Monday, November 26, 2018


#GIVINGTUESDAY is TOMORROW! Remember, Facebook and Paypal will match donations up to $7 million dollars starting at 8 am ET (5 am PT) on November 27 and will continue matching until the $7 million match runs out. There will be a cap on matching donations of $250k per nonprofit and $20k per donor! Any amount is appreciated.

Shop With A Smile For Cyber Monday!!!

This Cyber Monday, do your regular Amazon shopping at and AmazonSmile donates to 
Nolef Turns Inc.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours. Nolef Turns Inc. will be closed to fellowship with our families and will reopen on Monday, November 26, 2018. Be safe and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Shop With a Smile for the Holidays!

Did you know your purchases can make a difference? AmazonSmile donates to Nolef Turns Inc. when you do your holiday shopping at

What Qualities Should You Look for in a Trustworthy Attorney?

You are likely worried about your future if you are facing criminal charges. However, if you have a good attorney fighting for you, then it’s possible you could avoid serious consequences. There are several things that you should look for in an attorney.

Ability to Communicate

You want an attorney who can communicate well with you. If there are terms that you do not understand, then your attorney should be able to explain them. You also want someone who will be able to answer questions that you have about your case. Relevant: Lawyerist | Why Won’t Lawyers Communicate with Clients?

Plenty of Experience

Experience is one of the most important things you should look for in an attorney. You not only want to choose an attorney who has several years of experience, but you also want someone who has experience dealing with your specific kind of case. Experienced attorneys know the laws and how they will affect your case.

Good Reputation

A lawyer's reputation says a lot about the type of service that they provide. While it is helpful if your attorney has a sense of personal involvement in your case or sincerely believes in your innocence, it is more beneficial if your attorney simply cares about their responsibility to give you a fair and professional defense. This quality assures you that no matter what crime you are charged with or the circumstances, you will get the best service possible. You should ask for references from previous clients. Find out about what people liked most about the attorney. You can also look at online reviews to determine if they are the right fit for you. Relevant: Bradley Corbett Defense Attorney | What Makes a Great Criminal Defense Attorney? Furthermore, you should find out if any disciplinary action has been taken against the attorney. Every state has its own organization that disciplines attorneys. If a complaint is made, then the organization will investigate the claim and discipline the attorney if necessary.


You may have problems that need to be addressed outside of your attorney's normal business hours. You want an attorney who will be able to get back to you quickly. You should ask the attorney about their availability and how long it will take for them to get back to you.

Quality Education

All lawyers are required to earn a law degree. They are also required to pass the bar exam. Even though every lawyer completes the same basic requirements, the quality of education is not the same. You should ask the attorney about where they went to school. You should also ask the lawyer if they have any additional certifications. Relevant: FindLaw | Ten Questions to Ask Your Potential Lawyer

Working with a Trustworthy Partner

Having a good attorney on your side is key in fighting charges that have been against you. In order to ensure that you select the right attorney, look for someone educated and experienced and who will communicate according to your needs.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Congrats to our ED on being nominated for a Great Nonprofit Award

Congrats to our Executive Director, Sheba Williams, on being a nominated for the 2018 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network RVA's Great Nonprofit Award. Though she did not make it as a finalist, she's the best in our eyes!

Monday, October 29, 2018

6 Habits that Chain You Down When You Want to Succeed

Everyone makes mistakes; some make more serious ones than others. When that happens, they have several roads ahead of them. One of those roads leads to a better life and success. Once you repay your debt to society, you don't want to repeat past mistakes or make avoidable new ones that could cost you loved ones, dreams, or even freedom. If you have certain bad habits, creating success can be almost impossible unless you face and work to overcome them. The following six bad habits are relatively common among those who have a criminal history:

Sloppiness and Carelessness

When you have a criminal background, you must work extra hard to make a good impression. If you fail to use care when drafting a resume or filling out hiring paperwork, you can lose job opportunities. Sloppiness with interview preparation, such as not looking into a company's history, can also cause problems. Most employers see these behaviors as an extension of your work ethic, which then causes them to fear the potential for on-site accidents and delays in production. When you present yourself as organized and prepared, they're more likely to believe that you're low risk and care about personal and company success. More importantly, you start to see and treat yourself differently in positive ways. You also use time more efficiently, which gives you more time to pursue your dreams. Tips: To overcome this bad habit, work on your penmanship, if applicable, and pay closer attention to details. If you're disorganized at home, use online organization guides and tools to help you make improvements. If you are having difficulty focusing or staying organized, speak with your doctor about possible health problems influencing these areas.

Alcohol and Other Addictions

One of the most significant bad habits that someone with regrets often faces is addiction. Some people enjoy losing themselves a little too much in the numbing sensation created by alcohol. According to medical research, alcohol and similar addictive substances like drugs damage tissues, reduce nutrient levels, and adversely impact cognition and the immune and nervous systems. Some addictions are worse than others, but any type can destroy your life, including addictions involving food, sex, technology, gambling, exercise, tanning, and shopping. Alcohol addiction specifically can cause lethargy, slurred speech, poor judgment, bleeding ulcers, permanent brain or liver damage, blackouts, violent behavior, and death. Tips: Alcohol addiction is a complex problem, but there are ways to overcome it. Many people abuse alcohol or other substances to self-medicate when dealing with severe health problems like seizure disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and chronic pain. You might also have a hormone imbalance or nutrient deficiency that's influencing your decisions. If you're struggling with a health condition, ask your doctor about the latest treatment options. If you're dealing with an emotional or other mental problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, addictive traits like obsessiveness and impulsiveness, anxiety or depression, seek out one-on-one or group therapy.

Staying in a Bad Job for the Wrong Reasons

Even workers without a criminal record stay in bad jobs. That said, those who have one often feel like they need to prove something to their superiors, co-workers, and themselves. Age sometimes plays a role as well. An older worker might believe that they're too old to start over. If you don't have a car, you might also think that you won't be able to find a job close enough to home to make it worth changing careers or start to fear that the new job might not work out and leave you stuck in a worse situation. Yet, as every day drags out in a job that you hate, you will become less motivated to succeed and possibly start to believe that you're not worthy of success. You might even stop caring about your performance and lose your job. Tips: Talk to a career counselor through local county assistance and community action offices. Facing a career move alone can overwhelm anyone. A career counselor can help you create a plan to find a better job and transition out of your current one without the move adversely impacting your employer, work references, or finances.

Not Believing You Can Achieve Your Dreams

The moment you stop telling yourself that anything's possible, you limit your worldview. People who've had a hard life often exhibit self-sabotage behaviors. They might obsess about regrets or negative self-talk. If you've repeatedly tried to achieve your dreams and kept hitting obstacles that pushed you back a little more each time, you might feel that you can never succeed at anything you do. Some people in this category are also unable to recognize that dreams change as people age. All of these beliefs are typically founded in fear. People fear a lot of things, such as fear of what they don't know or can't anticipate, and those fears cause them to overanalyze their decisions, waste time and push their dreams further away. Tips: To overcome a defeatist attitude, seek help from multiple experts, including your doctor, a therapist, and a life coach or motivational speaker. Always keep in mind that the world won't end if you fail to achieve some dreams. Also, if you stop trying, you definitely won't accomplish any of your goals.

Caring Too Much About What Other People Think

Many people gossip and talk about others where they can hear them or behind their backs. Some individuals take these opinions to heart. Caring too much about what other people think of you does nothing more than distract you from your goals. Although you should care about what an employer thinks about your job performance or a partner feels in a relationship, it's critical that you don't allow untrue negative opinions about you to become an obsession. Many people with a criminal background are judged for their mistakes. If you've left behind the things that took you to that point and you're doing everything you can to turn your life around, there's no reason for you to waste time or energy listening to others bring up your past all of the time or judge you harshly. Tips: Talk to a counselor or therapist. An expert can help you brainstorm strategies to calmly confront detractors, stop caring as much about biased opinions, find new people who appreciate you, and remove from your life anyone who brings you down.

Poor Hygiene and Grooming Habits

Lastly, the way a person looks and smells impacts their relationships. An alcoholic, for example, might turn up at a job interview or work with bloodshot eyes and rumpled clothing reeking of alcohol, sweat, vomit, and possibly urine. They might not notice how bad they look and smell, but people nearby won't have that problem or difficulty forming negative opinions about them. With proper hygiene and grooming habits, you improve your appearance, mindset, and health. For example, clean, white or off-white teeth make a person look and feel younger and energetic, unlike dirty, yellow teeth that make them look and feel sick or old and worn out. Tips: Beyond oral care, treat acne, trim your nails and hair, and exercise regularly. If you have a bare wardrobe and a limited budget, never forget the bounty that awaits at thrift stores. These stores not only accept used clothing donations, but also affordable unused retail overstock and off-season clothing. A couple of fresh, undamaged work and casual outfits and a clean, sturdy pair of dress shoes or boots can make all of the difference. Never worry about being chained down by one or more bad habits forever. The key to overcoming them and preventing their return is to seek help from offline and online expert resources. You must also believe in yourself. Even if you break these habits initially, you could backslide if you lose faith in yourself. Again, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone fails at something now and then. As long as you remember these facts, stay focused on your goals and actively work to prevent bad habits, you can enjoy more doors opening up for you in life. A felony conviction is not the end of the world; but the beginning to a long journey to prove you can be successful following a conviction. Though each individual's circumstances may differ, each of us face the same challenges. Housing, jobs, DMV, court costs, family support, education... all starting with the label. We are committed to helping reduce recidivism by helping those with justice involvement and their families thrive post-conviction. We believe in supporting our community to reduce crime and build the economy around us.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This Is The Final Week to Donate!

This is the final week to donate. We need your support!

Help us reach our goal of $25,000 that goes toward our mentoring and trade program the Institute of Forgiveness, connecting youth and adults with justice involvement. We’re working towards strengthening families, decreasing poverty and improving community relationships through service. Providing alternatives to incarceration benefits us all. We need your support.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic Birdies for Charity Program will donate an additional 10% of your donation. Donations are accepted thru 10/21/18 (

Friday, October 5, 2018

How to Be Calm and Stay Smart When Accused of a Crime

When you've been accused of a crime, it can be difficult to remain calm and collected when being investigated or interrogated. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes that affect the outcome of the situation because they're nervous or are trying to prove that they're innocent. If you want to remain calm and smart during the process, there are a few important tips to follow to protect yourself.

Hire an Attorney

It's important to remember that anything that you say can be used against you in the court of law, which means you'll need to hire an attorney immediately to represent you. Avoid talking to the authorities until you've hired a legal professional to help to ensure that you don't say anything that can be incriminating. A legal professional can provide you with assistance and advise you on what actions to take next before your court date and when you testify.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Many people are prone to panic once they realize they've been charged with a crime. This will not help you. Stay as calm as possible. It takes a significant amount of mental preparation to remain calm when you're accused of a crime. Review the details of the situation and write down the details to ensure that you don't become confused with the facts. Review your testimony to ensure that your facts remain the same throughout the process.

Don't Tamper with the Witnesses

One of the most common mistakes that many people make when they've been accused of a crime is contacting the witnesses. Many witnesses are key to revealing what really occurred when the crime occurred. According to this criminal lawyer, some people will contact the witnesses as an attempt to ask what they saw or influence what they say in court, which can make you appear guilty even if you're innocent. It could also get you punished with fines or even jail sentences.

Presenting Yourself in Court

According to another lawyer, how you appear and act before the court is a very important matter. Making eye contact is necessary to ensure that you appear confident and don't look like you're hiding anything once you've been accused of a crime. Stand up straight, avoid changing your story, and stick to the facts when communicating what you have to say to the jury and judge. Don’t answer a question with a question, and don’t give more information than is necessary to answer the question. When speaking in court, you'll need to make eye contact and address each party in the room to prevent the lawyer from engaging you in a one-on-one conversation. Knowing how to remain calm when you're being accused of a crime can significantly affect the outcome if you can control your feelings and emotions. With enough preparation and by following a few tips, you can take the right steps to ensure that you're proven innocent. Nolef Turns Inc. believes in justice and also in compassion for people who have had criminal convictions. Check out our services and programs to see how Nolef Turns Inc. can help you or a loved one today.

Nolef Turns Inc. is a 2018 GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Nonprofit!

Congratulations to Nolef Turns Inc. on becoming a 2018 Great Nonprofits Top-Rated Nonprofit!

Check out what our wonderful clients, volunteers and members have to say at #2018 #Award #TopRated #TopNonprofit #GreatNonprofits #SocialGood

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Final Week to Win Tickets To DECC Golf Tournament

Help us reach our goal of $25,000 that goes toward our mentoring and trade program, The Institute of Forgiveness. We need your support. This is the last week to win tickets to the Dominion Energy Charity Classic golf tournament. 

We are doing our 2nd annual fundraising event to support those in the community with justice involvement. We also work for strengthening families, decreasing poverty and improving community relationships through service.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic Birdies for Charity Program will donate an additional 10% of each donation. The tournament is being held Oct 15th - 21st at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. The top 3 contributors/sponsors who donate a flat amount by 9/30/18 will receive (2) tickets to the event, good for 1 day on the event date of their choice. 

Please consider making a donation or pledge to support our work in the community! Donations accepted thru 10/21/18 (

Monday, September 24, 2018

How To Get Started In The Real Estate Business

Reintegrating into society can be tough for anyone in any situation. It’s something that many people struggle with from exiting jail or prison, returning from deployment, coming back from extended international work, and more. This time is filled with a lot of questions, but a big one is usually centered around work and income. One possible professional avenue you could explore is real estate. If you are thinking of getting started in the real estate business, then you are probably wondering what your options are. Especially as the real estate industry has had more time in the spotlight on televisions and on podcasts, many people are wondering more and more about the basics of the industry. So is getting into real estate the right option for you? Well, there are a lot of different factors to consider, but if you’re thinking about getting into the industry and want some more information, keep reading! If you follow the tips below you can find the right opportunities and protect yourself from the downsides of the process:

Shopping the Right Property

To get started in the industry, you’re probably going to want to start small with something cheaper. If you are looking to get a smaller or cheaper property or even a more expensive property, the first thing you need to do is have the right shopping strategy. Decide early on if you would rather do house flipping, commercial, or residential. The process and method for each of these are slightly different. You might be tempted to go the house flipping route since it’s been trending as of late. For example, Real Estate Elevated explains, “in the last few decades, flipping houses has become a popular way to earn money, both as supplemental income, and as a primary occupation.” However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options out there. Getting training and apprenticing at a local real estate office can be a wonderful opportunity to get your foot in the door of the industry. You could also contact commercial investors and real estate experts and see if they will allow you to shadow them for a couple hours up to a couple days. This is great because it allows you to be more than just what it says on your resume or on your legal record. You are able to connect with people in the industry as a person, and be treated as such. This will also allow you to find areas that are under market value, so you can know the best locations to invest in.


There are a lot of contracts and legal issues associated with buying real estate. Which might cause you to start stressing, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Doing your research and knowing what problems usually come up is a great way to avoid early mistakes. All of that being said, the last thing you want is to have a legal battle on your hands. Argo Group cautions to make sure you consult the right attorneys and have protections in place, so you aren't putting your future at risk in any way with your real estate empire. Hiring an experienced attorney can also save you a lot of headache in the future as your business expands and things begin to get more complicated.


No real estate mission is complete without the proper marketing. Once you have found the property you want, you need to keep up with marketing tactics. Leverage social media to get eyeballs on the property so you can flip it or rent it out. According to AdWeek, “69% of real estate professionals use Facebook because it works.” Even having the right kind of imagery helps in making the property seem more valuable so you can get better loans from the bank.

Residential vs. Commercial

There is the age-old debate of residential vs. commercial. This is key because you need to know if you want to sell to businesses or consumers. Look at your past experience and sales record and make the choice that aligns with your personality. Commercial real estate can be more high pressure, but higher reward sector. Residential, on the other hand, is a little more stable and consistent. No matter what choice you make, you need a specific timeline in mind. You don't want to spend years flipping a house if you only have one buyer. On the other hand, a business property could take longer but make more money in one lump sum, or make more money over time. However, as explained by SmartAsset, “a steady cash flow doesn’t come without a price, however. Managing a commercial property investment typically isn’t a one-person show. You’ll likely need to hire a professional property manager to find and vet tenants, coordinate the signing of lease agreements and oversee matters on a day-to-day basis.” Real estate can be one of the more difficult industries to get into. It can be a bit more accepting of those who have a criminal record, which is why it may be a good option for those who are in that or similar situations. If you feel like you’d do well in the field and you have the right mindset and tools when you start, you can increase your chances of success. Protect yourself, maximize your profits, and be smart about your options with the tips above. Then, you can relax as your passive income begins to mount up. Here are a couple more articles about jobs, and work that might help you out in your journey:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Help us kick off our 2nd Annual Fundraising Event

We're kicking off the 2nd annual big fundraising event to support those in the community with justice involvement. Help us reach our goal of $25,000 that goes toward our mentoring and trade program, The Institute of Forgiveness. We work for strengthening families, decreasing poverty and improving community relationships through service and reform. It affects you too! Please consider donating.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic Birdies for Charity Program will donate an additional 10% of each donation. The tournament will be Oct 15th - 21st at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. The top 3 contributors/sponsors who donate a flat amount by 9/30/18 will receive (2) tickets to the event, good for 1 day on any event day.

Please consider making a donation or pledge to support our work in the community! Donations accepted thru 10/21/18 (

Friday, August 3, 2018

Kroger Shoppers... Support Nolef Turns Inc. for free!

If you shop at Kroger, you can support Nolef Turns Inc. simply by linking your Kroger Plus Card to our organization and shopping just like you do now. Don't have a Kroger Plus Card? Pick one up for free at any Kroger location and go online to register and enroll in Community Rewards. Register/sign into your Kroger Rewards account and search for "Nolef Turns Inc" by name or enter NPO #GR281.  If you are already supporting, check your registration; we have a new NPO number. Get complete program details at

Thank you for your support and feel free to share with a friend! There's absolutely no cost to you! Just sign up and enroll in Community Rewards.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Location and Re-Opening

It's been a long few months working on the go. Still getting caught up on our previous clients' cases, officially re-opening at our new office location on 8/6/18.
2317 Westwood Ave. Ste. 209, Richmond, VA 23230

Be on the lookout for:
  • Walk in Wednesday's for restoration of rights and voter registration
  • Job postings
  • Mentoring program
  • Board member interest meeting (2019-2021)
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Sharing our successes interviews
  • Membership drive
  • Community partner meetings
Thank you all for your support and understanding during our transition.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Closer Look at Criminal Convictions and Parental Rights

If you're a parent and concerned about how your criminal record is going to affect your relationship with your child, you're not alone. In a 2000 study, it was determined that 6% of Americans had a criminal record and, as we move forward, it's expected that 6.6% of adults will serve at least some time in prison. In simpler terms, that's one person out of every 15 adults. So, the way a criminal record affects child custody is something that concerns millions of families.

Child Custody and Criminal Convictions

In general terms, a felony conviction does not automatically mean you'll lose custody of your child. Family courts across the country strive to keep families together as much as possible. This is because judges try to do what's in the child's best interests and keeping both parents in the child's life is usually considered to be aligned with that goal. As long as the conviction didn't involve a crime committed against the child, that parent will usually retain his or her rights. They may be granted custody and the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing, as well. By way of an example, a tax fraud conviction is a felony, but, upon serving his or her sentence, that parent may be able to assume full or partial custody of the children.

When a Felony Conviction Does Interfere with Child Custody

There are some crimes that will prompt the courts to limit or eliminate an individual's parental rights. Primarily, a person will likely lose custody rights, if their criminal conviction was the result of causing harm to their child. Instances of child abuse and neglect, child endangerment, or sexual abuse will result in a revocation of parental rights, and the parent may not be able to visit the child at all. If visitation is permitted, it will likely be timed and supervised by an officer of the court. Other violent crimes can also be used to determine the loss of parental rights. In general, crimes like murder can be used to establish that the individual is unfit as a parent. This will especially be the case if the individual has committed domestic violence, including murder, against the other parent of the child. When determining visitation with minor children, the court will examine the nature of the felony and the length of time since the crime was committed, along with other factors. While a felony conviction doesn't automatically bar an individual from retaining custody of their children, the court will look at the nature of the crime committed. In some cases, even visitation will be limited. Some mitigating factors may work in the individual's favor, helping him or her establish visitation rights, but that will be a decision ultimately left up to the judge. Whatever your situation, it's always wise to have an attorney working with you on all family court matters. No matter what the court decides, don’t lose hope and don’t give up. Source: Checklist: Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights Custody Laws When One Parent Moves Out of State Soberlink and Sobriety: If Alcohol is a Factor in Your Custody Case

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How Does a DUI Affect Future Job Opportunities?

If you've recently received a DUI charge, you probably want to know how it can affect your life. Driving while intoxicated is a serious matter that can interfere with all aspects of your life including your work life. Here's how it can impact your future job opportunities:

You May Fail Background Checks

The biggest and most success-hindering problem you may have with a DUI is that it may prevent you from getting past a background check for a job. Many potential employers run background checks on their employees that go back at least five years. Your DUI is likely to come up, and it may eliminate you from a position.

You May Not Qualify for Driving Jobs

Driving jobs will probably not be easy for you to get with a DUI. Therefore, you may have a hard time becoming a delivery person, taxi driver, truck driver or similar worker. Furthermore, you may be disqualified from a car rental agent position just because you may have to drive the car a little bit.

Potential Employers May Lack Trust

Some employers make their decisions based on the type of crime you did. Others count them all the same. For example, you may have difficulty getting a job as a bank teller or an insurance salesperson if you have a DUI. Even though the DUI has nothing to do with thievery or dishonesty, it can still cause a potential employer to deny you the green light on a job.

You May Be Subject to Excessive Testing

A DUI can cause you trouble even if you do get a job. Your new employer may seem untrusting, or they may subject you to unnecessary testing although you've straightened your life up since in the incident. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent such things from happening.

What to Do

All DUI cases are not the same. A DUI lawyer can look at your case and examine your options later on, such as seeking expungement. An attorney may be able to help you with the process of erasing the traces of the DUI if enough time has passed.   That's just a little bit of information about some of the barriers that a DUI can bring and how you can go about handling them. The best way to deal with it is to avoid ever getting one again.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

3 Career Pivots You Can Make After Serving Time for a Conviction

Approximately one in three adults have some type of criminal record, and integrating into the workforce after acquiring a conviction can be a difficult journey to pursue. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires potential employers to remain impartial while performing background checks, but it is natural to be nervous about how a societal bias may impact your future career path. There are fortunately a large number of positions that offer what are referred to as "second-chance programs," as well as careers that don't require background checks at all.

Become a Sales Representative

Proactive sales reps are typically hard to come across, so these jobs are often hard to fill. Due to this shortage in prospective employees, sales rep positions don't always require a thorough background check. There is usually no prior experience required, as long as you are open to learning and becoming assimilated to a fast-paced and high-energy role. Sales representatives make around $30.32 to $44.67 an hour, which is well above a comfortable wage.

Work as an Independent Contractor

The gig economy is steadily growing, causing more and more individuals to decide to become their own bosses as independent contractors. Participating in freelance work could potentially give you the opportunity to avoid background checks altogether, as long as you maintain a reputable presence in your chosen industry. Learning to code and becoming a freelance web developer is perhaps one of the most promising career paths, with over 58,600 prospective job openings becoming available in upcoming years. You can start this by learning computer languages, start with languages like Java,  SQL, or Angular JS.

Get a Culinary Degree

Dining facilities are historically known for giving second chances to those who have prior criminal convictions. Many of these eating establishments, especially smaller businesses, do not require background checks at all. Culinary arts is far from becoming obsolete, with over 30,400 predicted job openings in the near future. If you do not want to dedicate the time to a full degree, many restaurants will accept just a vocational certificate instead. Your prior criminal conviction does not have to mean hitting a brick wall when it comes to the pursuit of your dreams. Your career goals can still be accomplished with the proper knowledge and resources, enabling you to secure a position that is both profitable and enjoyable to you. Over 68% of those who enter the prison system have a stable employment history beforehand, so go build a LinkedIn profile or a redo your resume, keep your head up as you can successfully re-enter society.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Resume Tips for Job Search Success in 2018

When you’re looking for a job with a criminal charge on your record, it can be tough. There are a lot of mistakes that past criminals make when applying for jobs that can hold them back from their dream position. So don't miss out on the career you deserve. Use these following resume tips to supercharge your search in 2018.

Format Your Resume Professionally

The right formatting can make a big difference in whether or not you get the job. Without a great formatted resume, it can look sloppy or lazy. Companies like to see that you are using modern standards for today's layout. It shows that you keep up with the job market and your industry.

Leverage Social

There are various ways to leverage social media to help with your job search. The biggest mistake is simply ignoring social media, even if you don't like using it. Look at getting a job as your only job right now, and you can change your perspective. To get the most out of social, get an account on LinkedIn. If you already have a profile, it's time to clean it up. Make sure you fill out your profile information top to bottom. The more you can share about your experience level and expertise, the better. Also, Use the best photo that exists of you in your profile. It should be within five years old, however. Finally, make sure you are leveraging social proof by getting endorsements for your skills.

Ditch the Old Stuff

It can be tempting to look at your experience and job history and put everything on your resume. It might seem like this makes it more impressive, but in reality the HR departments and hiring managers who will be looking at your resume don't want to spend ages reading it. Include only the most recent 3-5 jobs you have had. If there is a gap, find a way to explain it in the interview rather than worrying about it by lying on your resume. Honesty is always the best policy and will pay off in the long run. When it comes to job hunting in today's day and age, it is tough enough. You are already competing with the world instead of just your local talent pool. Add to this the fact that you have a criminal record and you need to try harder than other candidates just to be considered. So use the tips above and enjoy finding the right job for you. An average of 22% of all justice-involved individuals in the state of Virginia are expected to be re-arrested, re-convicted, and/or re-incarcerated. Strengthening societal relationships and making effective use of time has proven to deter individuals from returning to prison. We are here to be a direct link to those deterrents. They're counting on failure; we're working towards success! Sources
  • Resume Format Tips You Need to Know in 2018 | TMV Social
  • How to Explain Employment Gaps in an Interview | Indeed
  • Maximize LinkedIn in Your Job Search | UNCW

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Says “Hire Me!”

If you have a criminal record and are looking to integrate back into society by finding a job, it can be difficult. However, it doesn't have to be. If you use the right tools and tactics with regards to your LinkedIn profile, you can get hired in no time. Here are some solid tips to help you master your LinkedIn profile so employers can't wait to bring you on board:

Custom URL

Customizing your LinkedIn profile can make a difference, especially when it comes to he URL. It shows employers that you care, first of all. Second, you can be found more easily online with a url extension that is shorter, easier to remember, and connected to your name instead of some random extension like "y22789gs." For a quick guide on how to customize your URL, click here.

Profile Photo

There is a reason that people say pictures speak a thousand words. According to Justin Berrington, a professional headshot on your profile can build credibility, polish your branding, position you as an expert, and help you make a lasting impression in a recruiter's mind. Make sure your profile photo is your best picture that exists of you. It should be well lit, show you smiling, and use neutral clothing that is appropriate for your industry.

Write up a Summary

Don't try to save five minutes by avoiding the summary writing portion of your profile update. If you do, it could hurt you in the long run. And be sure to avoid mentioning your criminal past. Candidates will little or no summaries or criminal backgrounds come off as inexperienced, risky, or lazy, and that's the last thing you want an employer thinking about you.

Avoid Buzzwords

Buzzwords are tempting. They are used everywhere online today, and many in your industry might use them in their blogs. However, they are largely empty of meaning and great employers are looking for results and experience, not platitudes.


Make sure you have as many recommendations as possible on your profile. These are often easy to get if you reach out to former colleagues and employers with a kind request. It can help you rebuild your reputation in the eyes of employers. In addition, make sure to get endorsements for your skills: social proof is a powerful thing.

Status Updates

If you were browsing someone's profile and they hadn't updated their status in ages, what would you think about them? Well, anyone that comes across your profile will think the same thing if it's outdated. According to Hannah Morgan, the key here is to share status updates that appeal to your network and potential employers. Those who update their status weekly are 10x more likely to be contacted by recruiters! When it comes to creating a LinkedIn profile that says "hire me" when you have a criminal record, you need to do more than the bare minimum. A little thought and imagination will go a long way at the beginning. So implement the tips above and land your dream job before you know it. At Nolef Turns, we believe that everyone deserves another chance. We have launched a campaign to fight against the "Forever Felon". Follow @nolefturnsinc on IG or Facebook for updates on the many inalienable rights lost due to a felony conviction in Virginia.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day from our family to yours! 
Be safe and enjoy your holiday!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Our Office Is Moving!

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please direct any inquiries to until further notice. Mail can be sent to:

PO Box 441

Henrico, VA 23075-0441

Thank you for your patience, understanding and support in this matter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Moving On: How to Find New Purpose After a Conviction

You messed up. Whatever the case is, you now find yourself on the wrong end of the justice system. You are dealing with all the things that come with a legal case: tons of legal fees, pain with your family, and perhaps incarceration. This is a tough time, but you need to stay focused and get through this. The following are some ideas to help you find renewed purpose in your life.


Stay Positive

For many people, a legal conviction can begin a downward spiral in their lives. They lose hope and start making mistakes that hurt them more. You need to avoid this. This whole situation is a test in your life, and if you believe in yourself, then you can make it through. You need to know that you are capable of building a positive and productive life for yourself in the future. Do not let negativity snowball into a bad pattern.  

Remember Your Family

Getting a conviction can many times hurt our relationships with our families and loved ones. Sometimes it is the financial strain that breaks a relationship. Other times it is just the pain that comes with the situation. You owe it to your family to be better. Do what you can to make amends and show them you are capable of changing. Deal with this legal situation: do your service, do your time, whatever it is. Then start to move on and begin rebuilding.  

Find the Right Attorney

A good attorney can make all the difference in the world. A good attorney will help you navigate through a situation to the best possible outcome. It is essential you hire someone who knows what they are doing and has your best interests in mind. According to a DWI lawyer in Austin TX, even a small misdemeanor should be handled by someone skilled in more complex criminal charges for the best possible outcome.

Turn your Life Around

Once you have dealt with the legal situation of your conviction, it is time for you to begin turning your life around. For many people this can mean finding new work and a means of supporting themselves. Your attorney may be able to help you find a program for people with convictions that can help you do this.   A legal conviction is not the end of the world. It is up to you to decide how you want to look at this. Will this be the situation that defines you for the rest of your life? Or will you use it as a wakeup call to begin rebuilding your life in a better way? You and only you have the power to find new purpose after this conviction.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How Common is Prosecutorial Overreach in the United States?

Our mission is to help those who have been accused or convicted of a crime get back on their feet. If this is you, you know that this is an uphill battle. There are forces in this world that are hellbent on keeping you down. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions, one of these forces is the prosecutor’s office themselves. Prosecutorial overreach runs rampant in U.S. courts, both at the state and federal levels. Law enforcement and prosecutors perceive the need to play tough to build cases and secure convictions. While being tough to get results may be part of their job descriptions, many fail to recognize that playing fair is also their duty.  

The Brady Rule

Criminal law provides for crucial procedures and rights designed to provide the accused with the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, in conjunction with the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments. When prosecutors decide to take a win-at-all-costs mentality, they are tempted to cheat, or at least cut corners. When they cheat, they violate defendant's constitutional rights. Unfortunately, this results in many defendants being convicted of crimes they did not commit – or the punishment won’t fit the crime. One of the most common forms of prosecutorial overreach is a violation of the Brady rule. This rule requires prosecutors share any exculpatory evidence with the defense. Exculpatory evidence, which shows a defendant's innocence, usually winds up in the hands of prosecutors as a result of law enforcement investigations. For example, a police report of a witness's description of a suspect that does not match the defendant would be exculpatory. When prosecutors fail to turn such a piece of evidence over to the defense, they violate the Brady rule.

Judge Says Brady Rule Violations Are Epidemic

In 2013, the Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski, wrote in a judicial opinion, "There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land.” The judge went on to say he believes judges must work harder to stop these violations. In the case, he wrote the opinion for, prosecutors failed to turn over information that the scientist who conducted forensic testing in the case had a history of providing wrong information in criminal law cases, including intentional misconduct that resulted in the conviction of innocent people.

Prosecutors Facing Little Oversight

Part of the problem stems from the fact that prosecutors face too little oversight. As the system works, prosecutors have the discretion to decide what qualifies as exculpatory. Since they are under high pressure to win cases, there is a tendency toward bias in making these determinations. When courts find that prosecutors have withheld exculpatory evidence, prosecutors rarely face serious consequences. Overreach from a prosecutor, whether from a Brady violation or other misconduct, greatly diminishes defendant's rights to a fair trial. Defense attorneys work hard to keep prosecutors honest by demanding all exculpatory evidence, and when exculpatory evidence is withheld, they demand the dismissal of wrongful charges.
 Image Credit: Eric Harron Criminal Defense

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Made a Mistake? Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up

People make mistakes all the time; the human factor dictates that actions are often less than perfect. The critical part about mistakes comes after the fact; take opportunities to learn how to act differently in the future. Each mistake is a learning opportunity to create an alternative future. Realizing the mistake, learning from the process, and practicing different habits can help to prevent the same thing from recurring.

Realizing the Mistake

The first step is realizing that you’ve made a mistake, and admitting that freely. According to Rowdy G. Williams, “being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to serious penalties that have a long-lasting effect on your life.” Not just DUI convictions, but any conviction can have long lasting effects on your life and livelihood.

Taking responsibility for the action helps to reinforce any change that will follow. Try to pick yourself up after making a mistake rather than blaming yourself repeatedly. The negative thoughts will do more harm than productivity. Similarly, avoiding responsibility and refusing to admit that a mistake happened is as non-productive. Own your actions, learn from them, and develop different habits to move past them.

Learning from the Process

Take the opportunity to learn from your mistake. Understand that in order not to be credited with another conviction, your thought process must change. Learning about the science behind the problem may help to motivate you to make changes. Think about your future and weigh the consequences of your actions before making another mistake. Enlist the help of family, friends, medical practitioners, research studies, library books, and any other sources you can find. Educating yourself about your issues can be an empowering way to begin seeking alternatives and behavior changes. The more you know, the more options are available to you.

Practicing Different Habits

Finally, invest in practicing different habits. Use tools like group meetings, a support system of friends and family, a sponsor, and involving yourself in different social circles to help you along the way. Nolef Turns, Inc. is a great resource for finding support from others dealing with convictions. Consider being a mentor/buddy for someone dealing with legal issues or for a child with an incarcerated parent. You might even delve into different self-care practices by taking time to discover which activities bring you joy. Creative outlets like writing, reading, dance, and blogging can be wonderfully productive outlets. Perhaps your outlet comes in the form of a sport, exercise, or another form of fitness. Regardless of what makes you happy, practice it regularly to supplement fostering new habits.

When you make a mistake, make every effort to pick yourself back up afterward. Admit that it happened, take responsibility, learn about alternatives, and dedicate yourself to behavior change so that the same mistake does not occur repeatedly. Above all, be patient and kind to yourself; self-change takes time.

Resources for Finding New Employment After Serving Time for Domestic Violence

If you have ever served time for a domestic violence conviction, it may seem difficult to secure employment. Summit Defense explains that “even a first-time conviction can lead to serious consequences and affect your employment prospects, your good name, burden you with a permanent criminal record, impose a restraining order and compromise your immigration status.” We at Nolef Turns, Inc. recognize that the transition out of prison comes with difficult and unique challenges for each individual, and we are dedicated to helping educate you so that you can get back on your feet as easily and quickly as possible. Don't let your past continuously hinder your future. There are resources to acquire quality employment with the presence of domestic violence on your record.

Contact Your State Agency

Your local state department of labor has an abundance of opportunities. The state seeks employers that will hire candidates with charges on their background. If eligible, employers will receive a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for hiring individuals from different targeted groups. Individuals with convictions of domestic violence are a part of the group. To assist job seekers, the state will often hold affordable (sometimes at no cost) seminars and training courses. Finding employment can be competitive so it is highly recommended to take advantage of courses that are available. There are programs to assist with interview skills, resume preparation, and on the job training. Research your state programs and make the necessary connections to improve your future.

National Hire Network

This organization specializes in assisting ex-offenders with employment needs. The number of opportunities vary by state. They have a list of employers that are willing to overlook domestic violence convictions. National Hire is based on fair hiring practices and partners with companies to open doors of opportunity.

Federal Bonding Program

This program was established by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1966. At no cost to the employee or employer, Fidelity Bonds are given to companies to hire candidates that pose a potential risk. A Fidelity Bond is a type of insurance that covers losses that may be incurred by the commitment of fraudulent acts by specific individuals. Companies feel more inclined to hire a candidate with a background when the stakes are not as high.


It is tempting to deny that you have a complicated background but being dishonest will only prolong your search for employment. Honestly, truth is the best policy. It is not recommended to blatantly present the information during an interview. If an offer of employment is presented and the background portion is needed, be truthful. Sometimes, a company's policy for hiring candidates with backgrounds varies from one person to the next due to the nature of the incident. In some cases, the type of offense and the details of each case will be considered. If an employer asks for a statement about the situation, they are asking for clarification. This is your opportunity to show the employer that you can be upfront and forthcoming. Explain why the incident occurred and be remorseful about the situation if it is appropriate. No matter what, you want to remain genuine at all times.


In today's economy, finding the ideal job is difficult for most of the population. If you take the time to develop your skills and use the various resources provided, you will put yourself on a path to success. Don't let your mistakes define you and keep seeking advancement. If you need more information, Nolef Turns, Inc. is here for you. For help on pre-release services, re-entry services, and post-conviction services, click here. We have a growing series of programs to help you succeed.

Works Cited:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

What’s the Difference Between Verification and a Background Check?

There are two ways that employers check to see if those they’re looking to hire have any past criminal convictions. They do so through background checks. Verification services, on the other hand, are used to ensure the identity and information of an individual are legitimate.

Background Checks

A background check is when an employer or seller compiles information about an individual’s criminal records, financial records, and commercial records. Usually they are used for employment or the purchasing of a weapon, filing taxes, buying a car, etc. Employers use sites such as for a quick screening. But don’t worry, employers must ask for permission before running a background check on an individual when thinking of hiring them, as required by a long list of both national and state laws.
These screenings can show nearly everything; education, credit history, motor and license checks, criminal history, and so on. For the most part, employers only ask for a background check when an individual is seeking a job that requires higher security or a position of trust.

Verification Services

More commonly known as identity verification, these services are provided to authenticate the identity of physical documents, such as driver’s licenses or passports, as well as online documents like credit history, Social Security Numbers, or even W I-9 forms (Employment Eligibility Verification).
Not only are verification services used when an individual is seeking employment, but they’re also used for certain purchases. For example, an authentic ID must be presented to store clerks when purchasing tobacco, alcohol, and even lottery tickets. The most common form of an identification service are scanners at gas stations and liquor stores that are used to make sure that an ID is real. Almost never are Identity Verification Services used to check whether a person has committed a crime or has gone bankrupt.

Wiping the Slate Clean

Now that the differences in background checks and verification services have been established, there’s still the question of how to prevent criminal records from appearing on a background check (remember, IVS don’t show criminal records). Unless you have had your criminal conviction expunged and sealed, there’s almost nothing you can do to prevent a future employer from seeing your conviction.


Simply put, a background check is used to learn a person’s past while IVS are used to confirm a person’s identity.