Citizens with a criminal record pay for their crime long after their sentences have been served. A criminal history can mean that a reentrant can be denied participation in government programs such as food stamps and subsidized housing. Educational opportunities are harder to come by for those with a criminal conviction. Some colleges and universities pass over applicants who have a record, and grants to pursue higher education are often unobtainable.
Finding a job can be a major problem. Employers often reject a qualified applicant based on a crime that might have been committed years, even decades ago. (see Reentry Central, March 28, 2011, Have a Job Skill? If You Have a Criminal Conviction You Probably Will Be Banned From Employment in That Field ).
Fortunately for the people of Ohio who have faced barriers to successful reentry, new legislation will help dismantle some of the obstacles in their way. As reported by Reentry Central in June, Ohio Governor John R. Kaisich signed into law key pieces of legislation that promotes the offering of a second chance for formerly incarcerated persons, and others with criminal convictions. The Vera Institute of Justice praises the state for its progressive actions.