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.

Cruelty to Animals

confess CTA

When I was in sixth grade, I had a friend who wanted to blow up frogs with firecrackers. I wasn’t interested until I saw in Popular Science and that scientists experiment on rats and I really wanted to be a scientist. I thought, Okay, let’s do this. So we made tables and charts and blew up frogs.

I told some of my other friends about it, and these girls were like, That’s horrible. How could you do that?

But scientists do it with rats!

Yeah, but those are rats.

And in the end, it just made me not want to kill anything, to be frank. And I haven’t done it since.