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March 03, 2009

A Second Chance

Finding a job these days is tough – and even tougher if you’re one of the 73 million Americans with a state criminal record. Most job applications have a box you’re supposed to check if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. And that usually means you’re guaranteed not to be considered for the job.

Juan Cruz spent nearly 15 years in prison after being convicted of a violent crime at age 18. He says from his first day in prison, he worked to improve himself and prepare for a new start on the outside. He took classes, worked as a barber, and got an associate’s degree in business. But when he got out, Juan couldn't find a job anywhere. He talks with Dick Gordon about how he finally got a break through the help of a mentor. These days, Juan is a mentor to other felons.

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