(LA Times) — Eddie Lemon has an associate’s degree from Taft College near Bakersfield. He’s certified to work as a sheet metal operator and to drive a forklift. He has experience as a dishwasher and a cabinetmaker. He also has a criminal record. The 47-year-old Lemon believes that has made it all but impossible for him to find a job in one of the worst economies in decades. And as prisons are forced to reduce their inmate populations because of overcrowding and budget shortages, some economists fear that could lead many of them back to a life of crime.