City Hall has said that ex-convicts deserve a second chance, but in a NY1 exclusive, some Rikers Island workers with criminal records found that their chances have been taken away. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

For years, Gregory Moore and Gary Graves have showed up to Rikers Island for work.

"I do psychotherapy with the inmates," Graves said.

"I am a substance abuse counselor," Moore said.

But on Tuesday, they were told they shouldn't, and if they did, they could be arrested. Because they are two of 25 employees of the health care company on Rikers Island who recieved a letter that explains that they had their security clearance revoked, meaning they can't get to the sprawling jail complex to do their jobs.

When we asked the Department of Correction why, they said, "Safety of staff and inmates is our top priority and DOC seeks to ensure that all staff on our facilities pass required background checks.”

They say Moore and Graves and 23 of their Corizon colleagues did not, because of criminal records, in some cases, that are decades old.

"I was convicted of attempted burglary in 1980," Moore said.

"Possession of drugs, and I have a full pardon from that crime that happened back in the early '80s," Graves said.

NY1 spoke to 16 of the 25 employees, who told us that their convictions were somewhere between 10 to 30 years ago. They also told us that their crimes were nonviolent.

Of the 16 Corizon employees NY1 spoke to, many told us they had been working on Rikers Island for years, decades even. One man told us he had been working on Rikers Island for 26 years.

"You do this to people who are making a positive contribution to society for 20, 30, 40 years," Graves said.

"It's a punishment again," Moore said. "I felt like I was standing in front of a judge and a jury that I never saw."

It's unclear if they ever even had a background check when they started years ago. A report from the city's Department of Investigation earlier this year found that the Correction Department had not done background checks on any Corizon employees.

Corizon has since lost its city contract. Come January 1, the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation is taking over.

Officials at the Health and Hospitals Corporation told us that they are in the process of evaluating every Corizon employee to determine whether they are staying on.

As for getting back on the island now, the city says these employees have 10 days to appeal.