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‘Check Yes Or No’: The Hurdles Of Job Hunting With A Criminal Past

Melissa spent months looking for a job — any job. For days, the 25-year-old consistently visited her welfare-to-work program in downtown Brooklyn, resume in hand and an interview smile splashed across her face.

“Every day, Monday through Friday, 9 to 4,” she explains. “That’s dedication.”

Melissa, who asked us to not reveal her last name, has plenty of job experience. She’s a self-identified “people person” and says she aces every interview. But there’s just one thing holding her back: the past.

When she was 15 years old, Melissa hung out with an older man, who she says manipulated her and eventually became her pimp. She was 19 when she pleaded guilty to her third and final conviction for loitering for prostitution.

(As seen on NPR.org)

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