Things That Felons Can't Do When They Get Out of Jail

List Rules
Vote up the things felons can't do after their release from prison that surprise you the most.

Life is extremely hard for those convicted of a felony. In addition to the legal bills felons have to deal with, not to mention the time spent behind bars, the rights convicts lose are numerous. Life is changed irreparably when one is convicted of a felony, though most would say this is rightfully so, as felonies are very serious crimes. What ex-con rights are affected? What rights do ex-felons lose? What are the things that someone formerly incarcerated for a felony can't do? People may consider you an ex-con, but you've done your time and don't deserve to be punished your whole life.

Ex-felons rights are a lot more limited than that of the average person, and it's a lot more widespread than you might think! Not working with children might make sense, as does the ability to say... run for president. But how about the right to be a dietitian? Or to repay your debt to society by joining the military? Though some of the things on this list aren't necessarily impossible for felons, they might as well be.

Vote up the things felons can't do after their release from prison that surprise you the most! Which ex-cons rights do you think they should still have?


  • Become A Dietitian
    Photo: Biswarup Ganguly / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
    10,302 VOTES

    Become A Dietitian

    Most states have strict licensing laws for dietitians. That means felons must disclose their convictions, and that their applications can be denied.

    Most states look into a criminal record with great scrutiny before issuing licenses.

  • 2
    10,394 VOTES

    Travel Abroad

    Felons aren't forbidden from obtaining US passports, but that doesn't mean they can easily leave the country. Many countries place visa restrictions on convicted criminals, and may not allow them to enter.

    Travel restrictions depend on the crime too. Drug traffickers and people convicted of sex tourism, for example, are not allowed to travel internationally.

  • Vote
    Photo: Geraldshields11 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
    9,887 VOTES


    In all states, there's a process to renew your right to vote after becoming a convicted felon. Losing the right is called disenfranchisement, and the process for getting those rights back varies by state.

    In some states, it's a permanent ban; in others you have to apply and lobby to prove you should be able to vote. In still other states, you regain the right after a set time (depending on the crime).

  • Easily Get Financial Aid For Education
    Photo: COD Newsroom / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    9,064 VOTES

    Easily Get Financial Aid For Education

    Those who are incarcerated for a felony offense are often ineligible for government financial aid for education.

    However, many of these restrictions do not apply after one has been released from prison.

  • Hold Public Office
    Photo: Kai Hendry / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    9,918 VOTES

    Hold Public Office

    In many states, it is illegal for a convicted felon to hold office. However, some areas allow felons whose convictions are more than 10 years old to hold public positions.

    Having that right reinstated depends on the severity of the crime too.

  • Bear Arms
    Photo: David Monniaux / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0
    10,860 VOTES

    Bear Arms

    Under US federal law, felons lose the right to bear arms. However, those rights can be reinstated in many states, even for people convicted of violent offenses.

    Gun ownership laws have been gradually relaxed since the '80s, and more and more areas prioritize the Second Amendment over more recent rulings.