1. #1
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    Exclamation Question ??? ......................

    Ok....so I have a quick question to ask. Maybe someone has the answer, or maybe not.

    The City that I work for utilizes alot of minimun security Department of Corrections inmates here in Arizona for maintenance work. Tree triming, mowing lawns, concrete work, street repairs, painting, electrical work, etc..... It's cheap labor for the City. There was an inmate crew here at the station this morning painting some lines for our volleyball court out behind the station. I got to chit-chatting with one of the inmates about firefighting. He told me that he was in the Gray Bar Inn because he had a FELONY DUI conviction.......whatever that means??? He asked me if I knew of any fire department's that would hire a convicted FELON as a firefighter once he was released from prison in about a month and a half from now. I saw a thread about this a while back here on Firehouse Forums, but was unable to locate it.

    Now.....not that I'm FOR or AGAINST the hiring of convicted FELONS for this great career of ours......(I'll keep my opinions to myself)....I'm curious to know if there are any FD's out there willing to give these people a second chance???



    Thank you,
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    Last edited by AZFF25; 05-09-2007 at 12:46 AM.
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    it seems like I recently read an article or saw something on tv about prison systems utilizing inmates as firefighters for structure and wildland incidents. I'll have to see if I can find the article.

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    Here in California inmates are trained and have years of experience fighting wildland fires. From what I hear from CDF some crews are actually pretty good. As for departments hiring a convicted felon I think it's highly unlikely since a department has such a huge pool of candidates to choose from they will usually go for the candidate with the cleaner record.

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    Its kind of a toss up. On one hand, you have someone who is rehabilitated and wants to make an improvement in his life and society....


    but think of the liability down the road if something ever happened and a lawyer got ahold of the fact that he was a convicted felon....

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    Scott- It seems the USFS has hired felons once released from prison. (no joke)

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    It will vary by state and location. I know in this state of NY the only thing that they do a background check for is Arson. A Felony DUI shouldn't be the end of the world for the guy.

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    The Department you probably read about here on FH.com hiring felons was Bridgeport, CT. They prefer murderers over anything else.

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    Depending on the state, "felony DUI" can mean different things. It's usually a traffic offense and not a true felony, unless he is a repeat offender. So I suspect there may be more to the story. Inmates have a tendency to minimize their offense for whatever reason, and there can be more than one. If I read Arizona's law correctly, this individual has had at least 3 DUI convictions, which tells me he has an alcohol abuse problem, to say the least.

    I know many alcoholics who don't drink anymore but it is usually a long process that includes some failure along the way. Many return to old habits once they're released from prison unless they can stay away from the people and situations that encourage or enable their behavior. People can and do change, but who can be sure??? Only time will tell. This person's actions in the past may have determined his future.

    Keep in mind, there are various discussions in this very forum that don't discourage drinking and there is very little said about responsibilty... just a thought.

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    I remember the thread your speaking of. I searched and was able to find a few threads about it.
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...nvicted+felons
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...nvicted+felons
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...nvicted+felons
    and the list- http://forums.firehouse.com/search.php?searchid=322433
    I searched hiring convicted felons.

    Hope these help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davjohnson View Post
    Depending on the state, "felony DUI" can mean different things. I If I read Arizona's law correctly, this individual has had at least 3 DUI convictions, which tells me he has an alcohol abuse problem, to say the least.
    I agree. In Wisconsin, your 4th Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is a felony charge.

    It really varies with departments. My department will not hire any convicted felons, and rarely hires anyone with a criminal record. I say "rarely" because I had a retail theft when I was 16, another guy has a domestic battery, and a former member had a poss. of marijuana conviction when he was 18.

    We look at the whole package, the individual, the offense, the time, how long ago it happened, prior history, the circumstances and make a decision. For the most part, it's no criminal history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZFF25 View Post
    Ok....so I have a quick question to ask. Maybe someone has the answer, or maybe not.

    The City that I work for utilizes alot of minimun security Department of Corrections inmates here in Arizona for maintenance work. Tree triming, mowing lawns, concrete work, street repairs, painting, electrical work, etc..... It's cheap labor for the City. There was an inmate crew here at the station this morning painting some lines for our volleyball court out behind the station. I got to chit-chatting with one of the inmates about firefighting. He told me that he was in the Gray Bar Inn because he had a FELONY DUI conviction.......whatever that means??? He asked me if I knew of any fire department's that would hire a convicted FELON as a firefighter once he was released from prison in about a month and a half from now. I saw a thread about this a while back here on Firehouse Forums, but was unable to locate it.
    Felony DUI is either your 3rd DUI within 5 Years, or DUI with your License Suspended or Restricted.

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    When I last lived here in Tennessee,I had felony assault arrest get turned into two counts of misdemeanor assault because the DA must have figured he didn't have a case after reading the arraignment transcripts where my"victims"said that they had thrown the first punches and had tried swinging a hammer at me before I broke out my shotgun.
    When I joined my volunteer department outside Paducah Ky,the issue never came up. I know the guy that did the background check and he did more than walk to his SO cruiser and type my name in to see if I had any felony convictions or wants and warrants for me.
    Recently I returned to Tennessee and while my past may have been a decider for not getting on a local FD(or it could have been 440 guys trying for 12 jobs),I've gotten more holds on firearms purchases than I ever did when I lived in Kentucky.
    It could be dependent on where he's applying.If someone keeps himself straight,I don't see a problem.If someone says he needs to keep himself straight while he's staying on the path that got him in county issue clothing,there is a problem.
    It all depends on the person.

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