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What privacy rights are allocated to convicted felons in a…

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What privacy rights are allocated...
What privacy rights are allocated to convicted felons in a community college situation. Are they allowed to receive federal Pell grants?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
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2/29/2012
Criminal Lawyer: Lawdoctor, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Lawdoctor
Lawdoctor, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,400
Experience: Practiced criminal law in several states over a 22 year period, from misdemeanors to Death Penalty.
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Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your question.



Your question is very important to me, but please remember that I can only respond to the information you provide and I do not know your entire situation. My response is limited to what you have written to me and the answer may change with additional facts.



Also, due to site reasons, there are times I am initially only able to see a portion of post, so I apologize in advance if it means that you have to duplicate information.



There may be future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. Now, let’s address your question!

 

You have the same privacy rights as any other student. Your records are private to the public, and of course there are exceptions. If you are a registered sex offender, then your status is public.

 

Information other than directory information may be released or made available to others only under the following circumstances:

  • To CC officials who have a legitimate educational interest in such information
  • To the parent(s) of a dependent student, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code
  • In an emergency, if the release of such information is necessary for the protection of health or safety
  • Under court order or subpoena
  • To a victim of a crime of violence alleged to have been perpetrated by a student
  • To companies that have been contracted by the college to manage a college operation (For example, ECCI has been contracted to manage the billing for student long-distance telephone service.) These companies sign a contract stating that this information is confidential and will not be made public.

 

 

For felons, the rues for Pell Grants are as follows:

  • If you were convicted of possession of illegal drugs for the first time, you won’t be eligible for federal aid until at least one year since your conviction.
  • If you were convicted for selling for the first time, you won’t be eligible for federal aid for at least two years from the date of your conviction.
  • If you have more than one offense for selling or more than two offenses for possession, you can only regain eligibility after you complete an approved rehabilitation program.

If you are currently in jail: Your eligibility for a Pell Grant depends on the type of institution in which you are incarcerated. People in federal and state penal institutions aren’t eligible for Pell grants, but students in local penal institutions are.

 

If you’re not incarcerated: it depends on the nature of your offense. The law imposes restrictions on drug offenses in particular.



 

 

 




Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

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Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.



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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Here is my situation: I am a part-time tutor at a junior college. I recently learned that there are more than just a couple of convicted felons here. I was told that I am not allowed to know who these people are. My issue is, if I am tutoring someone with a violent background, I want to know. I was NEVER told during the hiring process that I would be working in an environment where there are numerous offenders in my immediate area. There are no safety officers at all. I can't even find out what the % of convicted felons to the general population is! Depending on what that % is, this may well just be a surrogate prison daycare and not a place for higher learning. My concern is for the safety of the entire school population, especially for single mothers who come here for night classes. These offenders come from a place where people are trained in self-defense and HAVE GUNS. Why is it that we have NO security or safety to deal with the problems that are inherent in this type of situation. Thank You
Criminal Lawyer: Lawdoctor, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Thank you for the follow up information. I understand your concern. I was a college professor for 10 years and I have had similar situations. I even taught classes that had Federal prisoners and regular students together in classes. Of course the prisoners were in uniform, and there were no violent offenders.

Most colleges will not allow violent offenders to register. If you feel that safety is an issue, a can of wasp spray is one of the best weapons you can carry. It is not lethal and it is effective up to 20 feet. I have trained women's self defense and this is one thing I encourage women to have with them in their cars, homes, offices. It is innocuous and if asked, you are afraid of wasps. If you aim it at the face, it will temporarily blind them and gives you a chance to get away.

Now, back to the issue of felons in the college. Under privacy laws, the college cannot reveal the student;s information to you. However, if you suspect that a student has a violent background, you can check on line at

For sex offenders:

http://sor.state.co.us/

For other felons:

http://www.doc.state.co.us/

if they have gone to prison, there are many that are on probation, and those would require that you call the local probation office for confirmation that someone is one probation. You can also check with the local clerk of courts to see the court records to see if someone has been convicted.

For federal convictions:

http://www.bop.gov/inmate_locator/index.jsp


Most felons serve their time and get back to normal life. Also a lot are convicted of non-violent crimes and are usually just normal folks who got caught as the wrong place at the wrong time. I would be more concerned with the person who feels rejected by the world and who is looking to blame everyone else, rather than focusing on criminal convictions. Times are stressful and people are desperate, so the fact that someone may or may not be a felon, is not as important as the emotional and mental state of a person.

I found that students were fine so long as they thought you had an interest in them and their success. As a tutor, you are there to specifically help them to succeed, so you would not be a target for rage, but rather a path to success. If you ever feel that you are in danger, do not hesitate to call 911 for help. If you feel that your job exposes you to danger on a constant basis, I would suggest talking to your supervisor and asking for security. Most colleges now have security and frankly it is necessary in today's world.

I wish you the best.





Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.



DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.


Lawdoctor
Lawdoctor, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,400
Experience: Practiced criminal law in several states over a 22 year period, from misdemeanors to Death Penalty.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
I have had one discussion with my superior, who had a meeting with their superior, and I was basically told if I don't like it, LEAVE. There are no less than 5 convicted felons in the room I work in-doesn't that pose a threat. The "shop" class has a full 50% of students coming from corrections, that fact comes from the shop teacher. I thought I had a RIGHT to a safe workplace!? We have ZERO security at this school, in fact, our one and only security officer was just fired about a month ago.
Criminal Lawyer: Lawdoctor, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
I apologize for the delay. We lost power for most of the day. First, I understand your concern and agree with you.

Next, if the college has a contract with Corrections to provide classes, this is money to the college and they are going to protect that money source. If you are in a dangerous work environment, you may try filing a compliant with OSHA and EEOC (Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/complain.html

and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

www.eeoc.gov


Now, before you go this route, you need to determine whether the 'felons' you are exposed to are 'violent' felons. Someone convicted of a non-violent felon is not going to be considered a threat to you. From my experience, the prisons who are allowed to take classes on campus are strictly non-violent and are 'trustee' status, that means they have proven themselves to be trustworthy in the system. The sites I gave you previously should help you to look them up to find out if they are dangerous, but remember, you may be working with a convicted felon, or served by one, give your credit card to one at a restaurant, etc.

Whether you have a hostile work environment, is a question taht only a judge can answer. I would draft out my complaint carefully and with facts that you are being forced to work with violent inmates.

Now, the bad news, unless you have an employment contract, you are an employee at will and can be fired for any reason except for discrimination . An employer may not discriminate in terminating an employee. It is discriminatory to discharge an employee based upon disability, race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and ancestry. Inquiries regarding discrimination should be made to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission(NNN) NNN-NNNN or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(NNN) NNN-NNNN.

So unless you can show that you are in danger, you can be terminated. I am sorry and it sounds wrong, but that is the reality. You should document your situation and if your supervisor is not a Dean or VP, then you may want to work your way up the ladder, but remember these felons are money to the college in FTE and thus your pleas may fall on deaf ears.

I wish you the best.





Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.



DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.





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