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Thread: No criminal background check in San Francisco

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    No criminal background check in San Francisco

    The City of San Francisco is currently considering a proposal that would prohibit PRIVATE employers and landlords from denying housing or employment to convicted criminals based on background checks. While I believe that some criminals can be rehabilitated, it should be up to the employer or landlord on whether or not they want to associate with that person on a professional level. Thoughts??

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    Regular Member Guido's Avatar
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    When a person gets outta prison what do they need the most? A Job and a place to live. If they cant find those things then there really is no reason to let them outta prison in the first place as they will just commit more crimes to have some money for food or whatever else they might want or need.

    I can see what S.F. is trying to do here and I can see the point of view of those who oppose it. I just cant help but wonder how many people who re-offend do so because of the fact that no one will hire them or rent to them?

    Once a person is released from prison they have paid their debt to society, or at least that is how it is supposed to be. however the way it is now they keep getting punished for whatever they did for the rest of their life, they cant get a decent job because they have to tell the employer that they have a criminal record, they cant get a decent place to live for the same reason.They cant protect themselves because to have a weapon is now a crime for them.Where does the punishment for a crime end?

    I cant help but think that our policy's towards Felons cause more Harm then Good.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Recidivism

    Making no direct comment, nor coming to any specific conclusions, I offer the following for your consideration:

    Recidivism (pronounced /rɨˈsɪdɨvɪzəm/; from recidive + ism, from Latin recidīvus "recurring", from re- "back" + cadō "I fall") is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also known as the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested.[1]

    The term is most frequently used in conjunction with substance abuse and criminal behavior. For example, scientific literature may refer to the recidivism of sexual offenders, meaning the frequency with which they are detected or apprehended committing additional sexual crimes after being released from prison for similar crimes.

    Criminal recidivism is highly correlated with psychopathy.[2][3][4] The psychopath is defined by an uninhibited gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes.[2][3][4] Individuals with this disorder gain satisfaction through their antisocial behavior and lack remorse for their actions.[5]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recidivism

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...ecidivism+rate

    http://www.sgc.wa.gov/PUBS/Recidivis...ivism_Cy04.pdf


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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Grapeshot makes too much light of a weighty subject. But then so does San Fran and their bleeding-heart pie-in-the-sky "solution" to a problem.

    While the majority of ex-offenders (the PC term for folks who went to jail/prison and were later released) do reoffend (specifically commit the same category of crime as put them in te pokey to begin with), and do so rather quickly (you go look up all the studies that the Dept. of Justice has published over the decades - I'm retired from the field and don't want to be bothered!) there is a statistically significant number that do not reoffend - ever!

    It's not about overcoming the psychopathy. It's not about being "reformed". It's about choosing not to commit a specific behavior, regardless of how compelling the urge to do so may become. Samenow and Yokelson, in The criminal Personality - go get it from the library and read all 3 volumes - studied the criminally insane for years. Yeah, those folks who could not resist an overwhelming urge to do wrong even when they knew the difference between right and wrong. Their studies showed that it is possible for certain folks to resist those urges, and that you can identify them by watching their behavior over several years to see if they reoffend or not. Or, if you don't wwant to let them out on the street to try them out, you can observe certain key indicator behaviors while they are still locked up (no treatment provided).

    Denying potential landlords and employers the information that the individual is a former criminal does nothing except force them to find other ways to try to protect themselves from folks who will harm them through criminal activity. Decent monitoring during incarceration (which is sadly lacking even though the means and effectiveness has been out there for decades) can put some folks back on the street with a decent recommendation, and those without it are easily figured out to be the ones you need to watch out for. Some of the latter can be helped by decent parole/probatrion supervision while they learn to control their own behavior. Others can benefit from transitional programs like halfway houses.

    But all of this costs money and time - the things that are in the shortest supply.

    So instead, we'll get grand ideas like this, which are just a continuation of telling little Johnny when he misses the first word in the spelling bee that he is the 32nd-place winner in a class of 32. Got to protect that self esteem, even if there is nothing to feel good about yourself.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Last edited by jbone; 07-25-2011 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Mistake

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    What an outstanding idea! Unlike the previous posters, I applaud San Francisco's open minded new proposal.

    This way, when the citizens of their fine city go to apply for their CCW permits, they won't have to worry about those evil background checks that will deny them a right that is constitutionally protected.

    After all, if it's wrong to penalize people who are simply looking for a place to live, it only stands to reason that doing so to prevent their exercise of a God given right would be far more dispicable, correct?

  7. #7
    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    SNIP..., I applaud San Francisco's open minded new proposal.
    The City of Hypocrites.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbone View Post
    The City of Hypocrites.
    You nailed it.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    thebigsd,

    Get charged and convicted of ANY crime, even one you had not committed where a jury was "convinced" by argument to convict you and you'd be singing a different tune. Remember, one could violate the law without ever knowing they've done so. Something as simple as a BATFE rule change, like what happened with the GSG5 and the claim that the barrel extension could be made into a suppressor, which made it illegal to own one of that series even if you owned it prior to the rule change.

    Criminal history for housing denial: Absolutely not.
    Criminal history for employment: I'm on the fence with this as I want to say no, but I'm fully aware that you don't employ a bank robber as a bank teller. This is where the equal protection of the law stands the potential to create a huge disjuncture.

    I agree that the 2 most important things to aid with offenders attempting to reintegrate into society are: a place to live and a job. One without the other simply puts the offender in a position to return to criminal ways.

    So I'll pose a question: Once they've paid their debt to society why should we continue to punish them?

    Last edited by REALteach4u; 07-25-2011 at 12:32 PM.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REALteach4u View Post
    thebigsd,

    Get charged and convicted of ANY crime, even one you had not committed where a jury was "convinced" by argument to convict you and you'd be singing a different tune.

    Criminal history for housing denial: Absolutely not.
    Criminal history for employment: I'm on the fence with this as I want to say no, but I'm fully aware that you don't employ a bank robber as a bank teller.

    I agree that the 2 most important things to aid with offenders attempting to reintegrate into society are: a place to live and a job. One without the other simply puts the offender in a position to return to criminal ways.

    So I'll pose a question: Once they've paid their debt to society why should we continue to punish them?

    I didn't say I that a criminal conviction should be grounds for denial of housing or employment. I just said that it should be up to private individuals to decide who they have living or working on their private property rather than it being a government choice. As to your question, people choose to commit crimes, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    I will fall on the side of freedom. once you have paid your debt the government should not keep trying to punish someone, but if i am going to let you come into where i live, believe me if you own a business it is where you live, then i would need to know who i am dealing with. i have people in my life that have something in their past that i would trust my life with. and there are some that have never been convicted of anything i wouldn't trust as far as i could throw them

    My question is this why do they have a problem with checking some ones back ground for some things, and insist on background checks for a right spelled out in the constitution.
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

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    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd
    ...it should be up to private individuals to decide who they have living or working on their private property rather than it being a government choice.
    Devil's advocate: then we should do away with quotas & affirmative action & protected classes.

    Realistically, if I were hiring or renting to someone, if their crime didn't relate to the job & had only happened once, I'd probably hire them or rent to them. Anyone can screw up.
    But if they had a history of many crimes, esp. violence against others or crimes of increasing seriousness, I'd probably not hire or rent to them. If they're screwing up over & over, it's a problem.

    As to your question, people choose to commit crimes, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions.
    This.
    Though I think there should be an easier process for expungement.
    Depending on the severity of the crime, a waiting period of demonstrated good citizenship should earn a clean slate.
    For someone who does one really stupid thing, esp. as a teen, it shouldn't restrict the rest of his life.
    (I'm not talking about murder or raping a child, but maybe simple DUI or even assault.)
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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    Devil's advocate: then we should do away with quotas & affirmative action & protected classes. <SNIP>
    Devil's advocate hell! (had to go with the pun sorry ) That's right on the money!

    Landowners should be able to decide who they rent to. Parts of the civil rights acts got rid of Jim Crow laws and were good. Other parts of the civil rights effectively destroyed civil rights but it was OK because it was aimed at a different segment of the population; those nasty landowners and business owners.

    Government itself created Jim Crow so of course more government is the solution.
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 07-25-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post

    Realistically, if I were hiring or renting to someone, if their crime didn't relate to the job & had only happened once, I'd probably hire them or rent to them. Anyone can screw up.
    But if they had a history of many crimes, esp. violence against others or crimes of increasing seriousness, I'd probably not hire or rent to them. If they're screwing up over & over, it's a problem.

    This.
    Though I think there should be an easier process for expungement.
    Depending on the severity of the crime, a waiting period of demonstrated good citizenship should earn a clean slate.
    For someone who does one really stupid thing, esp. as a teen, it shouldn't restrict the rest of his life.
    (I'm not talking about murder or raping a child, but maybe simple DUI or even assault.)
    As for the first part I quoted, this is exactly what I am saying. If someone had a minor offense I would most likely hire them. However, you won't know what they did if you don't run a background check. This proposal takes away your choice to use the background check in order to make smart business decisions. So it seems we agree on this point.

    As for your second idea, I am not at all opposed to this. Make it like a driver's license point system, where old minor offenses are deleted after a reasonable amount of time. The problem would come with people's differing definitions of reasonable.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Yeah, the SF rule seems to infringe on the rights of property owners. Yes, ex-cons need a job and a place to live, but is it government's place to force individual citizens to provide them? I say no.

    That being said, I don't care if SF does this. They can impose all the oppressive rules on the folks who live there that the petty despots can think of. If someone chooses to live in that cesspool of anti-Liberty, they deserve all the oppression that they get. There are enough municipalities and States respect Liberty that folks can vote with their feet.

    To me, that is the beauty of federalism: the creation of the marketplace of governments. That someone can choose oppression or a lack of oppression is actually a form of Liberty.

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    Down the slippery slope we slide...

    The term "background check" is pretty broad. I don't know if the SF statute defines it as a "criminal background check". I do know that employers use of "background checks" includes the use of credit reports. If you've been divorced and had financial issues related to the divorce (highly common, if not universal) you might be denied employment because you couldn't pay your bills a couple of years ago. Is that applicable to the job? Maybe. Would an employer want to hire somebody into a responsible position, with a budget and accountability, who can't maintain their own finances? Is this fair? Or even valid? Once a criminal always a criminal? Once a deadbeat, always a deadbeat?

    Criminals sometimes do get their act together and people with credit problems do pay off their bills and live financially responsible lives. Just how deeply do we want employers or landlords to intrude into our personal lives and history to decide whether to hire or house us?

    What's next? How about medical. Cancer patients are higher risk for an employer, who might have to foot the bill for more sick days and time off and higher health care costs. How about we let employers sift through our medical histories to see if there is some past condition that might reflect on our performance as employees or suitability as a tenant. That STD you were treated for 15 years ago might be a problem. There are tests that can identify genetic predisposition to a growing list of expensive to treat ailments including many cancers, heart disease, etc. Where do we draw the line?

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    I don't think that what SF is doing is the answer. On the other hand, I am a firm believer that, when a person has served out their sentence, they should be returned to full citizenship.

    I knew a young man many years ago who got into a lot of trouble with both state and federal law enforcement. After the last time he went to prison, he turned his life around, married a fine woman, had several beautiful children, and became a productive member of society. I know his father and step-mother were very proud of the way he had changed his life. Had someone not been willing to give him a chance to earn a living, he would most probably have died in prison.

    No one in their right mind, who has served time in a prison, wants to ever go back. But, if you deny them a place to live and a means of earning an honest living, they will break the law again. Those few who are more comfortable in prison than they are out of it are not, IMNSHO, totally sane.

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    It seems to me that the best solution to the problem the State can offer, is to stop putting people in cages for Mallium Prohibitum "crimes".
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    We get it. You want drugs to be legal. Do you have to find a way to insert it in every thread?

    This thread, as best as I can tell, is about a municipality taking property and association rights from folks in business in favor of creating a perceived right for folks who have a demonstrated propensity to break the law.

    You are, of course, free to go off on any tangent you want. Just letting you know how annoying it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    We get it. You want drugs to be legal. Do you have to find a way to insert it in every thread?

    This thread, as best as I can tell, is about a municipality taking property and association rights from folks in business in favor of creating a perceived right for folks who have a demonstrated propensity to break the law.

    You are, of course, free to go off on any tangent you want. Just letting you know how annoying it is.

    I really don't think I "insert it in every thread". I also think it relates to this thread's topic. The point I was trying to make is that there would not be so many people trying to get jobs after prison if there were not so many people in prison to begin with. I was not just talking about drugs. There are a lot of things that people are unnecessarily locked up for.

    I do not support the government telling people who they can or cannot hire or fire. I also do not support the government telling people who they can or cannot rent or refuse to rent a house to. I don't care if it is because of race, sexual orientation, criminal history, disability, preference in shoe color or whatever. That is not a decision for government, it is a decision of the owner/operator of the house or business.

    You and I have not always agreed with each other on this board. But I feel our exchanges have been very respectful to each other,and that we have both refrained from any sort of a personal attack .

    I am pretty sure it was not your intent, but I have to mention that this post of yours that I quoted felt a little like an attack against me, and I felt it was somewhat disrespectful and unnecessary.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    ...You and I have not always agreed with each other on this board. But I feel our exchanges have been very respectful to each other,and that we have both refrained from any sort of a personal attack .

    I am pretty sure it was not your intent, but I have to mention that this post of yours that I quoted felt a little like an attack against me, and I felt it was somewhat disrespectful and unnecessary.
    It was not an attack on you as a person--hence not a personal attack. It was a blunt criticism of your very specific behavior which I have clearly described, behavior that I thought detracted from the topic of this thread and generally detracts from the point of this site. Do with my opinion what you will. You can ignore it, or cogitate on it. As for me, I won't participate in this distraction in this thread any further. My future replies in this thread will be on topic.

    I hope the bluntness of this post and the other cause you no angst, but my posting style (adapted over decades of suffering abuse at the hands of those who would make it seem that I have said what I have not) is to be crystal clear, explicit, and detailed in my language. That comes off as bluntness, for which I am unapologetic.

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