Employment: The presence of a criminal record can more than halve the chances that a job applicant will receive a call back for a job interview.

Housing: Finding housing (public or private) is extremely difficult with a criminal record. This results in increased homelessness and split families – where the person with a record (a parent, child, or other family member) is forced to find shelter elsewhere.

Education: Despite no established link between criminal records and campus safety, records make admission into higher education – and financial assistance to support it – very difficult.

Working in licensed places and positions: State law prohibits people with certain records from working in fields or facilities with vulnerable people. Here, hundreds of crimes disqualify job applicants from seven years to life for records ranging from conviction to mere arrest.

Immigration: Criminal records can have a profound and permanent effect on one’s immigration status, results ranging from the inability to naturalize (and petition family members to live in the US) to deportation.

Voting: 70,000 Minnesotans can’t vote due to a felony conviction. This disproportionately impacts African Americans (10% disenfranchised) and Native Americans (6.5%). Meanwhile, research has shown that civic engagement can reduce recidivism.

Travel: Criminal records can prevent people from traveling outside of the United States, from crossing the Canadian border to obtaining a travel visa.

Government assistance: Criminal records, drug convictions in particular, can cause blockades to receiving government assistance for individuals and their families.

5th Degree Assault

confess jerk in bar

So once, I’d have to say about three or four years ago, I was in a bar and this guy was just being a real jerk to one of my friends. My friend was talking to one of his friends when they were interrupted. Apparently, the jerk wanted to leave. So he said, Hey, stop talking to that cow, meaning one of my best girlfriends.

I couldn’t believe it. Excuse me, what did you say?

I told my friend to stop talking to the cow. And then he mooed at her.

At this point, I may have had too much to drink. I railed up and punched him as hard as I possibly could in the ear. He stood there stunned.

My friend grabbed my hand and said RUN! and we ran out of the bar as fast as we could.