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Friday, January 21, 2022

Formerly-Incarcerated People And The Employment Gap: Expanding Opportunities



Originally published at Forbes.com Jan 20, 2022 By Jackie Ferguson

Workplace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) often focuses too narrowly on issues of race and gender while neglecting other dimensions of diversity. My organization, The Diversity Movement, and other forward-thinkers in the industry are working to expand that definition by asking people to consider such dimensions as age, socioeconomic origin, religion, physicality and acquired or experiential diversity. Recently, I’ve been thinking about incarceration as one aspect of acquired diversity and wondering what it looks like to actively include formerly-incarcerated people in our hiring and employment processes.

As a society, we don’t always extend empathy to incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated people the way we do to other underserved groups. In fact, I’d say bias often leads us to believe their marginalization is somehow deserved or, at the very least, defensible. Yet if more people understood the reality of our criminal justice system — from wrongful convictions to the large number of people in prison because of small-time drug offenses — they might feel differently. They might even give formerly-incarcerated people a fresh chance at building a career and contributing positively to our workplaces and communities.

With almost 2.1 million people imprisoned as of July 2021, the U.S. houses about one fifth of the world’s prison population and the largest number of incarcerated people in any country. Nonviolent drug convictions account for a startling portion of the U.S. prison population. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, about 46% of all the people in federal prisons were convicted of a drug offense, while just 3.1% of the total population of imprisoned people were convicted of homicide, aggravated assault or kidnapping offenses. To restate, one in five incarcerated people in the United States are in jail for drug offenses, many related to marijuana possession, meaning those convicted wouldn’t be in prison if marijuana were legalized just a few years earlier, or legalized in all states.

Despite declining rates of imprisonment among Black Americans, the racial disparities that have long plagued our justice system persist today. Black people are still incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of white people in the U.S. — and that rate is higher in many individual states. Black Americans represent one third of incarcerated people nationwide, almost triple their share of the adult population (12%). And, although people of different races use and sell drugs at roughly the same rates, Black individuals are almost three times more likely to be arrested for drug-related offenses. 

Yet, even after these individuals — mothers, fathers, children, neighbors and former co-workers — have served their time, we’re quick to write them off as unworthy of another chance at employment. Conviction and incarceration carry a stigma long after someone’s sentence has been served and they’ve returned to civilian life. To that point, a report from the Prison Policy Initiative found that the unemployment rate of formerly-incarcerated people in 2008 was almost five times higher than that of the overall labor force at 27%. Also, according to several studies, serving time in prison reduces lifetime employment by as much as one third and hourly wages by 10% to 20%. Those who do manage to find employment are concentrated in low-wage jobs with little to no opportunity for advancement.

By giving formerly-incarcerated people a real shot at gainful employment, we unlock a pool of untapped talent with higher retention rates, lower turnover and more loyalty, in addition to the tax credits available for hiring formerly-incarcerated employees. 

Economic research has found that hiring formerly-incarcerated people is simply good business, given the high costs associated with turnover and recruitment. These employees are often highly loyal and determined, exemplified by the U.S. Army, where enlistees with criminal records are 33% more likely to be promoted to sergeant.

Many major corporations — such as Walmart, Starbucks, Home Depot and American Airlines, according to the ACLU report — have also enacted more inclusive hiring policies with regard to formerly-incarcerated individuals. By expanding the hiring pool to include people with criminal records, business leaders can improve their bottom line, provide necessary opportunities and make a positive impact on society as well, as the ACLU found employing more formerly-incarcerated people reduces recidivism and increases public safety.

These high-level benefits may sound great, but still, it’s common to have a knee-jerk reaction and wonder “Is it dangerous to bring someone with a criminal background into my office?” To counteract that bias, let’s talk about the stats regarding safety and employing formerly-incarcerated people. 

Far and away, employers who engage in this type of inclusive hiring describe it as a win-win. A 2009 report from Carnegie Mellon found that after five years of no new arrests, someone with a criminal record posed no greater risk of re-arrest than the general population. Additionally, a poll of U.S. employees showed that 74% of Americans feel comfortable interacting with coworkers who have a nonviolent criminal record.

To recruit more employees who have this particular dimension of acquired and experiential diversity:

• Get in touch with local community organizations. Across the country, there are hundreds of service providers who specialize in connecting formerly-incarcerated people with available jobs.

• Remove criminal record questions from your job application forms. Don’t ask about someone’s criminal background until the interview, and preferably not until you’ve made a conditional job offer. 

• Use inclusive language in your job postings. Avoid phrases like “convicted felon” and “ex-offender.” Instead, note that any applicants with criminal records will be evaluated on an individual basis and clearly note that cultivating experiential diversity in your team is part of your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Formerly-incarcerated people represent one of the next frontiers in workplace inclusion initiatives. As business leaders and DEI practitioners, we must extend to them the same compassion, understanding and opportunities that we afford others. The path forward begins with opening our hearts, minds and hiring processes to people who have criminal records. We can all benefit from living in a society that forgives people for their past mistakes and gives them another opportunity to affect positive change in the world.



Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons 







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Jobs for Felons

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Jobs for Felons: Resume tips that help felons get jobs

Jobs for Felons


Felons and ex-offenders looking for jobs may need specialized help with resume details and getting back on track after prison. Getting a job as an ex-offender or felon may prove to be a challenge, but having a great resume will make this tough task a lot easier.

A resume can help you present your skills, experience and training in a nice neat package without highlighting your criminal background.  Having a well written resume can help you get an interview where you can sell yourself.



 
Helpful information for ex-offenders and felons who need resumes. A great resume is a powerful tool that ex-offenders and felons can use to get jobs.



This is great information about how to send resumes and cover letters to get jobs for ex-offenders and felons.  Felons can use resumes to apply for jobs. When felons apply for jobs using resumes with  well written cover letters, the applicant may ask for interviews where he can sell himself and his skills.  Frequently when an employer has the chance to meet a felon this way, the question of a criminal record often never comes up.


Over 600,000 felons are released every year and need jobs.  Many have little or no experience.  This video tells how to set up a useful resume that has little or no work experience.


Jobs for Felons: Resume tips that help felons get jobs
 




How to write a resume with little or no experience





Ex-offenders and felons can avoid common resume mistakes

It is often very difficult for ex-offenders and felons to get interviews.  Avoiding common resume mistakes can help them get more interviews and more opportunities to get jobs

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 Jobs for Felons: Resume tips that help felons get jobs

  Eric Mayo

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Monday, January 17, 2022

How can I get a Job with my Felonies?

How can I get a Job with my Felonies?


How can I get a Job with my Felonies?
I have a felony for cashing fake checks, I was not the one making them, I had cashed them and now I have these felonies on my record, I have been trying to hard to get a job, but once they pull my record I can never get it. I am a changed person but I cannot get a job.

Please help me.






How can I get a Job with my Felonies?




Well, let's see.  You have multiple felonies for cashing bad checks.  Convictions involving any kind of theft or robbery can be quite a challenge when looking for jobs.  You can pretty much rule out any type of employment involving cash, merchandise or other valuables. I encourage my students to always be honest when applying for jobs but often when employers see convictions for theft or other crimes involving integrity on applications, they are reluctant to hire them.  Even if the applicant checks "no" to the "Have you ever been convicted....." question, they risk being fired later when background checks are done.  So what are felons with these times of convictions do?  My suggestions is to apply to smaller, family owned businesses.

These smaller businesses rarely spend money on background checks because they cost so much.  Another thing that is common is they tend to use standard applications that are purchased at stationery stores.  These are very generic applications.  When you get to the dreaded question, simply leave it blank.  There is a good chance that the business owner will overlook it.  This will allow you to a least get an interview where you can sell the employer on your attitude and skills.  If the question about having a criminal record does come up, your response can be something like this,  "I'm glad you're asking this because I want you to feel comfortable about hiring me......."  Then you briefly talk about your conviction but spend more time talking about the changes you have made and what you have done to make yourself a better person since making some bad choices.

These may not be the best jobs in the world, but they will give you the opportunity to build a work history, makes some contacts and maybe even some references that will pay off when you apply for better jobs later.

The thing that you will have to understand is that finding jobs for ex-offenders and felons is a numbers game.  The more jobs you apply for, the more interviews you will get.  You get more interviews and you will have more opportunities to get hired.

Be sure you have all the tools you will need to to make a good impression.  Get a good resume, great interview clothes and practice those interview skills.  Put yourself in the best possible position to make a good impression.

Eric Mayo




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


Get more info by clicking here!


Jobs for Felons: Immediate Jobs for Felons and Ex-offenders




Jobs for Felons: Five Places Felons Can Find Jobs - Get a Job Quickly!





How can I get a Job with my Felonies?






Are you an ex-offender or felon who has a question about finding a job with a criminal record?  I have been helping ex-offenders and felons get jobs for over ten years and I feel I have an understanding of what works. I update this blog often. I will answer specific questions relating to getting a job with a criminal record on this blog so feel free to send me your questions. You could have your question answered right here. Email your question to: Adogzheart2@gmail.com






How can I get a Job with my Felonies?


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Monday, January 3, 2022

Jobs for felons: Felon with a Master's wants a Career


 Jobs for felons: Felon with a Master's wants a Career




Hello, I have a felony for being a habitual traffic offender. I currently do have a job, but it isn't something I want to do as a career. I do have my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and my Master's Degree in Administrative Justice. I know getting a career job isn't going to be easy. I was just wondering if you know of anywhere I could look so I could get into a better job.


Thanks





Jobs for felons: Felon with a Master's wants a Career


Hello,

Jobs for felons: Felon with a Master's wants a CareerFelons with advance degrees are hindered by their criminal convictions when it comes to finding professional jobs.  Depending on the type of work you are looking for, your job search may be tough.  Any form of government job or any that require any certification or license may be equally difficult because of the nature of your convictions.

My suggestion to you is to find a community advocate that works with individuals that have legal issues.  You may want to contact that local legal aid office.  Legal aid offices work with people with legal issues, often
criminal that do not have the resources to pay private attorneys.  These offices have administrative staff personnel that assist the attorneys in various capacities.

Another place to look would be your local United Way office.  The United Way supports many types of community service organizations.  Perhaps they would know of an organization that could use someone with your educational background.  You may not get the type of job you want right away, but it might be a step in the right direction.

I'm sorry I could not have been of more help



Eric Mayo


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



Jobs for felons: Career Options for Felons



Jobs for Felons: The Federal Bonding Program can help Felons get Jobs



  Jobs for felons: Felon with a Master's wants a Career

   Jobs for felons: Felon with a Master's wants a Career


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 | List of companies that Hire Felons


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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Felon needs to know where to look for a job

Felon needs to know where to look for a job



Felon needs to know where to look for a job
Hello,

My boyfriend has a criminal background and he needs a job. I wouldn't say that he's a convicted felon because he never actually got sentenced to do time in a state prison just time in the county prison. We live in New Jersey and I wanted to know where should he start to look for a job.





Felon needs to know where to look for a job



Hello,

I believe you are a bit confused. If he was sentenced to serving time in the county jail, he was convicted. Generally, county sentences are limited to 364 days. Anything longer is served at state prison. He needs to find out if he was convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor. Ask him to take a look at his disposition (release papers.) This is important because he has to know how to answer the "Have you been convicted of a crime?" question. If he was sentenced to do time, pay a fine or probation, the answer is "yes." Knowing how to properly complete employment applications will make the felon job search more successful.

As far as where to look for a job. Take a look at the video below.  It outline several resources a felon can use to get a job.  I always suggest the local One-stop Career Center.  There are many services there that an ex-offender or felon will find useful.

There is also a link below to a list of employers that hire ex-offenders and felons.

Where can ex-offenders and convicted felons find jobs


Jobs for Felons: Ten Steps to Getting a Job with a Criminal Record



Companies that Hire Felons



 Felon needs to know where to look for a job


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