I can totally relate to this question. You see I have been a prisoner in a jail and am still a prisoner to the legal system. WHen I was 17 YRs. old I began to walk my friend home in one of the worst neighborhoods of CHicago. THis area is infamous for shootings and disturbances that dont recieve police attention. As soon as we take 6 steps from a residence we are stopped by an unmarked police vehicle riding around the area with headlighs off. They frisk us and throw us in the car. In the car one asks the other did you find anything, the partner pulls out a pouch, he says yea we got em’. We ride to the station and yes me and my friend are gang members and yes we fit the profile of people that might have a gun, and yes I wouldnt be so upset if I knew we were carrying a gun. The truth is, they played eenie-meenie-miney-Moe to put the charges on me. After my friend broke down crying about his mom and his family and how shameful it was going to be trying to explain a weapons charge to them. I ended up getting the charges 3 in all 1 felony against the state and 2 misdemeanors against city ordinances. I get booked and processed, next day im off to cook county jail on 26th and California. I get to division B,2nd deck. Aside from the gang fight that occured after i arrived it was a decent stay by my standards at the time. 2 weeks later i go before a judge, the public defender only gived me 2 choices, fight the case and stay in jail for an undisclosed time period, or plead guilty and get out within 2 days. Well the choice was a no brainer. Plead out and get back to the streets where I felt I belonged. Little did I know that I would be a prisoner to the legal system up to this day.
Well, i pleaded guilty received 2 yrs probation and 260.00 fine. I completed everything and payed my dues, for a crime I was framed for because I fit the profile, and lack of legal know-how. Fast forward 3 yrs. in a recruiters office for the Navy. 20 yrs old a child on the way, its time to make a career decision. Little did I know that my record wouldnt allow me into the military. So I try to get a job with a retail store so I can at least make some money the legal way. “Im sorry MR. Romo we have to turn down your application due to your criminal record.”. Ok, so I apply to about 6 different jobs, ameritech, UPS, CheapTiX, Telemarketing, I do well and get interviewed and hired at all of them, only to be fired within the week that my background check comes back. In some cases they know from my application and they still try to get me into the position becaseu I am a good person and they can see that. I have convinced many people that I can be an asset to them and their company, but as soon as that check comes back with my Gun charge im immediately let go. I am 27 yrs old now. I have 3 AA’s and 1 bachelors in computer science. All due to the extra time given to me from my imprisonment out of prison. To this day I am a private contracter working for myself , because no one will hire me. I doubt I will ever be able to work for another person unless they dont require background checks, but who wants to work at a flea market or a McDonalds that still hasnt gotten savvy to these kinds of qualifications. As you can tell by reading this I am and probably always will be a prisoner to the legal system. I have lost a freedom that I will never gain back, due to no fault of my own.