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.

Policy Analyst: Failure to Stop for Accident to Property, Failure to Notify Collision with Unattended Vehicle

hitandrunWEB

It wasn’t the day after I got my license, but it was close to then. It was homecoming weekend, and the night before I had hit a car in the school’s lot so I was already nervous.

I was in a mall lot and they had those diagonal slanting lines. I pulled all the way through one of those (because my mom told me that’s what you should do so I guess it’s partially her doing).

There was this guy in front of me with a huge SUV with I think a gun rack in it. It was taking me forever, slowly and methodically trying to get out of this parking spot. I was pissing a lot of people off.

I’m turning turning turning, think I can make it, think I can make and then bam I hit a truck next to me and it went like this and everyone inside got jostled.

My windows were open and my music was on so I did the total ditzy white chick thing, and yelled Sorry! and vroom! drove off as quickly as I could.

Since then, I’ve clipped the bumper of a black Lexus, run into a few poles, scraped up the car backing out my garage, and hit a few other cars. I know I probably shouldn’t have gotten my driver’s license on my first attempt.  To this day, I will admit that I absolutely suck at parking.

But lately when that happens, and yes – it still happens – I stop and talk to the person.