Anybody with a felony record knows very well the challenges of finding decent employment and housing. The clear result of felony prosecutions is that good potential workers are kept out of the productive labor force. A report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research states that this under-employment actually reduces the productivity of the United States. The report estimates that the lost productivity from felons being prevented from living up to their potential resulted in up to $65 Billion in lost economic output in 2010.
As the report points out, people with felony convictions want to work, they are simply less able to find gainful employment. Changes in sentencing laws, not an increase in violent crime, led to substantial increases in prison populations and felony convictions. Even “tough-on-crime” district attorneys and legislators should take note of the economic impact of their decisions to riddle people with felony records. Not only does it affect the person, it affects the economic health of the nation.
At Lohrke Law, we support criminal justice reform and increased opportunities for rights restoration. The number of crimes that qualify as felonies has increased dramatically in recent decades. The result is to keep more people down; not keep more people safe.