a long sentence and are just not used to being in society, have a hard time fitting in as it is. Their appearance will be different from most. Their actions will seem strange. They will seem ill at ease with their surroundings. This isn’t opinion. There are studies that show how difficult it is for an ex-convict to get back into normal society. Ultimately, the girl will either find out he was in prison or he will have to tell her. Studies show that the percentage of relationships that actually succeed under these conditions is very small. In most cases the girl will break it off as gently as possible.

There is an old saying that goes, “Once a criminal always a criminal”. While this isn’t always true, unfortunately, it is the perception of most people. We have a very hard time trusting somebody who has been convicted of a crime. Why? Simple. If they stole or injured or did something unlawful once, what’s to say they won’t do it again? In our troubled world as it is, it’s hard to know who to trust, even if they don’t have a record. Certainly someone who has already gone down that road can’t be a good risk for getting into a relationship with.

Yes, unfortunately as much as we like to think of ourselves as a forgiving species, having a criminal record is usually a walking death sentence for ever having a normal life again.






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