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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a copy of my identification (i.e., birth certificate, social security card, etc.)?

Yes, while it is a process, it can be done.


Can I get housing?

Yes, we have a list of emergency, temporary, and permanent housing.


Can I be employed with a record?

Absolutely! Many employers are willing to hire people who have a criminal record. Whether it makes a difference can depend on the reason you have a criminal record and the type of job for which you are applying. You may be more likely to find work doing something unrelated to your prior conviction. We have multiple locations in different fields to assist you with your career goals.


Can I get job training with a record?

Yes! Click on your state to see the locations with the details you need to start. Also,

CareerOne Stop's Job Search Help for Ex-Offenders website offers information, tips, and resources to help people with criminal convictions overcome barriers they might face in their job search


    *  State-specific resources for help with basic needs or getting ready for a job search.

    *  Work restrictions that apply to certain convictions

    *  Paying for training or college


Can I get my degree or trade with a record?

Yes! A trade school or vocational college typically accepts enrollees with a criminal history, and most programs are open to felons. 


Can I receive Pell Grant Assistance with a record?

Yes! The Second Chance Pell experiment provides financial aid to people currently imprisoned. Federal student aid is available to most felons after release. Previous drug convictions no longer impact your financial aid application. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. 

Can I receive Food stamps (SNAP benefits) with a record?

Federal law bans persons with felony drug convictions from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Some states subject people with a drug-related felony

conviction to restrictions or complete bans on food assistance under SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps), cash assistance through TANF (Temporary Assistance for

Needy Families), or both. 


Can I get a FREE cell phone or tablet with a record?

Yes! Lifeline is a federal program that provides free or discounted cell phones to income-eligible individuals. To participate in the Lifeline Program, you must have low to no income or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, and the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit. 

Can I get medical insurance with a record?

Yes, people with felony convictions can get Affordable Care Act health insurance in the United States. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people with felony convictions are now eligible to apply for Medicaid health care upon release from prison.


Can I apply for veteran programs or support with a record?

Yes! You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for VA survivors pension benefits.


Can I register to vote?

While many states have some restriction on felon voting rights, most states restore the right to vote to citizens after they complete their sentences. In fact, up to 18 million Americans with past convictions can vote RIGHT NOW – they just don’t know it – because the felony disenfranchisement laws in every state can be confusing. 

Can I get a passport with a felony record?

Most convicted felons and ex-felons can get a passport. However, even if you are issued a passport, it does not mean that you will be able to travel anywhere you wish. Many countries refuse to let convicted felons enter their borders, both for public safety and for political reasons. This is assuming a person is not currently awaiting trial, on probation or parole or otherwise banned from leaving the country.


If I’m on probation or parole, can I get federal student aid?

Yes, if you are on probation or parole or living in a halfway house, you may be eligible for federal student aid; however, if you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment for a sexual offense, your eligibility may be limited.

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