Would you hire a convicted felon to babysit your kids?

Convicted felons, for some reason, have a bad reputation.

It may be because they’ve been, well, convicted of a felony. Felonies run the gamut from murder to drug possession, theft to child prostitution.

Royzell Williams/AZ DOC photo

Royzell Williams/AZ DOC photo

Arizona law suspends a host of civil rights from convicted felons. They can no longer vote, can’t hold public office positions and are banned from owning a gun. They automatically get out of jury duty. They can forget about working as a sheriff’s deputy or cop.

But convicted felons can be hired into a state position unless their felony “has a reasonable relationship to the functions” of what they are hired to do.

In other words, it wouldn’t be wise to hire a person convicted of child prostitution to run a day care agency or babysit your kids.

While some of us may want to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove us wrong – not unlike that “innocent until proven guilty” theory – some folks just can’t be trusted.

Two cases popped up recently in Pinal County where convicted felons who had been hired by the county government screwed up royally.

Albert Robbs, 51, who served prison time for theft, was hired by the County Recorder’s office into a position where he had complete access to county residents’ checking account numbers, credit card information and social security numbers.

Albert Robbs/AZ DOC photo

Albert Robbs/AZ DOC photo

Guess what? Robbs stole checks that came into the office and handed them over to one of his three partners-in-crime to buy drugs, according to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

“It’s not surprising he was subsequently arrested and indicted for identity theft and assisting in a criminal syndicate,” Babeu said in his August newsletter.

Royzell Williams, 46, who served time for theft, drug possession and sale of drugs, was hired as a bailiff in Pinal County Superior Court.

“Just last week, he was arrested, booked and charged with accepting bribes in exchange for attempting to influence the outcome of cases before the Superior Court,” Babeu said.

That’s some pretty heavy duty stuff.

Both guys were hired fresh out of prison. Both guys were given the benefit of the doubt. Both guys made the sheriff angry enough to demand a ban on hiring convicted felons into Pinal County government positions.

“These situations serve as strong examples of why we should ban the hiring of convicted felons,” Babeu said. “Leaders in our government have knowingly hired convicted felons, who have used their public offices to commit serious crimes. Hiring officials allowed their personal relationships or other considerations color their judgment when it comes to hiring decisions.”

I’ve seen convicted felons who are honestly trying to turn their lives around and cringe every time they have to fill out that little box on employment applications: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Please explain.”

I’ve also seen convicted felons who dabble at making a better life, realize it’s a major pain to follow the law, at least for them, and plunge back into the “easy” life of crime.

Some, too, pretend to be on the up-and-up while they have no intention of doing anything other than falling back into their old habits.

Would I hire a convicted felon to weed my yard?
Sure. As long as he stayed outside.

Paint my house?
Maybe. Depends on the conviction. And as long as he didn’t see where my diamonds, emeralds and rubies were stashed.

Watch my dogs?
Not in your life.

wb-logolil16What do you think?

Is banning convicted felons from government employment too harsh?

Should they all be given a second chance?

Have you had any positive/negative experiences hiring, befriending or marrying a convicted felon?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, death, gross stuff, life, Police/fire/law, politics, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Would you hire a convicted felon to babysit your kids?

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Think you pretty much pegged this one. Second chances have to be given. What alternative would an ex con have besides returning to crime otherwise. Still, certain positions should be scrutinized thoroughly. A little common sense in hiring maybe? Pretty easy to run a background check these days. PS- I have some ex cons working for me who say they would love to paint your house….

  2. Rynski says:

    Mornin’ RadMax – Yeah, it’s a tough one. Some people make ONE stupid mistake and it haunts them forever. Others are just jerks who will take advantage of any situation. As you said, we should use common sense, background checks – and gut intuition.
    Send the ex cons over with paint brushes – as long as none were convicted of stealing Lucky Voodoo Dolls or wacky art, we should be OK – hahah.

  3. TRISHIA says:

    I UNFORTUNATLEY WAS IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP YEARS AGO, WHERE ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS RECEIVED BROKEN BONES, AND MULTIPLE BRUISES, BLACK EYES, ETC.  WHEN I FINALLY GOT UP THE NERVE TO FIGHT BACK, AND FIGHT HIM OFF, HE CALLED THE POLICE ON ME AND I RECEIVED A FELONY. I COMPLETED COUNSELING AND 3YEARS SUPERVISED PROBATION, I SERVED WHAT SOCIETY SAID MY DEBT WAS, WHY SHOULD I CONTINUE TO PAY FURTHER? 

    • Rynski says:

      Wow, Trisha. I am glad you are out of – and survived! – that relationship. Your situation sounds like a prime example of why people should be given a second chance. You shouldn’t have to pay further, at least not in my opinion. Putting up with that beastly person should have been debt enough, anyway. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • radmax says:

      Trisha, if I looked at your case/resume as an employer, no way in hell would I hold that against you. Hope that guy is doing time or worse.

  4. TRISHIA says:

    WITH A FELONY GETTING IN THE DOOR IS THE HARD PART.  IF YOU CAN GET SOMEONE TO HIRE YOU ,THEN THEY CAN SEE THAT YOU ARE NOT THE VIOLENT PERSON YOU WERE CONVICTED OF BEING. WHEN I GREW UP A FELONY WAS THE WORST THING EVER.  YOU NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT REALLY, BUT THESE DAYS I THINK THEY ARE TO QUICK TO GIVE THEM OUT.  I THINK YOU WILL SEE A LOT MORE PEOPLE WITH FELONIES, BECAUSE OF THE DUI LAWS.

    • radmax says:

      Think you are right about that Trisha. BTW-no need to shout, we’re all friends here. 🙂

      • TRISHIA says:

        Sorry, I’m at work, I use caps for everything.
        You know if you look up the definition for probation, it say’s “a trial period for a person to redeem themselves”  Granted you have people who do the stupid stuff they are used to doing that give felons a bad name, but isn’t that true with everything there is always something negative to counter something positive.

      • TRISHIA says:

        Maybe they should have evaluations with background checks, or a letter from the system, character reference letter.  Because a criminal mind is just that.

      • radmax says:

        I believe once you have completed your probation period satisfactorily, your probation officer should write a character reference, mine did. DUI

  5. TRISHIA says:

    It would be kind of neat if in the background check they would add something like a grading system from the PO on your over all performance so you wouldn’t have to show the letter, or ever have to talk about it again.

    • radmax says:

      That’s a great idea! Don’t expect the system to change unless there are some bucks to be made off of it though…

      • Rynski says:

        It’s a great idea – in theory. As in all fields, however, won’t you get some POs who are going to hate people for the heck of it and not offer a fair evaluation if they  just don’t like your face?

      • TRISHIA says:

        You know, the bottom line of it is, if society says your debt is to serve 3 years, you serve three years and you shouldn’t have to continue to pay for the mistake over and over, every time you apply for a job or and apartment.  You should be allowed to start over with a clean slate, because people without felonies do stupid stuff like the 2 above. To err is human.

      • Rynski says:

        Yes. Having it permanently hovering over your head is a load of crap.

      • radmax says:

        Sure, why do you think they are PO’s instead of doctors? 🙂

      • radmax says:

        …this is supposed to be up there somewhere….

  6. sechem says:

    “who do the stupid stuff they are used to doing that give felons a bad name” ??????????????

    i don’t know your situation trishia, but what i do know from my exposure to felons is first …….. they have a bad name because they are FELONS.

    and then ……………….
    how about the fact that 60% (varies with each state) plus return to prison within the first year
    how about the fact that 50-60% of all murders are committed by current persons convicted of a felony. those convicted of murder and released repeat the act at a rate of over 50% within two years.

    and i could go on and on.

    it is not just “some” felons. it is, in fact, the majority of felons.

    btw ……….. convicted murders need to hang. then repeat offenders would never be an issue and many, many people would be alive today.

    • Rynski says:

      Do you think ALL convicted murderers should get the death penalty? Don’t you like the current system of just some of them getting it?

      • azmouse says:

        I agree that if a murder happens during the course of another felony…rape, kidnapping, robbery, etc. then it should be an immediate death penalty.

      • Ferraribubba says:

        Hey Rynski: Get serious. That’s a loaded question, Just like, ‘Do you STILL beat your wife?’
        When a cop takes a life in the line of duty in Orange County, CA., the Grand Jury votes a ‘No Bill.’ and it is judged justifiable homicide.
        Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba (been there)

    • TRISHIA says:

      I’m not saying that some people don’t learn there lesson, but there is the other 40% that don’t commit another act. 

      • sechem says:

        that fact does not comfort the victims or their families.

        people die everyday in this country at the hands of released convicted felons of violent crimes ……… everyday. the fact the some do not violate again does not raise the innocent from the dead, replace a father or mother, replace a spouse or replace a child.

        violent offenders and ALL forms of child molesters need to go the way of the dinosaur. dead violent offenders do not kill again and dead child molesters do not destroy the innocent again ……… that is a fact.

        and yes rynski, ALL.
         

  7. azmouse says:

    I appreciate reading everyone’s comments and seeing so much feeling and honesty. I symphathize with someone who’s made a mistake, and feels like they end up paying for it for the rest of their lives. It makes me think of folks out there who, just that one time slept with the wrong person and gets AIDS.

    But when it comes to sexual offenders, they should throw away the key. They cannnot be changed or fixed. A few ‘might’ be able to learn to control their urges, but the urges are still there. Asking a child molester NOT to be attracted to kids is like telling me NOT to be attracted to men. If you believe people are born straight, gay, etc then you have to feel there are people born attracted to kids and it doesn’t change.

    So I think everyone (except sex offenders) should get a second chance.

    • radmax says:

      Hi az. Very well spoken. My sentiments exactly. Great point about the being born to…never thought of putting it in that light. Betcha catch some flak over it. I’m with you.

      • azmouse says:

        Thanks Maxxie! (and hello) Glad ya got my back. lol

        Okay (rolling up my sleeves) bring on the flak!

    • wanderer says:

      do you believe any and all people who are sex offenders shouldn’t be forgiven? including teenagers who have sex, or a person who urinated in public? registered sex offenders seem to draw a lot even worse than convicted felons…if you are willing to see a difference among felons, isn’t it fair to consider that not all sex offenders are likely to repeat?
      though, to be fair, i suppose both of the groups i mentioned are likely to repeat their respective offenses. kids these days. 🙂
      but my point is, what is considered a sex offense is not just the child predators we hear about all the time. its always good to actually look at the whole group before lumping them together, right?

  8. leftfield says:

    With the world’s largest per capita prison population, clearly this country has some work to do in this area.

     

  9. azmouse says:

    Trishia, hello.
    You should be very proud of yourself for standing up and defending yourself. You are alive today, probably because of your felony. I think you made a sacrifice and a (good) choice by doing what you did. I’m so glad you chose to fight back and be here today to share your story.
    To me, you’re a hero instead of a statistic.

    • TRISHIA says:

      Thank you AZ,
      You know as much as i hate the system, i have to thank them for stepping in and even though i went to jail it removed me from that situation that i might have stayed in and it could’ve been worse.

      • azmouse says:

        Jail didn’t remove you from that situation, your bravery did. You did the right thing and everyone who knows you is lucky.

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  11. Steve Williams says:

    I think common sense has to be applied. I know a convicted felon (assault) who was in a drunken college bar fight over 15 years ago and still loses job opportunities because of it. He has a wife and two kids to support. In the 15 years since he hasnt had one problem and has a long list of professional references that will speak to what a perfect gentlemen he is in all situations.
    Instead of writing this rabble rousing garbage and white washing all convicted felons as untrustworthy slims that unworthy of a second chance how about you write an article slamming the idiots that failed to take common sense into consideration when they hired.
    All you do is perpetuate the stereotype and make it harder for decent hardworking people that made a mistake to move on with their lives. You disgust me.

    • radmax says:

      Like the two referenced ‘reformed’ cons in the story Steve? What’s your point? That every ex-con should be considered, regardless of the crime, for every available position. That’s disgustingly idiotic.

    • Rynski says:

      Dear Steve,
      I am sorry I disgust you. I usually reserve that pleasure for my friends.
      I am also sorry it appears you neither read my full post nor my previous comments where I support the hiring of convicted felons:
      FROM THE POST: “I’ve seen convicted felons who are honestly trying to turn their lives around and cringe every time they have to fill out that little box on employment applications: ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Please explain.'”
      FROM THE COMMENTS: “Wow, Trisha. I am glad you are out of – and survived! – that relationship. Your situation sounds like a prime example of why people should be given a second chance. You shouldn’t have to pay further, at least not in my opinion. Putting up with that beastly person should have been debt enough, anyway. Thanks for sharing your experience.”
      Have a nice day.

      • azmouse says:

        Steve,
        Hello.
        Small penis syndrome is no reason to lash out at anyone. Seek help. You won’t need to use words like, ‘you disgust me’ to others when obviously you feel disgusted by yourself.

      • Rynski says:

        hahahha! AZMouse, you’re the coolest!

      • azmouse says:

        Just a little Monday morning humor to hopefully lighten up everyone’s mood for a happy day!    🙂

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  13. trisha says:

    Is there anybody on here i can talk to about hiring a convicted felon paper i am writing?

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