Stealing Change from Vending Machine Robs Man of Job, Marriage, Home

125-Plus Job interviews Later, Saul Green Still Unemployed and Living in Homeless Shelter, Despite Serving Time


When Saul Green was 36 years old, he committed a petty crime, and at age 45 he served a year’s incarceration for a minor drug possession. Today, more than a decade later, he struggles with unemployment and homelessness because he is still considered a “criminal.”

Green was a middle-class Washington resident with two loving parents, a high school diploma from a New England prep school and a year of college, when his father fell ill and Green had to drop out of school to help his family make ends meet. He got a job, married his high school sweetheart and moved to Connecticut.

Laid off in 1990 and with too much time on his hands, Green moved to the District and began making bad friendships that resulted in him getting caught stealing from a vending machine at a local subway station. He spent several months in jail, satisfying the terms of his debt as declared by the judge at his trial. In 2000, Green served a year in a state correctional facility for a minor drug possession.

So how can it be that—24 YEARS AFTER HIS LARCENY CHARGE AND 15 YEARS AFTER HIS MINOR DRUG CHARGE—Green is still suffering the consequences of his admittedly “stupid, bad choices”? Having already lost his marriage and unable to pay his rent, he found his possessions thrown to the curb and has been jobless for nearly 18 months after his former company was sold and his three-year position as an office building concierge and security guard was transferred to the new company. Because Green was honest about his past criminal record on the application for a required background check at his new employer, he is now struggling to find work. After more than 125 interviews for jobs including warehousing, fast-food service and big-box retailing, Green has been unable to land a job and still lives at Central Union Mission men’s shelter in the District.

Fortunately, much-needed sentencing reform has gained momentum in state legislatures and in Congress, particularly those affecting people like Green who are paying for a crime long after serving their time.

Joining U.S. Senators Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Corey Booker, D-N.J., at a District discussion about crime and redemption, Green will tell his personal story of loss and how his faith has helped him face the huge challenges of reentry to his community. The gathering is sponsored by Christian Legal Aid of D.C. and Justice Fellowship, Prison Fellowship’s criminal justice and advocacy arm.


Saul Green and U.S. Sens. Tim Scott and Cory Booker


“Crime and Redemption: Seeking a Biblical View of Justice,” a discussion of how faith should influence our response to crime and people returning from prison


Tue, July 28, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC 20003


Because faith matters, and everyone deserves a second chance

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Advance and on-site interviews with Green, former bank robber-turned-criminal justice advocate Jesse Wiese, Sen. Scott, Sen. Booker and others from Justice Fellowship and Christian Legal Aid, which is helping Green try to get his theft charge expunged. Contact Michelle Farmer at 770.757.4900 or Karen Dye at 770.813.0000.