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To be quit the honest with you, I was convicted in 2006 of four class D felony offensed directly related to my drug addiction. Not an excuse for what I chose to do however, had I not been on crack, I would have never chose to steal while in my right mind. I was in an abusive relationship that lead me to medicate the pain. Been clean since December 28, 2005, and¬†released from IDOC in 2008 with no probation/no parole-so the IDOC said. That was not correct when I was rearrested for a VOP in Marion County. I had never reported to probation because I¬†was¬†released by¬†IDOC to another county with no parole/no probation however, God is¬†good and the judge gave me 9mos in lieu of the 3+yrs of probation as I did not wish to be in Marion County with no family support or housing. Ok, done with IDOC 08/08/08. Move to TN to spend the last few months with my dying mother-God is sooo good! Ended up staying there, going to college (graduated with my AAS), and am a full-time caregiver to my disabled aunt. God has made changes in me but society has not. I have a degree and can’t seem to even get a job flipping burgers due to my ‘Theft’ charges on my past record. I feel like I am sitting in limbo but I continue to do the right thing. I found out I had 2 Misdemeanor VOP’s from¬†1977/1997 in the state of FL so, my aunt loaned me the money¬†for an attorney-judge gave me a 100.00 on both and cases closed however, they are still on there as VOP’s in 2011?! They (employers) have used this as a negative instead of looking at it as “hey, this girl has become a responsible member of society”! I understand that we, ex-felons, have made huge mistakes (poor decisions) but come on..when does our past become our past?! I spent (wasted) nearly 15yrs on drugs and committing petty crimes to support that drug use but, I have graduated from college at the age of 50 since 2008, became a published writer for Chicken Soup for the Soul (that is how I have made little bits of money), handle all my aunt’s finances without any big corporation looking at it as being a responsible thing-not once! I keep getting “our policy states” I know my expectations are probably high for their acceptance of my past however, the laws need to be re-evaluated for the length of time a person has to continue paying a debt to society. I really feel for the person who has had to count the time from a lengthy parole.¬† I, for one, wish to become a PRODUCTIVE member of society, and sooner than the current laws allow.¬†God bless.

User story by Kimberly in Indiana

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