Can a convicted felon work for the federal government?

Can a convicted felon work for the federal government, ie Corp of engineers, EPA ect.. thanks

Answer #1

dallas,tx. answers…….most all the jobs for the u.s. federal gov. requires an extensive back ground check not to mention a security clearance so high u can’t even pole-volt over it…….i would automaticaly think that the answer to that question would be NO because of the moral issues…….

Answer #2

in the same boat as the nurse… I have a AS in radiologic technology and I cant even get a civilian job much less a government job. I have applied at several places and all came to the background check where the offer was withdrawn. I guess some people may be luckier than others. My crimes are not of any sort of sex crimes or violent types either. I was arrested about 12 years ago for driving a stolen car that had drugs in it. I served about 2 years 9 months and came out and went straight into college. I spent five years working on my degree. I graduated at the top of my class, deans list and had the highest grade on the registry in my class. Since that time all of the job offers that I had received magically disappeared and I am now blackballed from my profession. Society, whether it be government related or in the private sector must overcome this fear of the label FELON and look past previous transgressions. I feel sorry for the patients that I could of served and gave the very best care to but instead they have gotten care from a subpar technologist that slept their way through school but got the job because they did not have a criminal record. YES I know a few.

Answer #3

Hello all! This is a very frustrating subject and I am afraid that I will encounter the same things when I graduate from college this August. When I was fifteen, I begin hanging with the wrong crowd. As a result, I incurred a felony for discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling occupied motor vehicle (this is called 246 PC in California). I served one year in juvenile camp and after serving my time, I never looked back. I graduated from high school on time, worked full time for a freight company, and then in August of 2003, I joined the U.S. Navy. Surprisingly, the NCIS did not conduct an investigation on me until I was nearly a year into my enlistment. The investigator asked me questions, I answered honestly and I continue with my enlistment, was granted a security clearance, and exited the Navy in 2007 on an honorable discharge. I left the Navy because I wanted to pursue my college goals full time. However, now I am beginning to think that I may have made a mistake by leaving the Navy. I mean, the best decisions I have made in my life thus far were changing my thinking, joining the Navy, and soon earning my college degree. My constant struggle with my decision to leave lay in getting hired by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Disqualifying factors are felony convictions and poor credit history. The latter is not that bad at all since I am eliminating the negative accounts and paying off my car helped a lot. However, I am afraid that my past is going to came back to haunt me and hold me back from career aspirations, even though I served my country (though I never served in Iraq or Afghanistan). But I am going to take armchairgeneral2003’s advice and never ever give up.

Answer #4


Answer #5

Thay would probably depend on what you did.

Answer #6

will I’m in the same stuation I have a felony theft charge an I’m all so in the nationl guard and I just need more movation and help what should I do now I would like to go active duity but I cant what should I do

Answer #7

I have a felony, I am a operation enduring freedom veteran with an honorable discharge from active duty. I serve in the illinois national guard. I am currently applying for a pardon from the illinois governor. I have applied for many jobs… I cant get hired, I constantly think… I stand ready to protect this country against all enemies foreign and domestic… I can’t get hired at a semi bogus civilian job selling natural gas… I have filled out many many many applications determined to prove this hypothesis of being a rehabed felon a bad rumor… I have done many things to help society, I was the president and founder of a computer club, I have ran for student government, I have GREAT recommendations, I am decorated with three racks of metals, and I still have nothing to show for it except my dwindling savings account which I use to pay my bills while the va gives me a little money to go to school.

Answer #8

sigh whatever, I am an ex-felon… I served in afghanistan I have an honorable discharge, I have done extensive voluntary service in and out of the military, I have a wife, and I have only gotten in trouble, I have end of tour badges and awards, I have gone to school , I am now a specialist in the guard. I have one felony, I asked a Security Investigator for clearances if a convicted felon could ever get a clearance regardless of his or her service in the military, not citing myself, he said “HELL NO!!!” So don’t tell me that I haven’t rehabbed or done the right thing since I was 18 years old and got in trouble. I will be 26 this year, and I will be going to school and serving in the guard and wont be getting a federal job, but what the heck do I know.

Answer #9

The Government corrupt the economy they should rebuild back up by giving all ex felons/felons a second change and erase felon from the record.

Answer #10

GONZO’s answer is totally WRONG. This post is connected to the answer immediately above. After some thought and investigation, I have found out that my post above needs modification. Convicted felons CAN get top secret government clearance even within law-enforcement agencies. This quote is from one of the top brass at the Pentagon, where they do 2.5 million clearances every year: “We have always supported a risk-based adjudication in granting clearances [regarding weighing the severity of the felony and the felon himself],” he added. “No single factor in and of itself should be the reason why [individuals] should be denied a clearance. That should be a professional judgment by the adjudicator.”

THERE! Straight from the top. At least in DoD (Dept of Defense), and some other agencies within the Pentagon, felons should not be denied clearance just for having a felony. The felony itself is weighed and the person must prove that they are rehabilitated (which may mean a felon has to wait a few years before getting government clearance). But getting government clearance and getting a federal government job are TOTALLY SEPARATE. You must pass the resume inspectors first and meet the requirements of the job. You don’t have to tell them you have a felony conviction unless your job requires a special clearance. Then, when they do a background investigation, you must inform them about your felony conviction, but they can’t fire you for it. Unfortunately, more and more government agencies are doing background investigations (depending on the position and if you will be privy to sensitive information). I mean, c’mon! We don’t want a person convicted of a terrorism felony to be working at Immigration or FBI, or Customs! What a disaster! The government isn’t saying that anyone with a felony is welcome to a job and secret clearance, but they are saying that they will be “human” and look at all the circumstances of the felony and then decide. FINALLY–maybe we can get some really good 1-time ex-accounting fraud-felons to work in the FBI and actually HELP them recognize fraud and schemes. I always say, the best person to investigate fraud is someone who got caught doing it and then went straight. Did everyone see the movie “Catch Me if you Can?” . Its the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who, back in the 1960’s was a spectacular con artist. He was only 19, but he faked people into believing he was an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, and he was a master check counterfeiter. All in all, I think he stole over 5 million dollars with fake checks. Anyway, after he was caught, the FBI used him to investigate other bank fraud schemes and he was the one to invent security features on the checks we use today. Most ex-felons have a gift for fraud and are very talented…sometimes it’s just focused the wrong way. Hiring ex-felons can be a great way to get a new perspective into crime and fraud detection.

Answer #11

Would love to see that one. I have a BSN (bachelor’s in nursing) and have been trying to get a nursing job with the VA with no luck. Talk about rehabilitation, ha, I worked my butt off to graduate with honors and now it all seems so useless

Answer #12

Hey All,

First of all I know for a fact that a person with a previous felony conviction can be employed by the federal government. I am that person. I screwed up when I was younger and had theft and conspiracy to commit theft felony convictions. That was in 1991. Since that time, I went to college, worked at a few menial jobs, then was able to get my conviction sealed and expunged. I then joined the national guard. I finally felt like I was somewhat “forgiven” for what I had done. I then took a chance and transferred into an air national guard intelligence unit which required a TS clearance. I told them what happened, how it was a one time thing, how I regretted every day and couldn’t let myself off the hook for doing something so stupid. Anyways, being totally honest paid off, I was granted my clearance. After a couple years in the unit, earning three decorations and two promotions, I decided to go back active duty army. once again, I explained what happened, received my required waiver, and excelled. I think I even worked harder to prove that I was worthy of a second change. I was promoted again and received numerous awards and decorations. I left active duty, worked in my chosen field for a couple years, then actually joined the local sheriff’s department. It was neat being on the “right” side of things. Although my conviction record was sealed and expunged, my arrest record was not. Therefore any FBI fingerprint check revealed the arrests, which of course would lead to a further investigation. Honesty is definately the best policy. Before the report from the FBI came back, my employers already knew the results. I worked hard in my public trust job, arrested a bunch of folks, saved a few lives. I then applied for and was hired for a department of defense position. My clearance took a little longer due to my complications, but it came back as favorable and I was awarded my clearance. I have now been working and excelling in the federal government for 5 years now and plan to stay and retire. I was even recently selected to be division chief. My point is that if you believe in yourself and don’t let things get you down, you can achieve it. Just keep trying and don’t ever, ever give up.

Answer #13

In response to the above person… Technically you are right. the laws to let a person have a clearance are in place again.. BUT, YOU CAN NOT FIND A SINGLE COMPANY to HIRE YOU FIRST… no company will go thru the long drawn out expensive process to get a clearance. not one. I am a former NASA scientist. 20 years service. I received a felony and post of that even with friends in the pentagon, no company will hire me. Even for Jobs I have already done. The process to get a clearance is overwhelming if you have a felony. Most every company does not even have the resources to understand how to get a clearance in such circumstances. I assure you if you have a felony, getting a white collar job is out of the question in almost every single area.. Working for the government is even more impossible. I challenge anyone to impersonate themselves as having a felony and even try to get a white collar job. You wont. A felony is death in society. you cant even drive a school bus. This is all why I feel educating ex felons with college degrees is a total waste of money. No one will hire them. They all know it too, that’s why once they get that first felony as teenagers, they are open to a life of crime. they know society has cast them out and the hope of a real life is over.. So until society finds a way to really let people have a second chance, Our children will resort to crime. As teenagers, the police are all to eager to brand them with some sort of felony. Not realizing once they do, they have committed them to no options in life. These kids today know it. They know its over if they get hit with a crime, even by association crime. They only way to fix all this is the government must make it a law for all employers in America to hire, (including themselves) and no matter what the job a person who has had only one past conviction, and has paid the price. Until that happens, it wont change.

There are millions upon Millions of Americans who have one felony and cant get a job. That’s killing the economy. The numbers are going every year.

One felony can not be allowed to continue to be the social death it has become.

Answer #14

I think that would depend on quite a few factors. How old you were at the time including age difference of the victim and whether or not if your considered a predator.

Answer #15

Hello All… I searched for hours looking for some feed back and I do say, I am pleased at what I have read thus far, but caution on the side of skeptisism. I was convicted of Theft and Fraud by Credit Card in 1986/1989. I paid my debt and have some bumps in the road. I went on to become an EMT, in 1990. Today, I currently have my own business as a Mortgage Broker, and am licensed with the State. Now, I did have to plead that case and explain, but was granted the license. So…to the earlier post here that says you cant get a White Collar job, I am living proof that you can. We all know what has happened to the Mortgage Industry over the past 2 years. I have survived it, but it has been a real struggle. I am looking for something that I have always wanted to do, but because of my convictions, I have not even tried. When I was 18 I was in the Air Force as an MP, I never got there because of my arrest, they booted me. That was my day of infamy. It has always been my wish to be in law enforcement, kind of ironic how things work. I just never have tried to pursue it because I have always known that I will be rejected. I saw a job in my town today for a Police Dispatcher, and almost didnt apply because of the dreaded background check and what not. My wife said you have to try, so I applied. I am presuming that I wont get the job, but I wouldnt know, If I didnt try. Could I ever be in the Criminal Justice Field???

Answer #16

I work for a government agency. I was convicted of 2 felonies in 1991 when I was young, and have recently found that it really doesn’t matter for most clearances up to and including a Secret clearance.

Answer #17

Convicted of 12 felonies in 1992 (theft, grand theft, breaking and entering, fraud, etc.), served 6 years, out in 1998, got a job working for the Federal Government (IT Help Desk) in 1999…now, 2010, still with the government as Information Systems Security Officer.

It can be done…it has been done.

Answer #18

I noticed that spamdins has gotten a job great fro the felons . I would like to know if he was rejected from getting his clarrance

Answer #19

YES! But there are stipulations. As long as your conviction is not terrorism or a sex crime, if a significant amount of time has passed and you have shown yourself to be an upstanding citizen, OR if you have someone who works within the agency to vouch for you, you can work for the government. You may not be able to get any sort of official clearance (I.e., classified, secret, top secret), but some governement agencies such as USDA, Bureau of Reclamation, and others that are not law-enforcement can hire convicted felons. I know this as ABSOLUTE fact as I was in management for the US Department of Agriculture in Washington State and I hired a convicted felon with no problem. He had been convicted of cocaine trafficking 2 years prior to me hiring him. As the hiring official, all I had to do was tell the higher-ups in Washington DC that he was now a law-abiding citizen and had paid his debt to society (he was in jail for awhile and paid fines), and that he had special skills that we needed and that we trusted him to do a good job. It was no problem at all!
SEE…THERE IS HOPE FOR CONVICTED FELONS! I know it is hard for them to turn their lives straight and find good employment after being in prison–and that is without having the stigma of being labeled a FELON. So, for all of those 1-time ex-felons, there is hope with being employed by the federal government! GOOD LUCK!

Answer #20

I have a conviction as a sex offender. No matter what the law says—forget federal employment if you have any SO’s on your record. (and mine was 20+ years ago)

Answer #21

I’ve seen a lot of posts on here about convicted felonds getting and keeping top secret clearance. Well I am a 30 year old woman who happens to be a convicted felon and I live and work right outside of DC (the biggest government sector in the country) in my personal experience (I work for a government contractor on Quantico marine Corps Base) you can work for the government however you are not EVER able to obtain a secret clearance. I was turned down and I have EXCELLENT Credit and references, my mother works for the FBI. You’re references do not matter and neither is your credit a huge issue however your criminal record is. The good news is that their are several govt. contractors and government departments that have positions that do not require a security clearance. I work for a great company with al lthe perks of the government and I was convicted of Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. I also did 3 years in danbury federal prison. I have been home for 7 months and working forthis contractor for the last 4. It can be done but their are stipulations and try to keep your wants and goals realistic. Just wanted to share that

Answer #22

I obtained a secret clearance when I joined the military. About 2 years later I picked up a theft felony charge, but it will drop to a misdaemenor once I complete probation. I reported it to my higher ups. I was able to keep my clearance but was flagged. You can obtain clearances with a record UP TO Secret depending on the charges. As long as you weren’t convicted for murder or are a registered sex offender you should be good. You will not be able to get a Top Secerete Clearance no matter the felony unless you have very highly sought after skills.

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