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John J — 17 Comments

  1. It is important that every day we thank God for what we have and what He has permitted us to do with those gifts. It is also import to get involved with community activities so that community members and neighbors can get to know the real you. Living in the shadows will solve nothing. Truth known, many of your neighbors are probably thankful they have not been called to account for their failures. It is so critical that RSO’s live a lifestyle that we ‘kill’ the paranoia and ‘false facts’ that has given media something to sell stories for and excuses for politicians to make voters thing the bureaucrats have a good handle on solving non-existent problems. John, it would be a pleasure to have you and your family as neighbors. God bless!

  2. It is an uphill battle for most, if not all, labeled citizens. From finding a roof over their head or a steady source of income to put food on their table, to feeling loved or being a human, it is a daily challenge. I felt good to read that you did not give up and that you have a positive outlook on life despite the negativity directed towards you. God is watching over all of us, and He does not give more than we can handle.

  3. Hi John,

    My story is very similar to yours, albeit at a much younger age. I graduated with a degree in Computer Information Systems on May 8th, 2008 only to be forced to please guilty to possession of child pornography before the Month of May was over at the age of 22. I never got a chance at anything. 10 years later with some serious therapy and proper medication for Major Depression (caused in no small part from the Registry) I am seeking my Master’s in an IT related field and have found hope in the Fair Chance Pledge.

    My hope is to build my skills to the point where no one can ignore my resume and try 18,50, 100, 500 times until someone gives me a chance. We only lose the war when we quit or die!

    Here’s a list of big name companies who have pledged to hire felons in IT related jobs. I hope this somehow helps you or others with IT skills.–> check here for more information:
    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/issues/criminal-justice/fair-chance-pledge#section-352871

    • So, did Trump kill this since it was Pres. Obama’s initiative? Was going to bring this to someone’s attention, but first wanted to be certain it still exists.

      Best of luck to you, by the way.

  4. JOHN J – The comment from your therapist is extremely insightful – glad you listened and were able to prevent a tragedy for your family! If you are an IT person, you may want to look into CNC Programming. This programming is used to program machines that are used to shape and cut precision products such as machine, car, and aviation parts. You are working in a production shop area, and there is no contact with kids, etc. This is such a hard skill to find, they are far more interested in your talent and work ethic than your conviction. I found this for my cousin who just completed a 3-month training program at a county college, and had a job offer within 2 weeks. He had NO previous experience!
    Here is some information about it. Best of luck. https://www.mazakusa.com/news-events/blog/what-cnc-programming-style-best-suits-your-operations/

    • Thank you Janet. I certainly appreciate the information. I will look into CNC Programming and look into opportunities in that area

  5. Reading your story was like hearing my son’s story. He had a similar experience going from being on top of the world to feeling like he was less than human after his arrest & conviction. He is also an IT professional that hasn’t been able to find anyone that will hire him. He found some work by going on Craigslist under gigs for computer. There were some legit jobs that didn’t ask for background checks. That’s one way to get some work to keep your skills up & possibly ease into some longer term work.
    We need to band together to show the world that the label doesn’t tell the whole story of who a person is. Stay strong & speak out whenever you can.
    Good luck!

    • My son is an RSO. He’s just plain miserable. He’s not allowed to use a computer or cell phone or anything electronic. He went through a job site to apply for a job which I had to do for him. It was actually a job placement service. He told them that he needed a job that doesn’t do background checks because he is a felon. They keep getting him jobs that last three weeks or a month sometimes. They pay excellent wages and he can at least pay his court costs and for the ankle monitor he has to wear. He had job offers and even hired till the background check came back. So right now he’s thankful for the job placement service. Why are the laws so severe for a RSO but not for any other crime?

  6. Our stories are very similar. I too was an endurance athlete and worked in IT. I’m very glad to hear that you’re finding success and have a family to live for which to live. Your story is personally inspiring.

  7. Allie on my son 23 is in the same exact place as yours he’s not allowed to use any electronics or go into any social media, he just got fired from his job as a waiter because aparently they found out he’s on the registry. He has been depress lately… we live far from each other and I would never have him move to Florida because of how strict the rules are here for RSO. We don’t know what to do to help him out other than to pay his rent and give him money for food. He has 2 more years of probation and is trying to go to school to become an electrician, he’s a great kid, I just wish someone would give him a chance to show them how hard he can work. Thanks for all of the positive comments. We keep everyone here in our prayers.

  8. My brother was recently convicted and sentenced and has a story that is very much like yours. Thank you for sharing. It helps to know, as his hope and faith decline from the in-prison treatment, that there are others who are making it through. Does anyone know if there is a group that exchange letters, or a therapy group that provides support for SROs once they are out? Like an AA group?

    • Hope someone is able to respond with assistance to your question, important as it is, but really depends where you are at or your love one affected, location, location, location-sad but true. Jon C has a good article and I responded asking for the same as you Kirsten, don’t know where your brother once he is released, you are loved for searching for helping him, what a loving sister that truely seeks for him.
      Hope you can, California is where we are at. Good Luck Kristen and hope you will find help for him. Even if John J may respond, he will need to know the area your brother will be released as there are NOT nationwide programs still to this day, just the Registry. NARSOL directly might be able to assist in this matter, ACSOL is in Calif only.

  9. John J , yes you are blessed. Way too many human beings, who made bad choices are now homeless and jobless.
    I too am blessed. My family did not abandon or shun me, but every time, without acception when prospective employers found out about my offence I never got a call to be interviewed.
    When I got off of Parole my old boss got in touch with me and offered me my old job back and gave me a better pay too.
    That was 6 short years ago, and I’m in my third year of paying on a brand new top of the line Dodge ram truck. Yes I worry about what will happen if everyone I come into contact with finds out I’m a x- sex offender.
    There is a better life than the one I had to live when I was on parole. I am living it now…and I pray that my employer won’t be forced to fire me if he starts getting pressure from those who believe x-sex offenders don’t deserve a life as a free person.
    Good job John…bless you …and please keep on doing what you are doing.

  10. Our stories are eerily similar, only I am no longer married or have a child. Same career path, same adventurous spirit, same type of athlete.

    Keep trying!

    You may have a very difficult time finding work in the profession, but that may not stop you from being an independent contractor, offering IT consulting. Or, start a business with a partner, which may be enough to avoid the background checks.

    I have had some employment “success” by finding temp agencies who will work with those of us with “barriers to employment”. You may be limited to manufacturing, industrial, or warehouse work, but it can provide a livable income.

  11. I am 49 years old. I too am an I.T. professional. I graduated with honors from the Computer Information Technology course offered at a near-by technical college. I was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society. I am CompTIA Network+ certified. I am also certified through C-Tech as a basic copper-based network cabling specialist.

    I am also a registered citizen subject to lifetime registration AND supervision. I can’t BUY a job in I.T.! Any advice? I’m in a small town and have a minimum activity business license to do computer repair, but I’m in a small rural town where the work is too sporadic.

    Please reply and advise!

  12. Amen, from one RSO John to another RSO John, I am glad you didn’t commit suicide. Like you I was convicted of possession and like you I was, and remain, married with children. We have similar issues wrt trying to raise kids while not being able to drop them off at school or go to their baseball games. I also tried to kill myself but ultimately changed my mind b/c of the pain that I thought it would bring to my boys. Hang in there. Stay human.

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