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.
Sales and Possession of Drugs, Terroristic Threats, Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
I had a very orderly childhood. I rarely drank, rarely smoked, and rarely went out. I had friends over for tea parties – that was the kind of thing we would do.
I went to college and something just clicked: I started drinking Robitussin, started buying acid, and before long I was selling acid along with other drugs and pharmaceuticals. Shit got crazy for a few years there.
I bought a gun, brought it on campus, and went duck hunting in the arboretum. Which was, of course, many felonies deep. Later, I threatened this really annoying guy with a gun: he had walked into my dorm room and started telling me about his high grades and tried to impress me with his knowledge. Get out of my room or I will shoot you. That was actually with my cap gun, not my real gun, but he didn’t know that. So he went running out of my room.
But yeah, that was the sort of thing we did in college.