NPR recently interviewed the founder of Homeboy Industries, Father Greg Boyle. Homeboy Industries is a cafe and restaurant that hires only former gang members. Boyle grew up in Los Angeles and found his calling working with the poor. His church is located in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles and his mission is to provide an alternative opportuntity to former gang members. You can learn more by listening to the interview with Father Greg Boyle on Fresh Air.
Regardless of being a former gang member, finding a job with a criminal record can be hard. Homeboy Industries provides jobs to gang members to help them establish a more normal life. There are many businesses that hire only former criminals as part of their mission. Even if you have never served jail time, you should see the value that these businesses provide to former criminals as a step in the right direction.