Getting a job with a felony, while not at all easy, is not impossible. It just seems that way.
Many felons may have had the desire before their felony conviction to be of service to others, to make a difference to people in another country.
This blog post will cover the question of whether felons can join the Peace Corps.
- Requirements to Join the Peace Corps
- After Being Accepted
- Making Their Case for the Peace Corps
- Supporting a Felon Wanting to Join the Peace Corps
Requirements to Join the Peace Corps
First, those who join the Peace Corps are considered to be volunteers not employees.
Volunteers for this organization travel to many parts of the developing world. As such, the Peace Corps depends on having healthy relationships with the countries and citizens of those countries they serve.
The Peace Corps has strict standards that must be met for all volunteers accepted.
Those wanting to join the Peace Corps must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of the U.S.
They must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree and offer skills that are needed to uphold the mission of the Peace Corps.
They must pass a health status review to determine if physical or mental conditions could prevent their capacity to work a 27-month appointment.
For any medical condition, the Peace Corps will determine the likelihood of appropriate treatment being available in the host country.
The Peace Corps prefers volunteers who are single. If married, their spouse must apply and qualify also. For those who are divorced, information regarding any financial obligation to the former spouse must be disclosed.
Typically, those with minor dependent children must meet stricter criteria.
Felons on probation cannot join.
Applicants with a drug-related or DUI conviction or arrest are not eligible to apply for at least one year after the conviction or arrest.
For those who have completed all sentencing requirements, a criminal background check will be conducted after applicants have been selected for training.
Applicants will be subjected to a National Agency Check (NAC) background investigation.
At that point, felons’ criminal history can disqualify them.
The Peace Corps states that it attempts to ensure that criminal history exclusion is on the basis of being job related and relevant to conducting business.
The criminal behavior be recent enough and job related to predict performance in their role in the Peace Corps.
Applicants must demonstrate that they do not pose a risk of harm to the foreign community they will serve.
After Being Accepted
Those accepted must demonstrate their readiness for an overseas assignment, meaning a commitment to the Peace Corps values and mission and the ability to fulfill their assignment and adapt to a new culture.
Following training, volunteers must they can effectively communicate in a foreign language and perform any required duties.
They must also show they understand U.S. history and government along with those of their new host country. Those volunteers who cannot demonstrate that ability may be subject to disqualification.
Making Their Case for the Peace Corps
Felons must take their situation seriously and have a goal of working for the Peace Corps. No, it won’t be easy to be accepted.
But there is an opportunity available to those who want it.
Doing the things that it will take to reach that goal and be a part of the Peace Corps will be challenging, but what hasn’t been since leaving prison?
Felons need to be willing to do what it takes.
The Guide to Getting Employed is available to those who want that goal. There are stories of success and tips for presenting themselves in a favorable light.
When it comes to their employment record, having a quality resume is essential.
Supporting a Felon Wanting to Join the Peace Corps
For families of felons wanting to join the Peace Corps, take the time to help your loved one in their efforts to get further education or training.
Support them in returning to society and finding a way to succeed and make a difference.
An earlier blog post showed felons make good employees.
The Peace Corps needs quality volunteers. There is no reason why felons can’t be that quality volunteer.
Felons who still have that desire to make a difference for citizens of another country by joining the Peace Corps need the support of their families to be successful in becoming a Peace Corps volunteer.
Be there for your loved one as they work to be one of those who is successful and doesn’t return to prison within two years.
What do you think about this blog post? Are you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to join the Peace Corps with a felony? What was that like for them, and how did they achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.