A reader asks:

As a young adult, I had a substance abuse problem. I first got a felony for “unlawful delivery of a non-controlled substance,” I was sentenced to 3 years probation. During probation I violated with a felony “theft by unlawful taking.” Basically I stole to support my drug addiction. For this I was sentenced to state prison for 2 years, where I completed drug and alcohol programs throughout my stay. I also spent 3 months in intense inpatient rehab when I got out, and 6 months of out-patient rehab when I was done with that. Since then I have gone to school and completed an IT cyber security degree program, as well as one for network administration. It has been 5 years since I have been in any trouble and i have remained clean as well, however, most of the jobs pertaining to my degree require a secret clearance. I am worried that I will not be able to get one. Is there any chance for me at all?

William H. Henderson, FEDCAS replies:

  • If you served a year or more in prison, the “Bond Amendment” prohibits any government agency from granting you Special Access Program clearance without a waiver. DOD has gone one step further and made the Bond Amendment requirement for a waiver applicable to collateral clearances (confidential, secret and top secret). If you have been out of prison for five years, your chance of getting a clearance is poor but not impossible. You will need to provide persuasive evidence of rehabilitation.

Read more at Relevance of Criminal Conduct and Security Clearances.

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