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Showing posts with label companies that hire ex felons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label companies that hire ex felons. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Scrubbing The Past To Give Those With A Criminal Record A Second Chance

Scrubbing The Past To Give Those With A Criminal Record A Second Chance Latosha Poston says she made a lot of mistakes in her life. Her legal troubles began in her teens after her first child was born in Indianapolis. Over the years, bad decisions led to some arrests, some convictions.
Barbara Brosher/Indiana Public Media

Latosha Poston says she made a lot of mistakes in her life. Her legal troubles began in her teens after her first child was born in Indianapolis. Over the years, bad decisions led to some arrests, some convictions.

"Sometimes we get stuck in our past and let our past guide us," she says.

The 44-year-old has worked hard to straighten out her life. But her criminal records — all involving misdemeanors — continued to haunt her as she tried to find a decent job and place to live.

Then, while watching the local news, she heard about Indiana's Second Chance law, passed in 2013. It allows people to petition to remove their misdemeanor convictions and arrests from public view.

Indiana is among several states to change their approach to the restoration of a person's rights and status after an arrest or conviction. In the last two years, more than 20 states have expanded or added laws to help people move on from their criminal records — most involve misdemeanors. Marijuana legalization and decriminalization have played a big role in driving these reforms. Fairness is another factor, with lawmakers from both parties rethinking the long-term consequences of certain criminal records, as well as the economic impact of mass incarceration.

There are also purely economic reasons to encourage the sealing of criminal records.

"It hurts communities, it hurts counties and it hurts states if their citizens cannot be productively employed or aren't part of the tax base," says American University law professor Jenny Roberts, who has written extensively on the collateral consequences of convictions. "So there's certainly an economic incentive for allowing people to move beyond their criminal record."

The state-level reforms have helped tens of thousands of people across the United States.

Poston of Indianapolis is among them. After working in home health care for nearly 20 years and making just over $11 an hour, she landed a much better-paying job in a hospital as an operating room assistant once her records were sealed.

"I felt like something was lifted off," she says of her case. "Because now I kind of felt like a human."

With background checks ubiquitous for jobs, schools, mortgage applications and more, even one conviction — and sometimes even just one arrest — can dog people for years, critics say, relegating them to permanent second-class status.

"No one should underestimate how much even the most minor of misdemeanor convictions — including marijuana or trespassing or any kind of conviction — can affect someone's ability to get a job, to get housing and to function fully in society," says Roberts, who also co-directs the Criminal Justice Clinic at American University in Washington, D.C.

Time for change

The reform trend reflects an emerging consensus that the social and economic problems created by mass prosecution and incarceration call for a fundamental reimagining of the criminal justice system.

While reformers largely welcome the moves by states, there's concern that a patchwork of laws as well as steep legal fees, prosecutorial foot-dragging and other barriers have blunted what is otherwise seen as a rare area of bipartisan, effective reform.


Scrubbing The Past To Give Those With A Criminal Record A Second Chance
The Expungement Help Desk in Indianapolis helps people with criminal records file petitions to get their records expunged or sealed.
Barbara Brosher/Indiana Public Media
"The states are really all over the map on this stuff, and they're all reinventing the wheel," says attorney Margaret Love, executive director of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center and an expert on clemency and restoration of rights.

She and others are calling on the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Center for State Courts and the American Bar Association to study and share what reforms are showing the most promising outcomes.

"Right now it's getting harder for state legislatures to pick out a single approach," Love says. "We have to start looking at this in a more systematic way and look at what works best."

For example, there's a growing body of evidence that it undermines public safety if you don't help people move beyond their criminal records and participate in the workforce. Without that help, the chance of people returning to the criminal justice system increases.

One study estimates that the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people is more than 27 percent — far higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the Great Depression. The rate is even higher for African-Americans who've had run-ins with the law.

With the national jobless rate at historical lows, many companies are looking at new ways to hire additional workers. A recent survey showed that more than 80 percent of managers — and two-thirds of human resource professionals — "feel that the value workers with criminal records bring to the organization is as high as or higher than that of workers without records."

Indiana's example

As in many other states, the work of sealing and expungement in Indiana mostly falls to nonprofit legal groups and private attorneys. But in Marion County, the prosecutor's office has hired a full-time paralegal to process all requests. The county has had more than 11,500 people come through since legislators implemented the law.

While the mood nationally surrounding expungement has dramatically improved, some prosecutors and judges remain skeptical or outright opposed to records clearing. Philosophically they don't think those who've broken the law should get a clean slate.

So it helps a lot that in Marion County, which encompasses Indianapolis, Prosecutor Terry Curry fully supports the effort. He advocated for the law because he thinks people who've stayed out of trouble shouldn't carry the legal stain forever.

"If our goal is to have individuals not reoffend, then in our mind it's appropriate to remove obstacles that are going to inhibit their ability to become productive members of our community," Curry says.

While most cases in Indiana involve misdemeanors, judges have discretion with violent-felony petitions. Victims of those crimes also can give testimony. More serious felonies can be expunged eight or 10 years after the completion of the sentence.

Some crimes must have the prosecutor's written consent for expungement. Homicides and some sexual offenses are not eligible for expungement in Indiana and in most other states.

You can petition to have records for convictions expunged only once in your lifetime. If you are convicted of other charges later on, there's no chance of having them sealed.

While the process in Indiana and in other states seems simple, serious hurdles remain. Expungement can be time consuming and costly. There are filing fees for every petition — fees not everyone can afford.

In addition, the process can vary from county to county depending on cooperation from local prosecutors. Advocates in Indiana want lawmakers to make it easier for people to expunge their records — regardless of where they are in the state.

Getting the word out

Even more vexing — in Indiana and throughout the country — is the general ignorance about existing expungement laws. People just don't know they exist or how they work.

Public defenders from New York to Los Angeles say they have to do a better job of both getting the word out and pushing states to better fund these efforts.

At a recent LA-area expungement clinic, a man showed up who'd done significant prison time for a nonviolent felony. And he'd been off probation for more than five years. He still couldn't get a job. The man, who didn't want his name used, thought at first the expungement clinic was some kind of scam.

"He had no idea he could not only get it [the felony] expunged but reduced to a misdemeanor," says Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender Lara Kislinger, who was helping him with the paperwork. "He just had no idea. And he was so grateful. And he's been having so much trouble finding a job. And we want people to be able to re-enter society and be productive members of society. And this was a case where it was so obvious it was holding up jobs — and life. And it's tragic."

Expanding public knowledge of sealing and expungement laws takes money and effort. Many public defender offices already are overwhelmed, understaffed and underresourced.

How long should a record last?

Across the nation, felonies are harder to expunge and involve longer waiting periods, and in many states, homicides and certain sexual offenses are almost impossible to expunge.
Scrubbing The Past To Give Those With A Criminal Record A Second Chance
Jay Jordan, 33, is the director of the #TimeDone/Second Chances project for the nonprofit Californians for Safety and Justice. The clinic involves public defenders who volunteer to help people get their criminal charges or records reduced or expunged.
Philip Cheung for NPR
There's a new push in some states to clear some felony convictions, especially nonviolent ones.

California has taken the lead in reducing incarceration and prosecution of certain low-level drug crimes and nonviolent felonies following the passage of Proposition 47 and other measures. Past offenders can petition a court to reduce their crimes to misdemeanors.

Supporters say it has helped reduce the prison population and racial disparities in the justice system while saving taxpayers money. Funds are redirected, for example, into support services such as drug treatment and counseling.

Others say Proposition 47, while a good start, is inadequate. Jay Jordan of Los Angeles served seven years in prison for robbery. He has been out now for nearly eight years and says he still faces daunting obstacles to full re-entry into society.

"You know, I tried to adopt and was turned down. Tried to volunteer at school and was turned down. Tried [to] sell insurance, was turned down. Tried to sell used cars, was turned down. So, you know, every single step of the way when I try to better myself and, you know, be able to take care of myself for my family, there are these massive barriers," Jordan says. "And I'm not alone."

Indeed, there are some 8 million formerly incarcerated people in California. In the U.S., it's estimated that there are some 60 million people with a criminal record, according to federal statistics. The majority are misdemeanors. One report estimates as many people have criminal records as college diplomas.

Jordan now works for a nonprofit that advocates for rights of the formally incarcerated. In their work, Jordan and others are asking the basic question — how long should these convictions be on people's records if they've done their time and are working to become good citizens?

Not everyone wants these reforms. In California, some want to roll back parts of the state's criminal justice reforms through a proposed 2020 ballot initiative that would, among other things, reduce the number of inmates who can seek earlier parole and reclassify some theft crimes from misdemeanors to felonies.

"Proposition 47 was approved overwhelmingly by California voters who understood that permanently punishing people for a past mistake is not reflective of our shared American values nor is it an effective safety strategy," says Jordan, who directs Californians for Safety and Justice's #TimeDone/Second Chances campaign.

"Everyone who has an old, low-level, nonviolent felony on their record that is eligible for reduction to a misdemeanor under Prop. 47 should be able to get relief, and we want to make that as easy as we possibly can for folks," he says. "People deserve the chance to overcome the mistakes of their past, and that road to redemption should be as smooth as possible."

Some Democratic lawmakers in California are pushing back with proposed legislation that would automate the expungement process for all felonies that are eligible for reduction under the law.

Legal experts like Roberts, the American University law professor, caution that the best solution might be for prosecutors to simply take fewer minor cases to court in the first place.

"I don't think you can have an actual conversation about sealing and expungement and decriminalization until you talk about less prosecution and less funneling of low-level misdemeanors into the criminal justice system," Roberts says.


Companies that hire felons


Explained: Misdemeanors, Felonies, Pardons, and Expungements


Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Resumes for Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record | Expungement



Scrubbing The Past To Give Those With A Criminal Record A Second Chance




Eric Mayo

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recovering felon needs a job

Recovering felon needs a job


Recovering felon needs a job
I have a felony conviction for theft.  It's the only spot on my otherwise clean record. I am a compulsive gambler who is attending Gamblers Anonymous and getting treatment from a psychiatrist. I have been looking for work for a long, long time and can't even get a call back.

Previously I worked as an accountant but my addiction will keep me from that type of work.  I would like a shipping/receiving or an inside sales position or maybe a dispatch job. All these positions are ones that I worked before I started my accounting career.



Recovering felon needs a job



First of all I wish you success on your recovery.  I'm not sure what state you live in but some states offer what is known as Certificate of Rehabilitation.  A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order, which declares that a person who has been convicted of a felony is rehabilitated.  If a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted, it is forwarded to the Governor by the granting court and constitutes an application for a pardon. 

This information is not intended as legal advice.  You should consult a qualified professional that is experienced in this field.   One option is to contact your local legal aid office where you may qualify for free or low cost legal services that can help with this process.  The legal aid office may also have relationships with employers who are willing to hire ex-offenders or felons.  Check your local telephone directory to find the legal aid office nearest you

Recovering felon needs a jobA suggestion I make to all ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs is to go to your nearest One-stop Career Center.

One-stop Career Centers are very underutilized resources that ex-offenders and felons can use not only to gain employment, but to get vocational guidance and preparation. Also, these centers offer a long list of useful services. Some services available are:

Career planning and counseling

Workshops (Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, and related topics.)

Computers with internet access and word processing

Daily access to thousands of job listings


Job-related magazines and local newspapers

Job postings and referrals

Printers, fax machines, phones, and copiers for job searching

Every center is staffed with trained counselors that provide one-on-one help for job seekers. Many of them have experience helping ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs.

As stated in a previous post, you can find your nearest center here:

www.servicelocator.org


I hope this helps.

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Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Where Ex-offenders and Felons Can Find Jobs



Are you an Ex-offender with a criminal record? You could have your question answered right here. Email your question to: adogzheart2@gmail.com.


Recovering felon needs a job




Recovering felon needs a job

 

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Recovering felon needs a job

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Can a Juvenile Felon get Jobs in Healthcare?

Can a Juvenile Felon get Jobs in Healthcare?

 

I was 16 years old,  I got arrested. I was put in the wrong situation which involved my mother and her boyfriend. I was told they took a plea and allowed the felony to be put on me. I went and got certified in nursing was working for 12 years and now it is haunting me. I love healthcare and want to try to stay in the field. I feel that I belong helping others. I just want a good paying job that I love to go to everyday. Is there anything out there I can work or go to school for?


Can a Juvenile Felon get Jobs in Healthcare?



Can a Juvenile Felon get Jobs in Healthcare? I get this often from ex-offenders and felons with juvenile records who are looking for jobs. Contrary to what many people believe, juvenile records do not disappear when on reaches the age of adult. In many states, juvenile records are sealed. Sealed meaning they are hidden from the public. They will always be available, however, to the court system, law enforcement and government agencies. Since many jobs in health care require licensing or certifications there will be the question of can you be certified.

You will have contact the medical licensing board in your state to see if your conviction will keep you from being certified or licensed.

I hope this helps

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 Can a Juvenile Felon get Jobs in Healthcare?


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Can a Juvenile Felon get Jobs in Healthcare?

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs

Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs

 


Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs
Thanks for stopping by my blog.  You are here because either you have a criminal record and want to put your past behind you by getting a job and becoming a contributing member of society or you want to help someone you really care about.  Getting a job with a criminal record is going to be difficult but not impossible.  I work with ex-felons everyday and many of them get jobs right away while others have to put more work and be more determined to overcome their individual situations.  Here are some important steps that ex-offenders and ex-felons can take to  dramatically increase their opportunity to get hired


 Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs



Get a Copy of your Criminal Record

At some time during the job search, the question about criminal record is going to come up.  I encourage my students to be totally honest when talking about their background.  The best way to do this is to have an accurate record of your criminal convictions.  If you have a probation or parole officer, he/she can help you get a copy of your record.

Find out if the convictions on your record can be sealed or expunged.  To be clear, NO RECORDS CAN BE ERASED.  If someone tells you that you can erase your record, do not believe them.  There are legal processes that can have certain convictions and charges hidden from public view making your record easier to work with.  Your record, even if hidden from public view, will always be available to all government agencies, court systems and law enforcement.

There are lawyers who make tons of money by using these processes so they are not going to like this but, you can get this done for little or no money.  I suggest to all of my students to contact their local legal aid office.  There you will be able to find out of expungement or sealing is available in your state and what can be done about your record.  If it is an option for you, you can get help getting it done for little or no money.

Get Some Really Good References

Increasingly employers are paying attention to references when considering new employees.  Ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs should be able to provide strong references that will help them make a good impression on employers.  There are employers that will hire a felon and a strong set of references from the right people can help you get hired.

References are upstanding members of the community who would say something positive about you. Good references  could help an employer look past your record. References from religious leaders, teachers, former employers and local political leaders would look great to an employer.

Most employment applications ask for for three references.  You should always have at least four.  Be prepared to list a name, title, and contact information for each one.  Make certain contact information is current and keep it updated.  Over time, phone numbers, titles and addresses change.

Get permission from anybody you want to use as a reference. Let them know that you are looking for a job and a reference from them would really help.  Never offer anyone as a reference without their consent.  Once you have your references all together, keep them in your job search folder for easy access when it is time to fill out an application.

Only offer references when they are requested.  Never put references on a resume.  Include a line on the resume that may say "References will be furnished upon request."

Taking the time to get good references will have a powerful impact on your job search.



Get A Resume

If you are looking for a job without a well written resume, you are at a disadvantage. A resume is a short, concise document that states relevant information regarding your education, skills, experiences, accomplishments, and job-related background. A well written resume will help you present your best qualities to an employer. If you have a resume, have a professional person look at it to judge it's quality. If you do not have a well written resume, I suggest you get some help putting one together.



Dress to Get Hired

First impressions are very important.  What people think upon meeting you depends so much on what they see.  When prospective employers meet you for the first time what will they think they see?  Will they see a potential problem?  Will they see an ex-con trying to get a job?  Will they see a polished professional looking for an opportunity?  That will totally be up to you.

It is important that you look like someone of quality.  A well fitting suit with a nice shirt, a coordinated tie and polished shoes is what most ex-offenders and ex-felons should shoot for.  Your clothing should more for you that anything you say.



Get Some Quality Job Leads

Do you know what type of job you are looking for?  Do you know where open jobs are?  There are many ways to find out where jobs are.

1.  Networking - Networking is the single best way to find out where jobs are.  Networking is simply talking to people you already know to find out if they know about any open positions.

2.  State Job Services - State sponsored employment services have access to job openings and other services that can help you get a job.

3.  Temporary Employment - Companies use temporary employment services when they need help immediately for a certain amount of time.  A temporary agency could have you working on a very short time.  Some temporary assignment turn into permanent jobs.  Temporary agencies cater to a wide array of businesses like offices, restaurants, construction companies and even the medical industry.  Whatever type of work you do, you will be able to find a temporary agency that needs employees.  Check you local telephone directory or search online for agencies in your area and apply just as you would any other employer.

4.   Help Wanted Ads - Help wanted ads can be found in local newspapers. These advertisements can be found in the classifieds section of you daily newspaper, having listings of  open jobs. Ex-offenders and Ex-felons looking for jobs can also use the Internet to find help wanted ads.


Unfortunately, not all job fields are open to ex-offenders and ex-felon and you may not get the job you want right away.  You may have to start at the bottom and work your way up.  Be prepared


Practice Interviewing

The key to successful interviewing is practice.  You will have to practice how to answer questions especially the one you will get that relate to your criminal record.  Find someone to work with you practicing answering questions until you sound convincing.



These tips will get you started on your task of finding a job.  As I said before, it won't be easy, but having determination and working hard will definitely pay off



Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs



Tips to Help Ex-Felons Get Jobs



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Thursday, December 6, 2018

How Female Felons can get Jobs

How Female Felons can get Jobs
Hello Mr. Mayo,

Thank you for reading my email.


I am a 24 year old girl and have a charge of simple assault.  I got into a fight with another girl who pulled a knife on me.  I had no choice but to protect myself but I got a charge anyway.   I have gotten interviews, but when I get to the part about explaining my charge, everything changes and I don't get hired.

I read your blog all the time.  How can people with charges find jobs if no one will give them a chance.  If they can't find jobs then they sell drugs and do other things to get money.  I want to get a job and put this nightmare behind me in the worst way.  Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

Thank you.

Lori


How Female Felons can get Jobs



Hello Lori,

More and more I am seeing women with felony convictions who are have a hard time finding jobs.  First let me say that ex-offenders and felons get hired everyday all across the country.  You have two challenges.  Firstly, to make yourself as marketable as possible and secondly to find employers who will offer you an opportunity.

First you will need a well written resume.  A resume will quickly help an employer get an understanding of your skills and qualifications.  There are many resources online that can help you get an understanding of how to put a resume together.  If you have never done this before, get help from someone who has written one before.

On most application you will find the question, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"  This part is critical.  I encourage everyone I work with to never lie on an application.  In this computer age, lying about criminal records doesn't work so always be honest.   When answering this question, list the name of the conviction, the county you were convicted in, the month and year, and the final outcome.  It might look something like:

Simple Assault (isolated incident), Cook County, IL, 2016 ,  Probation/Fine Paid

When it's time to talk about it, briefly state what happened and how sorry you you are that it happened and how hard you are working to move past it.

Next you will have to practice your interviewing skills.  Find someone who will pose and an interviewer so you can practice answering questions and work on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  Practice until you can easily answer questions while sounding sincere.

You will also need professional interview clothes.  The best clothes for an interview is a nice pants or skirt suit with coordinated blouse and shoes.  If you wanted to be looked at as a professional, you must look like a professional.

Finally, check out this list of companies that have hired felons in the past:  Companies that Hire Felons

Bear in mind that these companies will not hire you just because you are a felon, but you may get the opportunity if you are qualified.  Best of luck to you.


 Companies that hire felons


Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Where can Ex-offenders Find Jobs

Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Ten Steps to Getting a Job with a Criminal Record



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How Female Felons can get Jobs



Eric Mayo

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers

  • More American companies, such as McDonald's and Delta Air Lines, are hiring ex-cons as part of their inclusion strategy.
  • Executives say 82 percent of their ex-offender hires have been at least as successful as their average hire, according to a report by the Society of Human Resources Management.
  • Only 14 percent of human resources managers won't consider hiring ex-offenders.

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers
Ty Hookway had to check on an office building his building services company, CleanCraft, was set to clean in upstate New York, and what he saw changed his business and his life. The maintenance person who was supposed to do the work had called in sick, and when Hookway got there, he found one of his newer hires, Sanford Coley, in the building, working away in shorts rather than his uniform.

But what really got Hookway's attention: The shorts revealed that Coley was wearing an ankle bracelet. He was on parole for bank robbery. Hookway hadn't thought to ask about Coley's criminal record.

"I was thinking I should fire him," Hookway said. "Now he's one of my best friends."

More stories like this may be coming to offices like yours. With the job market tight, ex-felons and other workers who often struggled to find jobs are getting a second look, according to a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management, which surveyed more than 2,000 corporate managers and HR executives nationwide on their attitudes about ex-offenders for a report released in May.

Unemployment among ex-felons isn't explicitly tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it was estimated at 27 percent last year by the Prison Policy Initiative. But some researchers think it's even higher — informal estimates claim as many as half of released convicts failed to find jobs or stayed out of the labor force. Since an estimated one-third of U.S. adults have at least an arrest record, according to the human resources society, it's a lot of people.

"This isn't a problem of aspirations, it's a structural problem involving discrimination and a lack of opportunities available to people who have been to prison," said Lucius Couloute, a policy analyst at the Prison Policy Initiative. "It really takes employers who are willing to let go of their biases in pursuit not only of equality but of the best candidates."

Corporations are showing at least some signs of interest, advocates say. In addition to SHRM's study, the job site Glassdoor barred job listings from employers who intend to weed out ex-offenders. New Jersey-based consultant Eric Mayo says a long list of top American companies have proved themselves open to hiring ex-offenders, mostly for service jobs, ranging from minimum-wage employers from McDonald's to CNBC parent Comcast and, in Mayo's Atlantic City backyard, casinos, which he said are practically cities unto themselves, demanding an array of service workers.

Corporations are showing at least some signs of interest, advocates say. In addition to SHRM's study, the job site Glassdoor barred job listings from employers who intend to weed out ex-offenders. New Jersey-based consultant Eric Mayo says a long list of top American companies have proved themselves open to hiring ex-offenders, mostly for service jobs, ranging from minimum-wage employers from McDonald's to CNBC parent Comcast and, in Mayo's Atlantic City backyard, casinos, which he said are practically cities unto themselves, demanding an array of service workers.

"It really takes employers who are willing to let go of their biases in pursuit not only of equality but of the best candidates."-Lucius Couloute, policy analyst at the Prison Policy Initiative

"I encourage people to apply for every job they feel qualified for," Mayo said. "Even without a felony record, looking for a job is a numbers game.''

To stoke more action, the federal government is offering a tax incentive called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers who hire and retain ex-felons, veterans and individuals from other target groups with significant barriers to employment. Under this program if an employee works at least 120 hours a year, a company can claim a 25 percent tax credit of their first year's wages and 40 percent if he or she works 400 hours.

Some cities and states also offer tax credits and other incentives to employers willing to hire ex-cons and give them a second chance. Philadelphia's Fair Chance Hiring Initiative provides a cash reimbursement to employers who hire felons that have been released from prison within the past five years.

Many employers are apprehensive about hiring felons and look for ways to hedge their risk. They partner with local organizations that work to train ex-cons for jobs and provide other types of rehabilitation services. To find these organizations, state unemployment or workforce development offices can offer referrals.

The Federal Bonding Program is another option companies turn to. This program bonds felons who are hired and mainstreamed by companies of all sizes. The bond provides compensation if an employer suffers theft or loss due to the employee's dishonesty.

Eliminating bias in the workplace

If there is a ground zero for the push to destigmatize a criminal history in the workplace, it is Greyston, a 100-person Yonkers, New York, bakery that makes mostly brownies for a client list that includes Unilever's Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream unit, Amazon's Whole Foods grocery chain and Delta Air Lines. "We consider them the crown jewel of our values-led sourcing program," said Unilever spokesman Sean Greenwood, pointing out that Greyston, while founded by a Buddhist monk with a mission to do good, has balanced its social mission with being a reliable, businesslike supplier for decades.

Greyston's "open hiring" model means that anyone who puts their name on a list for a production job can have one as they become available, CEO Mike Brady said. The trick is, they have to make it through an apprenticeship program designed to test (and build) their basic work aptitudes, such as staying on schedule and working well with others. About half don't make it, Brady said. But enough do to convince Greyston that other companies would be better off investing less in screening out workers and more in training and supporting them to capitalize on second chances and on connecting them to social services they need to support a transition to working life.

More from At Work:



"We'll hire anyone who walks through the front door — no questions asked," said Brady, who estimates that about 40 Greyston workers have criminal records. "We do everything we can to make them successful. But if they're not, we let a lot of people go.''

Two such candidates are one-time drug dealers Dion Drew and Alvin Wilson. Drew, 41, grew up in Yonkers and said he plied his old trade a three-minute walk from Greyston. Wilson, 64, spent nearly a decade after his release as a self-employed contractor, doing everything from carpentry to snow shoveling before coming to work there.

Drew has become an ambassador for open hiring, even doing a Ted Talk with Brady about it. He got out of prison in 2008 after his third conviction, got rejected everywhere he applied, and landed a $7.15-an-hour gig as a Greyston apprentice in 2009. He's now a $25-an-hour supervisor with an eight-year-old daughter and two stepchildren. He claims he has the two dogs and now "just needs the house."

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers
Greyston CEO Mike Brady with employee Dion Drew, a former drug dealer  


Wilson is a mixer on the brownie line, where the quickly moving array of goodies waiting to be wrapped recall the famous scene from I Love Lucy where the heroines land short-lived jobs in a candy factory (the bakery makes about a tractor-trailer load of brownies daily, or 7 million pounds per year). He was released in 2008, from the last of his five felony cases, and arrived at Greyston two years ago.

Both said their big problem in getting back to work was learning how to take direction and fit in, as people do in the workplace. And each said the biggest difference between themselves and others who fail at reentering society is that they simply decided, while in jail, that they had to do better.

"If you can't make your mind up in 12-and-a-half years what you want to do in life, it's never going to happen," Wilson said.

"I set my goals and plans while I was upstate," Drew added. "I wanted to save money the right way, to have a family. I wanted to put the smile back on my mom's face.''

Greyston now is trying to package its approach to lure in other companies. Just a short drive from its factory, Greyston set up the Center for Open Hiring, which Perry Solomon, a consultant working on the project, described as a way of training companies to "think the right way" — swapping expenses spent finding workers who don't have red flags for more investment in training.

"Where I see the ROI is in tremendous loyalty, productivity and culture," Brady said.

Changing attitudes

A study on employers' attitudes toward hiring ex-felons suggests that many are ready for change. Only 14 percent of human-resources managers won't consider hiring ex-offenders, the report commissioned by the Society of Human Resources Management and funded by the Charles Koch Instituted says. The biggest reason is simple: 82 percent of executives say their ex-offender hires have been at least as successful as their average hire. Other common motivations were to help build communities and give ex-offenders a second chance.

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers
Greyston's president and CEO Mike Brady in front of the company's Center for Open Hiring


But only 5 percent actively recruit ex-offenders, the survey said. The most important factors in getting hired: A verifiable work history, and some level of education or training after the workers were convicted, indicating that they improved themselves while imprisoned.

That's consistent with a study by the RAND Institute, which found that 59 percent of employers would consider an ex-offender with one conviction if they were given an incentive through a tax credit, which they are offered under federal law. But the biggest difference-maker is if employers can recover staffing-agency fees they pay to find workers who don't stick with the job, or get the agencies to find them a replacement worker for free if they take a chance on an ex-offender who doesn't work out.

Rand found that employers are much less willing to look at felons with a history of violence, such as robbery charges, Rand scholar Priscilla Hunt said.

"What they responded to was staffing-agency fees," Hunt said. "Even more than if you increased the [tax credit] money."

What doesn't appear to work as well is trying to force employers' hands by forbidding them to ask about criminal records on job applications. So-called "ban the box" laws, named for the check-box next to questions about whether applicants have records, often lead to racial discrimination, as employers screen out a broad swath of minority applicants in order to avoid interviewing ex-offenders, according to research by Rutgers University economist Amanda Agan.

Screening out ex-offenders can also subject employers to liability for policies that have a disproportionate racial impact, said Dariely Rodriguez, director of the economic justice project at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

"Employers have an obligation not to discriminate," Rodriguez said. "They have an obligation to root out bias."

Mostly, employers can help ex-offenders while also helping themselves, Hookway said.

"You have to develop the culture where everyone is on board," Hookway said, comparing ex-offenders with work-friendly attitudes to people who have succeeded in addiction treatment. "Once they get on the right side, they become advocates. They'll hold other employees accountable. They want it more."




Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers


companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons

Eric Mayo

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Re-Entering the Workforce After Prison Harder For Non-Whites

Getting hired after serving time can be more difficult for some than for others


Candace Manriquez Wrenn Arizona Public Media


Re-Entering the Workforce After Prison Harder For Non-Whites
A group of scholars at the University of Arizona sought to find how felony convictions affect those looking to re-enter the workforce. Their study shows that the convictions aren’t the only hurdle for getting a job.

The U.S. Department of Justice projects that 9 percent of all men will serve time in federal or state prison. With the median time served being just over two years, most formerly incarcerated people will eventually be back on the job market.

Tamar Kugler is an associate professor in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. She said the ability to find a job is critical, not only for those who’ve been to prison, but also for society.

"We want those people to be productive members of society, to be able to get a legit job, stay out of prison, earn enough money so they rehabilitate their lives."

But she said convicted felons can have a hard time finding work once they are released.

"Those people usually have lower education so it’s harder for them to find a job. And they have also experienced an erosion of skills from the fact that they have been out of the job market."

She notes that people who have served time also have a lack of ties to legitimate employers.

According to the Brookings Institution, in the first full calendar year following their release, almost half of those previously incarcerated have no reported earnings and the median earnings of those that do are just above $10,000 a year.

Kugler, along with Barry Goldman at the University of Arizona and Dylan Cooper at California State University, Channel Islands, cited research that shows that blacks and other minorities are more frequently denied jobs because of racial discrimination, but they wanted to test whether blacks with felony convictions were penalized more than whites with identical felony convictions, work experiences, and skills during the hiring process. Dr. Kugler says:

"We find that black applicants pay a much bigger price in terms of their desirability to get hired for a job than white applicants. The reduction that the white applicants suffer from having a felony conviction is not nearly as big as that that you see for black applicants."

Findings like these aren’t purely academic.

Clyde Hardin, a tattoo artist in Tucson, served two stints in prison. When he was released, he had help finding a job.

"My, now, wife got me my first job. I did commercial cleaning in buildings, banks, overnight and that paid my fees, fines, restitution and then when I wasn’t doing that, I would just hustle my butt off with tattooing." 

But working overnights hindered Hardin’s ability to tattoo, a passion he developed in prison that he hoped to turn into a career. So, he began to look for a different job:

"Probably in a four-month span over 100 applications. Legitimately. I’m talking Craigslist jobs, jobs listings, newspaper, door-to-door," he said.

And when he would land an interview, things often went downhill quickly.


"I would get to the interview process and as soon as I started explaining my record or why I was incarcerated, you would see the momentum swing of he’s a potential future hire to I would never hire this guy."


Findings like these aren’t purely academic.

Clyde Hardin, a tattoo artist in Tucson, served two stints in prison. When he was released, he had help finding a job.

"My, now, wife got me my first job. I did commercial cleaning in buildings, banks, overnight and that paid my fees, fines, restitution and then when I wasn’t doing that, I would just hustle my butt off with tattooing." 

But working overnights hindered Hardin’s ability to tattoo, a passion he developed in prison that he hoped to turn into a career. So, he began to look for a different job:

"Probably in a four-month span over 100 applications. Legitimately. I’m talking Craigslist jobs, jobs listings, newspaper, door-to-door," he said.

And when he would land an interview, things often went downhill quickly.



Companies that hire felons






companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons



Eric Mayo

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Ex-offenders and felons should always be honest when applying for jobs

Ex-offenders and felons should always be honest when applying for jobs

 

Ex-offenders and felons should always be honest when applying for jobs
Hello,

I have a police record. One charge is for domestic violence. It shows assault and battery. I was ordered to counseling, Which turned into grief counseling because of the reasons the fight happened. The other charge is a false charge that I am in the process of requesting expungement. There were no charges or a court hearing. I was having a drink with a friend. A known drug dealer was in the bar and asked to buy me a drink. I did not accept, we talked for about 5 minutes and he left. All of a sudden an undercover policeman shows me his badge and asked if we can talk outside. I go out with him and was questioned about the drug dealer. I said I didn't know him and had no information to offer. Before I knew it there were police cars, I was in handcuffs and put in jail for 3 days. 3 times a day I was taken from my cell and questioned. Every time I had no informational new charges kept getting added to my record.

After 3 days I was released and my record now shows dangerous drugs. Both of these happened 20 years ago. I have passed 3 tests to be a TSA screener my 4th test is Tuesday. When I pass this they will run a background check. At what point do I explain this to someone? I currently work at KMart and they ran a background check but hired me without asking questions. It was the same with Home Depot as well! Do you know if TSA is strict about 20 years ago? Do you know if they ask for an explanation of my background? I really need a job with a good paycheck and I've always wanted this particular job!

Thank you for helping me!

Sincerely,

Sally


Ex-offenders and felons should always be honest when applying for jobs



Hello Sally,

Generally speaking, when talking about records, employers are concerned with convictions and not charges. As I tell all ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs, answer honestly on both applications and interviews. If applications asks for convictions, only lists convictions, not charges. As far as interviews, nearly all of the questions will be related to information from your application. I encourage ex-offenders and felons not to volunteer information that is not asked for.

Expungement, or sealing does not erase records but hides them from public view. If an is granted the conviction will always be visible to government agencies, the court system and law enforcement. You mentioned that you have applied for a TSA position. Since this is a government position, all of your charges will be visible. Once again, if questioned, always answer honestly.

I hope this helps.

Background Checks and Criminal Records



Employment Background Checks: Know Your Rights


 Ex-offenders and felons should always be honest when applying for jobs


'Eric Mayo helps Felons and Ex-offenders get Jobs.

 

 Ex-offenders and felons should always be honest when applying for jobs


companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons

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