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.
Filmmaker: Possession of Controlled Substances
I’d say the majority of my crimes were motivated by getting fucked up when I was young and stupid and didn’t have legal access to anything.
I started drinking recreationally the end of my freshman year in high school. My friends and I destroyed a bottle of Green Apple Smirnoff’s in ten minutes. I had started smoking weed before that.
Actually, I can pull up a list of all of the drugs I’ve done. Hold on… Okay. Shall I list them?
Tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, shrooms, LSD, cocaine, Dilaudid, Robitussin, hydrocodone, hash, Adderall and other ADHD meds (for academic purposes), Klonopin, ketamine, MDMA/ecstasy, Methylone (my personal favorite: it’s like ecstasy, where you feel all the love, but you don’t feel compelled to tell everyone; you’re a little bit more self-actualizing), and DMT. That’s all I can remember, at least.
The cops near where I went to high school had better things to do than bust little white idiots.
It was a predominantly black, inner city public school and we just seemed to slip under the radar. Never really got hassled. Never really felt threatened. No one looked at us twice and we didn’t have to deal with the consequences.
If I had been caught, I think it would have been okay. I’m in a stratosphere where one arrest probably wouldn’t kill me. I’m well-connected, white, and upper-middle class, I would have been able to work something out. As Louis CK said, I’m not saying white people are better. I’m saying being white is clearly better.