How to Volunteer With a Felony Charge

By Christopher Michael
Disclose your felony arrest.

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A felony charge can strip you of civil rights. You may lose your ability to own a firearm, vote or run for public office. It also may make it difficult when it comes to volunteering. Be up front and use full disclosure when volunteering if you have a felony record. Use common sense and consult your probation officer and court papers. Volunteering with a felony charge comes down to plain old common sense.

Consult your probation officer and court papers to see if there are any limitations on your probation. You may be barred from being around schools, children or former victims. Note any restrictions.

Find a charity that's unrelated to your crime. For example, if your felony involved children, don't volunteer at a school. If your felony involved money, don't volunteer at a "charitable funds" organization.

Gather supporting evidence, such as a copy your criminal record, to show that your crime isn't related to the specific duties you'd be handling. Get a letter from your probation officer in your support. Gather letters of recommendation from respected members of your community, such as teachers or religious leaders.

Contact the charity you're interested in working for. Many organized charities will have you fill out an application. This may be a good time to disclose your criminal history so that there's a record of your disclosure.

Submit the required paperwork and speak to the person in charge of appointing volunteers about your criminal history. See if there are any roles with the charity that she feels comfortable with your performing.

Subject yourself to volunteer screening. Some larger volunteer organizations may use a third party to perform a screening and may take fingerprints, which would reveal your criminal history. Being honest and upfront will increase your chances of being approved.

About the Author

Christopher Michael began writing in 2010 for He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Writing sports and travel articles helps support his professional baseball career, which has taken him to 49 states, five continents and four oceans.