Perhaps one of the biggest problems facing life in america today is the fact that once someone has been convicted of a crime and done their time, they are still being punished. Personal Background: I have a criminal record, including 2 felonies and a long list of misdemeanors. Long story short i was a habitual criminal with a substance abuse problem. I never killed anyone, never raped anyone, but still im treated as the lowest of the low. Not being one to get ahead of myself by trying to land an engineering job with a criminal record, no job history, and no secondary education, i decided id take a forklift certification course. Finished that, but unfortunately (as many of you may know) i was still setting my sights too high. The order of the job-getting process goes Interview, Job offer, then background check. Every time i got a job offer and then had the offer revoked on grounds of the background check i could feel myself growing more and more hateful and cynical of society. This morning i realized i have 2 ways of emotionally handling the situation- I could be mad at society, or depressed for doing this to myself. Then the epiphany(obvious now): With no job history and a criminal record i am unhirable, but maybe i could fix the no job history thing and prove to the prospective employers that im changing my life around. So I applied to volunteer at Restore(habitat for humanity) and an animal shelter. In a way you could say there were ulterior motives, but regardless id love helping unfortunate people and animals. So, im feeling once i start volunteering ill feel better about myself, Ill get a chance to socialize and quit isolating, and on top of it all ill have some valuable work experience. I got a feeling employers are gonna eat that up when they look at my resume(provided they have a soul), especially considering im being proactive and im not doing it because im obligated to as a condition of probation or parole. The Idea: Allow expungement of criminal records upon completion of community service. This should be allowed for pretty much all crimes(but probably not rape). This would allow people to turn their lives around, and end the viscious cycle of poverty and crime. Often people with criminal records are barred from certain professions(such as finance and law) permanently. Sure, i could volunteer my ass off, but regardless for the rest of my life i can never be a banker or lawyer because its against the law. This "work for expungement" idea should be nation-wide. One of the big things about expungement law is they vary by state. I currently live in missouri, but my charges are from the great state of wisconsin(perhaps you heard about scott walker not granting a single pardon during his entire time in office to garner votes from republicans). Wisconsin laws for expungement(expungement is not a pardon, but a sealing of records) are different from missouri laws- Because i have 2 felonies i am not elligible for expungement in wisconsin, however missouri law allows for multiple felon expungements) Considering most companies do nation-wide background checks, this is entirely unconstitutional and wrong. (ironic considering "state-rights" passes for democracy in america) Furthermore, expungements take lawyers, and lawyers cost money. This is incredibly wrong, because it imposes a double standard, and adversely affects the already screwed up wealth gap in america, on top of keeping poor people with criminal records unemployed. How about this: instead of having to pay to wipe the slate clean, why not do something good instead? This should be how criminal records are handled. I challenge anyone here to prove me wrong.