Having a criminal record can complicate an individual’s life in several ways. A criminal record does not go away with time but instead serves as a reminder of past actions.
A criminal record can be used against an individual when they are trying to get a job or are
simply looking for a decent place to live.
Here are the top 5 ways in which a criminal record can devastate an individual’s life:
1) Finding a Job
The standardization of criminal background checks by employers has substantially increased
over the years as the digital age has made it easier to obtain more information regarding
potential candidates in the hiring process.
Some companies are required to do so by law. These background checks can be harmful to
individuals with criminal records as they are immediately eliminated from being considered
for the position. They are not invited to interviews or even given a second glance.
Many people find their positions jeopardized when they do not have a Pardon even while
being employed. Existing employees can also be randomly asked to provide background
checks if the ownership of a company changes, a new insurance policy is introduced, or the
company is undertaking a sensitive contract.
2) Buying a House
Criminal records can also end up affecting someone’s real estate buying power. Many people
end up giving up their homes when they are convicted of a crime and have nowhere to return
to when they have completed their sentence. Their families abandon them, and they are left
on their own. Others are unable to afford their mortgages because they no longer have a job.
To make matters worse, most mortgage lenders and even renters ask about an individual’s
record beforehand. They always prefer people with no history of crime, and that is where
most of the ex-offenders suffer.
Most countries, like the United States, Australia, etc. have strict entry requirements. They do
extreme background checks, and their stringent laws leave little room for ex-offenders to
make their way into their country. A criminal record may keep an individual’s travel plans on
hold for an indefinite period.
4) Volunteering and Adoption
Criminal record holders are barred from working in any capacity with vulnerable groups like
children etc, in any social event or activity. People who have committed violent or sexual
offences are eliminated entirely from working in this sector. Similarly, an individual might also
have limited options for starting a family.
Specifically, for adoption, there are stringent procedures that adoption agencies set.
Adoption agencies screen applicants very thoroughly. Even if an individual is capable of
providing a safe and nurturing environment for a child, their criminal record can stop them
from getting custody of a child.
5) Stigma of Society
Perhaps the most obvious effect that criminal record holders experience is how people view
them in society. An individual’s life changes because of the attitude of the people towards
Whether they are strangers or family members, they start viewing a person with a criminal
record in a different light altogether. They find themselves excluded from many things like
family events or community get-together’s due to the psychological and emotional effect of a
criminal conviction. It is really tough to get that out of people’s minds.
The negative impact of a criminal record in an individual’s personal and professional life is
perhaps the greatest obstacle that ex-offenders must go through. They must find a sense of
normalcy in their daily lives. If they can do so, they can again become valuable members of
the community that is not only accepted but rewarded for their renewed behaviors.
Pardons in Canada are an excellent opportunity for criminal record holders and offer them a
chance at a fresh start in their lives. Pardon Applications of Canada can help individuals with
criminal records to get a Pardon and live a normal and fulfilling life again.
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About the Author
Fareha Khurram is a Research Analyst with Pardon Applications of Canada.