It's a hard lesson to learn, that even after you pay for the crime by spending time in prison, future job prospects seems to disappear.
You claim to be intelligent, but why were you charged with a crime?
It also depends on what your crime was.
I think a good place for you to start is the state employment office. A second option is to go to an employment agency, but be prepared to pay a fee.
You should qualify for a job that has nothing to do with the crime you were charged with.
Try a social service agency. Good luck.
An employer cannot ask for any information not directly related to the job you are applying for. That's the law in California.