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HARRY C. ALFORD

The task of bringing our ex-offenders back into full, fledge citizenship is immense and very long-term. Millions of Blacks who have violated the law and have been incarcerated find that returning to normal life can sometimes feel like an impossible task. A felony can haunt you for a lifetime. It can affect you and your love ones. It can prevent you from a normal life or a pleasant future. The odds are against you and things can sometimes seem hopeless and unforgiving.

A very organized conspiracy started in the 1990’s, it was known as the “Crack” invasion. The illegal activity found millions of victims—not just the users but the distributors who were usually caught and prosecuted. Regardless of the sentencing or rehabilitation, an ex-offender may have to pay for the crime for life. This affects most Black families including mine. I have devoted more than a little time trying to help a relative get back into mainstream society. Finding a job can seem to be an endless task even though one may be qualified. The mark of a felony is a curse that seems to be impossible to get rid of.

The following is an example of the mail I get all the time about this subject that particularly affects our Black population:

“Governor Rick Snyder

Hello, my name is Jonathan Earnest and I reside in Flint, Michigan. I need your help. I was fired from my job on 1-16-2018 from Kroger because I did not pass my back-ground check for a non-violent crime that happen in 1999 almost 20 years ago. The hurtful part about it, I was one of the founding employees to open the new fuel center in flushing and I was the only African American working at the fuel center. Now for their grand opening 1-18-2018 to 1-21-2018 I will not be able to participate in because of bad decision I made almost 20 years ago.

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