Minnesota is failing its prisoners released on Felony Probation. We are leading the Country in sending persons on Felony Probation back to Prison within 3 years. That means we are failing big-time, and wasting a lot of money. We should be turning these people recently released from prison into tax-paying citizens so that they can work and their payroll taxes will help pay for OUR Social Security and Medicare benefits when we retire.
The Dept. of Corrections, the prosecutors, and the prison guards union all have a lot to answer for here. Keller Law Offices and many others in and out of the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) have worked hard lobbying at the Capitol in St. Paul for expungement reform. One reasons felons are returning to prison while still on probation is that they can’t get any legitimate jobs. They often can’t find housing also because of a felony record, even if they have been off probation for 10 years or more. A felony on their record makes them un-employable and prevents them from even obtaining housing! People with felonies on their record deserve a *second chance* and a clean start, especially when they successfully completed probation years or even decades ago!. And it benefits the rest of us if they can get a job and pay into the system instead of taking money FROM the system.
IF YOU LIVE IN MINNESOTA, please contact your legislator now and ask him/her to pass the Expungement Reform bill that was passed by the Legislature last year, but vetoed by Governor Pawlenty.