Special Work Programs

Some people say that those who commit crimes should be ineligible for special work programs.  They think that the fact of a prior conviction makes a person a risk to the community, and even if the risk is minimal, the past crime should exclude the person from extra help in getting a job.  These people worry that making work available to someone with a serious criminal record could mislead youngsters into thinking they can break the law without consequence and unintentionally punish the people who did not break the law by giving a community job to someone who did.  
Others feel exactly the opposite.  They say that giving people who have made mistakes a second chance provides an incentive for people to straighten out their lives.  Work programs also help the person transition back to regular life and therefore prevent crime.

1)  What do you think? Should people with criminal records be a priority for work programs?  Should they be allowed to take jobs even though someone else without a criminal record might want the same job?

2)  If you think there should be some restrictions on work program status, how long should someone who has been to prison be barred from this status, and why?

3)  What are the social consequences of your point of view, both positive and negative?