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  1. #1

    Default Odds of Getting a Pardon

    I received a Certificate of Rehabilitation in Contra Costa County in 2002. I understand that it is also an application for a pardon. I was told by my public defender at that time that the pardon process is political. Since I am not donating big bucks to any politician, what are the odds of getting a pardon? I had multiple burglary counts, both residential and commercial. I am now a licensed marriage and family therapist, have a good job working with at risk youth, and have turned my horns into a halo!

    I read that in my case, the state supreme court would need to sign off on a governor's pardon. I doubt they spend much time doing pardons for the working man! Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: odds of a pardon

    Quote Quoting rehabilitated
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    I received a Certificate of Rehabilitation in Contra Costa County in 2002. I understand that it is also an application for a pardon. I was told by my public defender at that time that the pardon process is political. Since I am not donating big bucks to any politician, what are the odds of getting a pardon? I had multiple burglary counts, both residential and commercial. I am now a licensed marriage and family therapist, have a good job working with at risk youth, and have turned my horns into a halo!

    I read that in my case, the state supreme court would need to sign off on a governor's pardon. I doubt they spend much time doing pardons for the working man! Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Exactly what are you expecting to accomplish with a pardon? It will not change your criminal record insofar as background checks and if you are already a licensed MFT and run that gauntlet, what is the purpose? You will still always have to answer questions honestly re your criminal background, law enforcement, BBS and the courts will still have access. Quite frankly I am a bit surprised that you have made it this far and that you are allowed to work with at risk youth, unless your criminal history is a part of the script you use to engage youth into the therapeutic process, if that is the case, then it goes back to my original question.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: odds of a pardon

    Something just didn't sit right so I went back and read your other thread http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17579 I'm still shaking my head. As a court appointed evaluator in the criminal courts in California and being familiar with the Administrative Law courts having worked with the AG office re professional licensure issues, I still don't see how a pardon helps you at all. Where ever you pursued your Master's and clinical training did you no favors by encouraging you to pursue this line of work with your admitted felony history as credentialing is always going to be a problem and background checks may change over time depending on the resources of the individual counties to bring these data online. I cannot therefore envision you being employed as a licensed professional, working with ANY at risk group. As a volunteer, possibly, but not as a paid professional. If you plan to continue to work in this field, you might seek out closely supervised situations. Sometimes, persons with troubled past histories might find employment in the education of adults, where there is no special mandated reporting or fiduciary duty. I know of a "therapist" with a doctorate, who lied about both his education and experience, even presenting himself as licensed, when he was not and discovered when called as a witness in an unrelated administrative law case where upon he fled the state for about 5 years, returning and found employment as an instructor where he earned his Masters, still using the same false background, and ended up responsible for the law and ethics and practicum experiences of students under the BBS. The school did nothing once they learned of his lies, nor did they inform their students that his background was falsified, difference being he had no license at all, and won't be able to get one, ever. Don't count on keeping your licenses or certifications especially if anyone ever makes a report or complaint, then the boards have to investigate.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Odds of getting a pardon

    Thanks for the response! I will cut and paste your points and try to explain my situation.

    "Exactly what are you expecting to accomplish with a pardon? It will not change your criminal record insofar as background checks and if you are already a licensed MFT and run that gauntlet, what is the purpose?"

    In Colorado, where I now live, I have worked in a residential treatment center for adolescents for over two years.. The law defines a crime of violence as a residential burglary, of which I have been convicted. The initial response from the state to my is that I need to have a pardon. Colorado does not have a certificate of rehabilitation, but they do have pardons. If I were to get the pardon from california, it would meet their requirements. My question is that if Colorado does not have a COR, could an administrative law judge rule that the relief I received in California would meet the requirements for me to work in these type of facilities?

    "I cannot therefore envision you being employed as a licensed professional, working with ANY at risk group".

    The BBS in California said that the certificate of rehabilitation would allow me to be licensed if my charges did not involve sex offenses, etc. Colorado and California have licensed me as a LMFT, and Colorado as a Certified Addictions Counselor, Medicaid has approved me as provider of MH services, and many insurance companies have me on their panels. I agree that in this type of work, there is great potential for abuse and fraud, as it is personal and private work for the most part. Both of Colorado's licensure boards approved my licenses with copies of my court stuff, and the COR.

    "As a court appointed evaluator in the criminal courts in California and being familiar with the Administrative Law courts having worked with the AG office re professional licensure issues, I still don't see how a pardon helps you at all."

    The pardon would not stop me from telling future employers about my past. While I do not wear the "convict label" openly like some, it is a part of my past. If there is a possibility of getting one in recognition of good behavior and contributions to the communities I have lived in, then I would like to try. My guess is that there are few compelling reasons for a governor to give them out, since the political consequences may be too hot.

    In looking back at the hearing with the ADL, in whcih I represented myself, he asked me why he should rule in my favor. The lady form the AG's office was obviously against the state alowing this. I asked him that if the BBS believed that people could change through therapy and turn their lives around, then why not allow somone who had, who had proven himself in the community, be permitted to help others. He agreed. The crazy part was that after I left the room, the AG rep told me that she wished me luck, and that her job was to deny anyone who came up. That made me wonder that while their interest is to protect people, how much of it is political.

    Sorry for the rambling post.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Odds of getting a pardon

    You might be able to get CO to recognize the California "Pardon" equivalent of the COR under the full faith and credit offered under the US Constitution same as they do for foreign (out of state) court orders.

    The rules and regulations can change in a heartbeat. Rehabilitation insofar as the administrative boards falls under several categories, persons with substance abuse problems are seen as having the best chance of sustained rehabilitation, and it can be monitored, even though it may take multiple tries to get there, also seeking collegial assistance before outside intervention has more weight than as a part of a probation or judgement. Sexual offenses, personality disorders, serious mental illness are seen as having a very low if any possibility of true rehabilitation, therefore there are few rehab programs for these issues. Leaving the hodgepodge that falls in between and which must be judged on an individual basis by the boards and employers. This last category might be subject to stress in different ways.

    There are so many reasons that you would be ill advised to continue to seek employment with at risk youth and not transition into a less risky focus. Perhaps you might seek employment with a HMO who hire MFT who are addiction certified then you are less likely to be manipulated by those wonderfully manipulative adolescents and have the safety of the structure and buffers offered in a different treatment modality.

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