A checkbox, a seemingly innocuous checkbox. You see thousands of them in your lifetime. On medical forms and signup sheets, for the most part, they are generally benign. You check them or leave them blank with little hesitance or discomfort. Well, not all checkboxes are created equal, some cause discomfort, anxiety, and pain.
Check here if you have every been convicted of a crime. ◻
Most people breeze right past this question. But for those of us who have to check this box, it is a minefield of potential problems. Do you check it or do you leave it blank? If you check it you know that you will not get the job, no matter what it says is in parenthesis. Then again if you get the job but didn't check it and they find out, you’re fired.
Worst of all this tiny box can keep you from doing the thing you love. A goal you have worked your entire life toward. A moment of weakness, a dumb mistake, a bad judgment call, your entire life could be reduced to what you likely consider your worst moment. Did you go to a great school? May not matter. Stellar work history? You're a criminal. Everything you worked so hard for, up in smoke.
Forever Guilty is a look into who these people are. Offering the viewer a chance to look beyond the checkbox. To see something more, to look at those who check the box in a way that many don't anymore, to look at them as humans.
How can you help?
I am looking for volunteers. People who have been convicted of a crime and this has made finding a job in their field or in general difficult. I know that these are tough waters to tread in, because I check that box too. I have been turned down for jobs, housing, etc. If you live in California and you are willing to help raise awareness for this project please submit your "resume" below. If you are willing to submit please be aware you may be asked to be in a video telling your story. In both the publication of the "resumes" and in the videos I will protect the identity of persons of wish to remain anonymous. Let's tell our stories, let's show people who we really are.