CINCINNATI — Every year, more than a million Americans are sent to jail. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are released from jail, having served their time. But finding a job with a criminal record remains daunting.

Melissa Davis won’t tell her whole story, but she’ll tell most of it.

“I had a dark side of me that came out that I didn’t even know I was capable of,” she said.

She graduated college with a degree in political science. But in her mid-twenties, she said, she was in a “terrible, terrible relationship, and I almost lost my life in that relationship. And once that happened, I could no longer make a positive decision in my own life.”

The decisions she made led to drug abuse and nonviolent crimes that put her in jail. She won’t say what she did. But today she can say she’s a manager and technician at Nehemiah

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