Last week we talked about the effect criminal charges can have on an individual's employment. Unfortunately, when someone spends time in prison for a crime, even if it is a minor crime and one that did not include violence, he or she may have a very difficult time finding a job. For those offenders who are sentenced to long prison sentences, however, the issue may be moot, as they may be too old to work after they are released.
The punishment that comes with certain felonies, such as racketeering, can be quite severe. Individuals charged with Super Class X felonies, such as the five suspected members of the "P-K" gang, could be facing nine to 30 years in prison, according to Illinois state law. What makes these charges truly severe, however, is that Illinois judges lack the ability to sentence an offender to probation. If someone is charged and convicted of a Super Class X felony, he or she will be going to prison.
The five who were recently arrested may not get out until their 50s (for the youngest) and 80s (for the oldest), if they are convicted. The thought of trying to find a job after being released from prison may not even be a consideration for these five.
The individuals in question were arrested following a year-long investigation, although it is not immediately clear what evidence prosecutors have to convict them of racketeering. According to CBS Chicago, what eventually led to their arrest was an attempt to steal 44 kilograms of cocaine from a stash house.
Source: CBS Chicago, "Members of 'P-K' Street Crew Charged After Racketeering Investigation," Mike Krauser, July 19, 2014