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Showing posts with label Fair chance jobs for felons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fair chance jobs for felons. Show all posts

Saturday, November 18, 2023

How to Get a Job With a Felony on Your Record


Everyone deserves a second chance.

But in the past, many job seekers with a felony record have found it difficult to reintegrate into the workforce. The dreaded check-the-box-question, “Have you been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years?” can be a huge obstacle.

Change to this approach by employers has been slow, but change is happening.

In 2016, 19 large, influential employers gathered at the White House with President Barack Obama to sign the Fair Chance Business Pledge, which represented “a call-to-action for all members of the private sector to improve their communities by eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and creating a pathway for a second chance.”

A few years later, the federal “ban the box” law — formally known as the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 (FCA) — was enacted to prohibit federal employers, including private companies with federal contracts, from asking about arrests and criminal convictions  before a conditional job offer. Employers can still inquire about criminal history, including a background check, after a conditional offer is made.

Additionally, 37 states and 150 cities and counties across the country have adopted similar “ban the box” laws, according to the National Employment Law Project.

With potential employers being more open, at least publicly, to hiring felons, here’s how job seekers with criminal records should navigate the job hunting process as they attempt to enter the workforce.

Obstacles Felons Face Finding Jobs

When trying to reintegrate into society, formerly incarcerated individuals already are up against the eight ball — without even factoring in a felony conviction on their record.

“It’s different from place to place, but typically you get $200 — enough to get some clothing and a bus ticket, and you have to figure it out from there,” says Adam Sanders, founder and reentry adviser at The Relaunch Pad, an organization that helps felons find employment and reintegrate into society.

“Then if you’ve been in prison for several years, you don’t have a valid government ID aside from your prison ID,” Sanders says. Most people leaving prison don’t have a permanent address or phone number. That process can take several weeks, making it even harder to find work immediately.

Parole requirements can also affect employment. “Having to report two or three times a week during normal business hours can make it very difficult in any job, let alone a job you have trouble getting to begin with,” Sanders says.

Outside of situational difficulties, felons also face a lot of stigma and misconception during the hiring process, Sanders says. They’re viewed as dishonest, lazy, unintelligent or simply not worth investing time in. A potential employer might feel like it’s a countdown to when the job seeker will be back in prison, so why invest in an employee who isn’t going to be around long?

So how do job seekers with criminal records overcome these inherent obstacles?

How to Find a Job With a Felony

Follow these tips on searching for the right jobs and moving through the job search and hiring process.

1. Use word-of-mouth. People without criminal records use their network, friends and family to find jobs. The same applies for people with felony convictions. “That tends to be where I’ve seen people get jobs the fastest,” Sanders says. “Maybe somebody from your church is looking for a receptionist. Apply at companies where you can get a referral and a friend can say, ‘Yeah, I know this guy. He’s a good guy.’ ” Adding that personal angle is a definite advantage when trying to overcome an obstacle like a criminal record.

2. Don’t be picky. “It’s much easier to find a second job after you already have a little bit of job history,” Sanders adds. “If you can get in somewhere and establish yourself as someone who shows up, does their job as a reliable employee, it’s much easier to climb the ladder.”

3. Search in industries that need workers. Manufacturing, manual labor, customer service and restaurants tend to be more open to hiring people with criminal records because they have looser policies. Sanders says COVID-19 also greatly affected employers’ willingness to hire felons. “They’re willing to take a chance because they just need people,” he says.

4. Be proactive. Once you get in front of someone, Sanders says it’s vital to pitch yourself and prove how you’ll be a good employee. “If you can present yourself as somebody who’s willing to go the extra mile, someone who’s willing to take initiative, you’d be surprised at how many people are willing to say ‘sure’ even if your background isn’t ideal.”

5. Honesty is the best policy. Being honest is incredibly important when facing the initial “check-the-box” question: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Almost every employer asks the question, so it’s vital to get the awkward out of the way and go ahead and deal with it. Says Sanders: “If they’re open to hiring people with convictions, they’re looking for people who take responsibility and are going to be honest with their employer going forward.” He adds that there’s no need to go into great detail about the conviction on the front end.

6. Consider going into sales. “This is actually one of the skills that we emphasize with the guys we work with,” Sanders says. “If you can become a good salesman, it literally doesn’t matter what your background is in many cases.” Sales is just a valuable skill to have in general, regardless of whether you have a criminal record. “If you can sell, you can make a great living, and you will always have a job.”

Sanders says the key to finding a job as a felon is just having the right mindset. “It’s not easy, but a lot of people have done it. You can do it, too. Just keep your head up, keep pushing, and something will come along.”

14 Major Companies That Hire Felons

While it’s hard to verify which companies, in practice, are willing to hire felons, many corporations signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Some of the more prominent companies include:

  • American Airlines
  • The Coca-Cola Co.
  • Facebook
  • Georgia Pacific
  • Google
  • The Hershey Co.
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
  • Koch Industries
  • PepsiCo
  • Prudential
  • Starbucks
  • Uber
  • Unilever
  • Xerox

See the full list of companies that signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge.

Robert Bruce is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder covering earning, saving and managing money. He has written about personal finance for more than a decade.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Ex-felon Wants a Job after Many Years in Prison

Ex-felon Wants a Job after Many Years in Prison

Hello sir,

I was reading your blog and I hope you can give me some advice. I have been getting into trouble since I was 12.  I'm 43 now and I believe my going to jail days are over.  I'm just sick and tired of this thing and it's time for me do something else with myself.  The problem is, I have never had a job.  I got my GED a few years ago, but not much else.  I need a job if I am going to stay straight.  How can I get a job with no experience at my age?  

I really want to do it this time.  Please help!

Thank you,


Hello Damon,

I can't tell you how often I hear this.  The good news is, it's not impossible.  People in your situation get hired everyday.  You have something to offer to the right employer.  There are employers who don't hold criminal records against good applicants.

There are jobs that don't require previous experience.  Most employers with jobs to fill need someone who is dependable, friendly and can learn things quickly.

There are a few things to keep in mind.  When applying for jobs, please be honest about your past.  Honesty goes a long way.  In this day and age, information is too easy to get to risk blowing an opportunity by lying about the past.

Next thing, don't focus on what you don't have, focus on what you do have.  If you can convince an employer that you can get to work everyday on time and get the job done, you will get hired.

Thirdly, to increase your chances of getting hired, you have to apply for every job you feel qualified for.  The more jobs you apply for, the more interviews where you can speak to someone directly, the greater your chances to get a job.  Get a jump on your job search by clicking the link below.  It will take you to our huge list of companies that offer second chances to people who have criminal records.  You will also be able to search for open jobs in your area.

I'll be honest with you, it's going to be a grind and you will have to start at the bottom, but any experience you get will help you when looking for your next job.  It's going to take some determination.  If you are serious about staying straight, you will be willing to put in the work.

Best of Luck.

Companies that Hire Felons

Ex-felon Wants a Job after Many Years in Prison

Jobs for Felons

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Monday, May 16, 2022

10 Tips on How to Get a Job With a Felony

Originally published on Money Inc. by  Dana Hanson

A felony is a serious offense that can stay on your record for life, and if you have a felony, it can be challenging to find a job. Many employers will not hire people with a felony. However, don’t despair; there are things you can do to get a job even if you have a felony on your record.

10. Be Realistic

If you have a felony, you need to be realistic about the types of jobs you can get. You will likely not be able to get a job in specific industries, such as healthcare or education. But there are still many other kinds of jobs that you may be able to get, such as customer service, retail, or food service. Don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you know you won’t get when looking for a job. It’s better to focus your efforts on assignments for which you are more qualified.

9. Ask for Help

One of the most important things you can do is ask for help. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to help you out if they know that you require a job. Many community groups, organizations, and businesses have programs for helping felons get back on their feet. The more people you contact, the better your chances are of finding a job. Some of the programs that you might want to look into include the following:

The Federal Bonding Program: This program offers bonding insurance to employers willing to give someone a second chance. It covers theft or other forms of dishonesty and provides the employer with insurance if things do not work out.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This program offers a tax incentive to employers willing to hire someone with a felony. It might not cover all costs, but it can help employers reduce their costs.

The Veterans Employment and Training Service: This service offers assistance to veterans, including those who have a felony on their record. It can help with federal career opportunities and other employment programs for veterans.

The Reentry One-Stop Career Center: These centers help ex-offenders find jobs. They provide job search assistance, job readiness training, and job placement services.

8. Look Out for Scams

There are a lot of job scams out there that target people with criminal records. Be very careful when looking for a job, and make sure you research any company or individual you’re thinking of working with. There are a few things to look out for:

Promises of easy money: Be wary of anyone who promises you a high-paying job with little or no experience.

Upfront fees: Be careful of anyone who asks you to pay a fee upfront, especially if they guarantee you a job.

Out-of-state offers: Be cautious of anyone who gives you a job that requires you to move out of state.

Unrealistic claims: Be wary of anyone who promises you a job without interviews or applications.

If you’re careful and do your research, you can avoid many scams that target people with criminal records.

7. Learn a New Skill

If your felony prevents you from getting the job you want, it may be time to learn a new skill. This can help you get a job in a different field or open up new opportunities. There are many ways to learn new skills, including online courses, community colleges, and vocational schools. To learn a new skill, start by considering your interests and strengths. Are you good at working with your hands? Do you enjoy working with computers? Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, research training programs that can help you get started.

6. Look like a Professional

Appearance is a massive factor for employers, especially those looking to hire people with records. If you can’t afford to buy clothing that will make you look presentable, consider doing some manual labor. Please work with your hands to show that you’re not afraid of getting them dirty and willing to put in the effort. Many employers will respect this and see it as a good sign that you’re ready to work hard.

5. Secure References

You can not get a job with a felony conviction unless you have at least one reference. Yes, even if you work on the family farm with your dad, you still need references as they will ask for them if you are applying for a job. References can be anyone credible. You will often want to pick successful people, such as managers and supervisors from previous jobs. But other options include teachers or coaches from your past or community leaders. If you do not have a solid list, start by asking former employers for references. They may not have a reasonable opinion of you, but that may be your only option.

4. Join the Army

One option that many people with a felony conviction may not consider is joining the Army. Although this method involves an intense and lengthy application process, it is an excellent way to get your life back. The Army will provide you with a steady income, benefits, and structure to help you find your way after prison. Additionally, you may be able to use the Army as a stepping stone to finding other opportunities after you have served your time. To get started, speak to a recruiter in your area. They can help you understand the process and whether or not you are eligible to join.

3. Expunge Your Felony

Expunging your felony is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired. If your felony is deleted, it will not appear on your criminal record. This is important because many employers will not hire you if they see that you have a felony on your record. Plus, you will have a better chance of getting the job you want if it does not appear on your record. Below are steps to follow to expunge your record:

Step 1: Get a copy of your criminal record. You can do this by finding the courthouse with jurisdiction over where you were convicted.

Step 2: Complete the petition.

Step 3: File the petition and pay a filing fee.

Step 4: Go to court on your day in court.

2. Start Your Own Business

A business is a great way to keep your mind occupied, show off your skills, and make money. When done right, owning your own business can provide you with enough income to support yourself and your family. It can also help you avoid situations where you’re likely to get into trouble, such as living in a bad neighborhood. The best place to start is by looking online for business ideas. Many websites offer advice on starting your own business. You can also find books at the library or bookstore to provide you with valuable information. When deciding on a business idea, it’s important to consider your skills and interests. You should also think about the amount of time and money you’re willing to invest. Once you’ve settled on an idea, it’s important to create a business plan that outlines your ideas and strategies. Finally, you will need to get the necessary licenses and permits to set up your business. This will involve working with local authorities and ensuring that you comply with all regulations. With the right planning, hard work, and determination, you can start your own successful business.

1. Get a GED

Having a high school diploma or GED is a must if you want to get hired for most jobs. Education, including vocational training and college, can open up opportunities that might not be available to you otherwise. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire people with a GED over those without one, so having one can increase your chances of getting hired. If you do not have a GED, start by creating a study schedule that you can stick to and sign up for classes. Many resources are available to help you get a GED, so take advantage of them and see what steps you need to take to get yours.


Being convicted of a felony does not mean that you will never find a job again. With the right approach, you can get hired and start climbing your way back up the career ladder. To improve your chances of getting a job with a felony, focus on securing references, building relationships with potential employers, and working hard on your job search. With patience and persistence, you can get hired and rebuild your life after getting out of prison.

Eric Mayo

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Second Chances: Efforts Underway To Hire Ex-Offenders

 Zenger News  

In May 2012, Colin Slaven was in what he called “the worst time of my life” after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud for his part in an $800,000 auto loan scheme. About six months into his 21-month sentence, British-born Slaven found himself flailing in a South Carolina federal correctional facility that was as alien to him as the dark side of the moon.
Then, he had a revelation.

“God put me here for a reason, and it gave me a lot of time to reflect,” he said. “I didn’t even know what recidivism meant. So I started talking to inmates about their circumstances and listening to what brought them to this chapter in their lives. I found that with a felony conviction, you’re never given a chance. There’s a stigma. When you have a felony, people judge you, but you can’t find employment. I don’t condone crime, but when you’re in survival mode, you may find yourself in a situation where you get busted again.”

Slaven has plenty of company: It’s estimated that 19 million felons in America are facing similar employment challenges. A new book by an investment strategist argues that second-chance hiring — employing people with a criminal record — builds stronger communities, increases public safety and boosts the bottom line.

Jeffrey Korzenik, author of “Untapped Talent: How Second-Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community.” (Courtesy of Jeffrey D. Korzenik)

In “Untapped Talent: How Second-Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community,” Jeffrey Korzenik implores business leaders to consider hiring ex-offenders as a counterweight to the sparse labor markets of recent years.

“The tight labor markets of 2018 and 2019 were a wake-up call that businesses should not take an abundant labor force for granted,” he said. “Part of that dynamic is demographic: Roughly 10,000 baby boomers will retire each day over the next decade, and with the millennial generation largely in the workforce, there’s not a next big wave of home-grown workers.”

Colin Slaven drafted the business plan for what would become the Second Chance Jobs Center while serving a sentence for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. (Courtesy of Colin Slaven/Second Chance Jobs Center)

Like Slaven, Korzenik points to recidivism as a challenge to opportunities for ex-offenders, particularly in the African American community, where one in three men has a felony conviction.

“The pervasiveness of incarceration and subsequent joblessness has robbed these communities of role models, mentors and the intergenerational transmission of skills needed to be a viable employee, so too many young people become involved in the justice system and repeat the cycle over again,” he said. “I see second-chance employment as the critical path to breaking this terrible cycle.”

The second-chance hiring model 

Korzenik writes in his book that “the potential for any nation’s economy to grow boils down to two factors: 1) how fast it can grow its employed labor force, and 2) how quickly it can grow the productivity of its workers. The product of this sum is the long-term growth potential.” His second-chance hiring model aligns with these factors.

“The concept is very simple, requiring two processes, one that can identify the people determined to rebuild their lives and the second, which provides them the support to thrive as employees,” he said. “In practice, this means employers must invest time in building partnerships with nonprofits, specialized temp staffing or transitional employment organizations and government agencies to build the right pipeline.”

The investment in second-chance hiring varies according to employers’ individual approach to tackling their labor needs.

“There is absolutely an investment of time, and often there is a financial investment as well,” Korzenik said. “What’s unusual about seeking this talent pool is how many outside resources are available to the second-chance employers —nonprofit service providers, tax credits, government agencies.

“Each employer has to calibrate the program to their needs and resources. A no-cost program that focuses on people who have already rebuilt their lives will yield some previously overlooked talent. On the other extreme, looking at people immediately exiting incarceration will yield more candidates, but will also require the employer to invest more in accommodations and services. Employers need to understand the trade-offs and be very intentional in their process.”

Giving ex-offenders a fair chance

Building a best-in-class hiring program for ex-offenders is not an easy task. Korzenik devotes an entire chapter on how one Ohio-based company, through trial and error, created its “Fair Chance” initiative.

The Secret Life Sentence of Being a Felon | Harley Blakeman | TEDxOhioStateUniversity

Manufacturing firm JBM Packaging has operated outside of Cincinnati, in Lebanon, Ohio, since it opened in 1985. Although JBM is close to the Cincinnati labor market, the company went through a seven-year stretch where qualified labor was hard to find, particularly among those workers without a car. Attempts to woo area high school students and seasoned workers fell flat, forcing the company to hire expensive, but not always productive temp-to-hire employees.

“Some leaders have built companies from the ground up as second-chance employers,” Korzenik writes in the book. “That is not the case with JBM. By all appearances, [Chief Executive Officer] Marcus Sheanshang came to second-chance hiring as an ordinary businessman with an ordinary business problem. But with Sheanshang’s leadership, the way this initiative changed the company and the lives of its employees was extraordinary.”

After learning of the second-chance hiring concept from church members, Sheanshang took the idea to his executive team, who roundly criticized it over issues of safety and performance.

“Fair Chance is a tenet of what we’re trying to do as a company,” said Sheanshang. “Not everyone loves it, but they’re behind it and support it because it’s important.”

“These concerns really speak to the necessity of having a process for selecting the right person for employment,” said Korzenik. “With a pool of 19 million Americans with felony convictions, it is ridiculous to say that all of them are unsuitable. There are screening processes that can be very effective.”

Second Chance Job Center, HBI and Department of Labor Certificates. In 2019, Second Chance Job Center graduated 65 apprentices who are now working in their chosen fields. (Courtesy of Second Chance Job Center)

To make its employees feel safe, JBM limits its second-chance hiring to those convicted of minor offenses. Since it works with prisons and halfway houses, JBM is aware of candidates’ criminal history and conducts background checks before the candidates’ release date. Drug screenings, manufacturing aptitude tests and a screen for workplace fit round out the process.

“Many of these same sources of talent referrals can also provide support services, but ultimately the employer has to be sufficiently involved to make sure their workforce can access internal and external resources,” said Korzenik. “One of [JBM’s] best investments was hiring a life coach, who helps all of the company’s employees access helpful programs, subsidizing purchases of vehicles or other transportation needs, for example.”

Despite the early bumps in launching the program, JBM’s Fair Chance employees now comprise 35 of the company’s 150-person workforce.

Allies in the fight for second-chance hiring

While in prison, Slaven said his spiritual epiphany led him to draft a business plan for what is now the Second-Chance Job Center, a Charleston, South Carolina-area-based nonprofit that trains ex-offenders and others in a variety of job-related skills. Though the program is primarily focused on the state of South Carolina, Slaven said he hopes to expand soon into parts of Georgia and Florida, and eventually nationwide.

“We need to create the next generation of a skilled workforce,” he said.

In a similar vein, the Manufacturing Institute and the Charles Koch Institute recently announced a partnership to expand second-chance hiring opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

“I agree with [the premise of Jeff’s book],” said Carolyn Lee, the manufacturing institute’s executive director. “When you look at the number of people, I think one out of three have some sort of record that removes them from the workforce. And, when you look at the 700,000 open manufacturing jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.”

The partnership includes a grant from the Koch institute to host a series of educational events where businesses and employers can learn best practices in second-chance hiring. The Manufacturing Institute has scheduled a webinar on the topic on June 10.

Cost of failure

Businesses that do not embrace second-chance hiring are making a big mistake, Korzenik contends.

“At the micro level, the failure to attract good employees means you can’t grow or perhaps can’t even service your existing customer, putting the business at a huge competitive disadvantage,” he said. “The macro level is just based on the numbers. Even if you don’t account for the potential costs savings in the criminal justice system, just the potential improvement in employment outcomes for just part of the justice-impacted population adds up to hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Adopting second-chance hiring also has an impact on a company’s social brand in the marketplace.

“Americans are increasingly questioning whether the free enterprise system can deliver the kind of society we want,” Korzenik said. “Businesses need to show that they can contribute to solving important societal issues. It’s hard to imagine anything more beneficial than second-chance hiring and its intergenerational benefits to families and communities.”

Companies that Hire Felons

Jobs for Felons

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

 Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

The most overlooked and discriminated against segment of the American population is getting a well need boost.  More and more people are looking for ways to help ex-offenders and felons better re-integrate into society.  The closer we look at this, we find that the better we are able to help previously incarcerated individuals, the better off we all will be.

We will look at:

  • Incarceration in America
  • Fair Chance in Employment
  • Fair Chance in Education

Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

Incarceration in America

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. The International Centre for Prison Studies estimates that 724 out of every 100,000 American is in prison or jail.

CountryPrison populationPopulation per 100,000Jail occupancy level %Un-sentenced prisoners %Women prisoners %
SOUTH AFRICA158,501334138.627.52.1
N IRELAND1,3757991.537.42.2
SOURCE: International Centre for Prison Studies

There are over 600,000 people released from American jails and prisons every year.  There are more than 70 million people in this country with some type of criminal record.  Many want desperately to put their pasts behind them but their records continue to haunt them and ruin their chances to get jobs.  The best and most important factor in the successful transition to society is that they find gainful employment.  For most, this is not easy.  In fact, some find it next to impossible.  Without employment, many with criminal records will find themselves once again on the wrong side of the law, while others will will become burdens on the economy.

In the past, it was believed that ex-offenders and felons being shutout of employment was part of their sentences.  It was almost guaranteed that people with criminal records would be routinely discriminated against when it came to employment and educational opportunities.

It cost about $40,000 to keep a person incarcerated.  With a job, instead of going back to prison or becoming a drain on social services resources, previously incarcerated people could become taxpaying, law abiding citizens.  This a win for society, the economy, families and individuals.  With unemployment rates being the lowest in decades, employers are in need of qualified applicants to fill open positions.  The Fair Chance initiative will be great for companies too.

Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

Fair Chance in Employment

One of the most progressive initiatives of Barack Obama's administration was called the Fair Chance Pledge.  The President called on businesses and educational institutions to help make this country stronger by pledging to remove barriers to employment and education for people with criminal records.

Second Chance Job s for Felons

“Around 70 million Americans have some sort of criminal record … Now, a lot of time, that record disqualifies you from being a full participant in our society — even if you’ve already paid your debt to society. It means millions of Americans have difficulty even getting their foot in the door to try to get a job much less actually hang on to that job. That's bad for not only those individuals, it's bad for our economy. It’s bad for the communities that desperately need more role models who are gainfully employed. So we’ve got to make sure Americans who’ve paid their debt to society can earn their second chance.”
- President Obama, November 2, 2015

Sen. Booker introduces the Fair Chance Act

Though President Obama is no longer in office, many more companies and educational institutions have accepted the challenge to help remove the barriers that having a criminal record has placed in front of so many people.  Four years ago, only 12 or so companies signed the pledge.  The list now numbers in the hundreds.  Large, mid-sized and small businesses all over the country have signed the pledge to help remove barriers to employment that ex-offenders and felons face.

These companies have pledged to:

Ban the Box

There are no questions on initial employment applications regarding criminal history.  This allows employers to establish potential employees' qualifications.  Background checks will only be done if the candidate is being seriously considered for employment.  Of course the nature of the applicant's conviction will be taken into account.

Fair Chance Job Fairs

These companies advertise that their job fairs offer fair chance opportunities

Train Human Resources Staff on Fair Chance Practices

Managers and human resources staff will be trained to make fair hiring decisions as they relate to people with criminal records.  They will keep accurate counts of those hired

Fair and Accurate Background Checks

They will use background check providers who provide current and accurate information.

Fair Chance Internships and Training

People with criminal records will have equal access to internships and training opportunities

The next step would to be to include Fair Chance for Occupational Licensing.  Currently many trades that require licensing or certification are closed to ex-offenders and felons.  Lawmakers and community action groups are pushing to make it easier for previously incarcerated people to obtain licenses.  This would make it easier for people with criminal records to have job opportunities in healthcare, trade unions and other occupations

The fair chance initiative can give both applicants and hiring companies a valuable opportunity. Employers will be able to meet qualified candidates they might otherwise have overlooked, and previously incarcerated people get a shot at the second chance they need to help turn their lives around.

Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

Fair Chance In Education

An estimated 70 million Americans have had contact with the criminal justice system.  Statistics illustrate that non-whites are incarcerated at higher rates and face stiffer penalties than whites.  This is attributed to racial profiling by police, limited access to proper legal defense and other factors.  This disparity has a negative effect on families, communities and our society. 

Beyond the Box

There is an increasing understanding that education plays a huge part in successful transition from prison to the greater society.  Research shows employment and or education reduces the likely hood that individuals will re-offend by over 40 percent.  It makes sense that the best way to ensure that formerly incarcerated people do not go back to prison is to remove the barriers to not only employment, but to education.  This means that institutions of higher learning should have admissions practices that do not exclude those with criminal records.  Part of these practices is not using one's legal past as criteria for admission.  Also criminal records should not be used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid.

Educational institutions understand the value of classroom diversity and creating an atmosphere of inclusion on their campuses.  They understand that educational opportunities translate into employment opportunities which in turn means safer, more prosperous communities. There advantages to the schools too.  Schools that pledge fair admissions practices are eligible for grands and other federal funding for programs that help those with disabilities.  There are also correctional facilities that partnering with colleges to provide degree programs and vocational training that will translate into greater employment opportunities upon release.

You can get a list of companies and schools who have taken the Fair Chance Pledge as well as other companies that hire ex-offenders and felons   Click Here

 Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

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Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities

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