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.

Chief Financial and Operating Officer: Burglary


Let’s just say I’m never going to be president.

I was a horrid child. I’ll list the types of offenses and you can choose which you’d like to talk about. Alcohol? Marijuana? (Smoked, baked, and supplied.) LSD? Shoplifting? (Make-up, perfume, eyelash curlers, fake eyelashes.) By eighth grade it was all routine.

Let’s see. I stuffed a potato up a tailpipe and blew up a car. I blew up a mailbox. I torched a friend’s AC. That one was a mistake.

I was particularly adept at breaking and entering—a career I continued till 10th grade. My friend and I would dress in all black, slinking around the neighborhood. A cop stopped us once. Oh, we’re out looking for our lost dog. Have you seen him? Why would anyone scurry around in all black looking for a pet in the middle of the night? He didn’t even question it, just let us go on with our night.

Sometimes we’d break into homes and just eat their ice cream. Other times we’d rifle through their stuff.

I still have some of it, such as a single, simple gold bracelet and a silver carafe (now tarnished) from another venture.

The bracelet I just took on our family vacation to Barbados. I often wear it when I travel. If it’s stolen, oh well. I didn’t spend anything on it.

So anyway, that’s what I did growing up. Don’t tell my son.