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Showing posts with label Real Jobs for Felons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Jobs for Felons. Show all posts

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 %
US2,193,798737107.621.28.9
CHINA1,548,498118N/AN/A4.6
RUSSIA874,16161579.516.96.8
BRAZIL371,482193150.933.15.4
INDIA332,1123013970.13.7
MEXICO214,450196133.943.25
UKRAINE162,602350101.319.56.1
SOUTH AFRICA158,501334138.627.52.1
POLAND89,546235124.416.83
ENGLAND/WALES80,002148112.716.45.5
JAPAN79,05262105.914.75.9
KENYA47,036130284.345.642
TURKEY65,4589177.447.73.3
NIGERIA40,44430101.564.31.9
AUSTRALIA25,790125105.921.67.1
SCOTLAND6,872134107.5214.4
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.


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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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






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Eric Mayo

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Friday, July 6, 2018

How legislation can help ex-prisoners find employment



How legislation can help ex-prisoners find employment

The upsurge in the ex-prisoner population, along with employment and economic output losses, overwhelmingly reflects changes that have taken place in the U.S. criminal justice system over the years, not changes in underlying criminal activity. 

Legislation like the Clean Slate bill keeps ex-prisoners out of the correctional system, minimizing costly recidivism rates and enhancing public safety

By Dr. Michael Pittaro, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

In 2008, I published an article, “Prisoner Reintegration Challenges of Assimilation and Crime Desistance,” that focused on the challenges ex-prisoners face after release. Unfortunately, what I stated in 2008 still holds true today. Confronted with uncertainty, animosity, and a multitude of personal, social and legal barriers, most prisoners reenter society with the lifelong stigma of being an ex-prisoner and cannot fully assimilate into society.
The process of “going straight,” which criminologists refer to as desistance from crime, is multifaceted, yet attainable. While it’s possible, it is often very difficult for ex-prisoners to obtain and maintain employment.  More needs to be done to help ex-offenders find work especially since gainful employment is critical for successful reintegration, reducing recidivism rates, and cultivating public safety.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO HELP OFFENDERS FIND EMPLOYMENT
The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that nearly 95 percent of all state prisoners will be released back into the community at some point, whether it is tomorrow or 40 years from today. This suggests that only a mere 5 percent of all state prisoners are serving death sentences or life without the possibility of parole, and an even smaller percentage will die in prison while serving out their respective sentences.
However, ex-offenders are likely to have a very difficult time finding employment. A 2010 Center for Economic and Policy Research report noted that a prison record greatly reduces an ex-prisoner’s prospect of garnering employment. Even at the relatively low productivity rates of ex-prisoners (they typically have less formal education than the average worker), the resulting loss of economic output in the United States is estimated to be between $57 and $65 billion.
The upsurge in the ex-prisoner population, along with employment and economic output losses, overwhelmingly reflects changes that have taken place in the U.S. criminal justice system over the years, not changes in underlying criminal activity. The dramatic increases in sentencing time, especially for drug-related offenses, partly accounts for the spike in the ex-prisoner population. Therefore, changes in both employment and sentencing laws can have a positive impact on the U.S. economy while simultaneously reducing overall recidivism rates and improving public safety. These changes are of significant importance for African Americans. The NAACP reports that African Americans comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population, but disproportionately represent 40 percent of the nation’s prison population.

LEGISLATION INITIATIVES TO AID EX-OFFENDERS

One promising legislative initiative that is gaining in popularity is referred to as the "Clean Slate" bill. The intent of the legislation is to seal the criminal records of low-level, non-violent ex-offenders who go 10 consecutive years without another criminal conviction. The legislation will also seal the records of arrests that did not result in convictions.
The Clean Slate bill has received widespread bipartisan support. In early June 2018, it passed the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously after receiving House approval with only two "no" votes. On June 28, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law. In addition to increasing employment prospects, the law will also improve and increase housing and educational opportunities for ex-offenders.
Another initiative gaining momentum with the blessing of bipartisan support is known as “ban the box” or “fair chance policy.” This particular initiative affords applicants a fair chance at employment by removing the conviction history question from job applications and delaying background checks until later in the hiring process.
A 2018 National Employment Law Project publication reported that, as of June 2018, 31 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities and counties have adopted “ban the box” policies in which employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction or an arrest record.
The report also noted that delaying records-related inquiries until after a conditional offer of employment ensures a fairer decision-making process. It requires employers to consider the job-relatedness of a conviction, time passed, and mitigating circumstances or rehabilitation evidence. Granted, in some cases, it might just simply delay the inevitable in the form of a rejection letter, but remember that this policy is primarily intended to assist low-level, non-violent ex-offenders (namely drug offenders) in obtaining employment, a key protective factor in combating recidivism.
Other promising initiatives include the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, which allows a company to claim a tax credit of up to $2,400 for hiring an employee with a felony conviction within one year of the date of his or her conviction or release from incarceration. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor offers a free bonding program for “at-risk” job applicants, including people with criminal records, indemnifying employees for loss of money or property due to an employee’s dishonesty or theft.
Such laws are beneficial for ex-offenders and the community. Not only do they help ex-offenders obtain gainful employment to help them successfully reintegrate into society, these measures also provide ex-offenders with a renewed sense of purpose and identity that many lack after their release. By keeping them out of the correctional system, these laws also help minimize costly recidivism rates and contribute to enhanced public safety.

companies that hire felons


Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)



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Eric Mayo

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today


How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Finding a job in this day and age is different than it was even five years ago.  The computer age has changed the way we look for and apply for jobs.  Felons looking for jobs face different challenges than other job seekers.  By using some different techniques, felons can dramatically increase their job opportunities.  Take a look at these tips and your next job will not be far away.

Get out and Network

Asking people you already know about jobs that may be open is called networking.  This is the single most powerful way to get job leads.  In fact, most people get their jobs this way.  Networking is works so well because many employers will take a good a look at people who are referred to them.

How many categories of people do you know?  This a big group of people who can provide you with a lot of quality job leads.

Friends
People in the neighborhood
How Felons can Land Jobs TodayParole/probation officers
Relatives
Members of your worship group (especially religious leaders)
Former co- workers
Other Former Inmates
Former teachers
Former employers
Classmates
Casual acquaintances
People you do business with (Barber, landlord, doctors)


This is eleven categories of people.  Let's say you got five job leads from people in each category. That is a possible 55 high quality leads for jobs.  That would be a great start for your job search.  This the single most powerful way to get a job and it how most people find jobs

Get a Professional Looking Email

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Your email address should have a professional look.  Employers will probably take more seriously if you have a professional looking email address.  You may want to one that uses your first and last name separated by a period, followed by the two numbers of your date of birth  ex: richard.jenkins21@mail.com


Clean Up Your Social Media

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Clean up your social media
With the popularity of social media, it would be difficult to find a lot of people who are not using some form of it. More and more, employers are checking social media pages to get a better idea of
who they are considering.  So take a good look at your social media profile or page.  Is there anything that leave a bad taste of an employer's mouth?  You may want to remove it.  That means any objectionable pictures, posts or videos.

Apply for Every Job You are Qualified for

How felons can land jobs today
Too many felons miss out on jobs simply because they don't apply.  Felons get jobs everyday.  Don't assume that you will not be hired because you have a record.  Never talk yourself out of a job.  What you must understand that the numbers on on your side when it comes to getting a job with a criminal record.  More applications, will lead to more interviews.  More interviews will lead to more opportunities to get hired.  Make a goal of a certain number applications each week and stick to it. Every application you fill out will take you one step closer to getting a job.

Get Professional Looking Interview Clothing

The choice of clothing you wear to an interview will have a huge impact on your chances to get hired.  Remember you are not going to a nightclub or a party.  An interview is a business meeting and you should look like you are ready for business.  Your clothes will create an image or perception of the type of person you are, so choosing your look is critical to presenting yourself as a professional.  It doesn't matter what position you apply for, you should present yourself as a professional.

Men

Men should should wear a dark suit, a light shirt, a tie and shoes that can be shined.  If a suit is
How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
unavailable, dark slacks, light colored shirt, a tie and once again, shoes that can be shined.

Women

The ideal look is a classic business suit (either slacks or skirt,) a light colored blouse and coordinated shoes with a medium or low heel.  Earrings should be small. Nail polish and makeup should be natural looking and tasteful.

Not everyone has clothing like described above, but it is important to get them.  How you look will definitely influence an employer.  If finances are an issue, you may want to look into thrift stores to find appropriate interview clothing.  At thrift stores you will find suits, slacks, shirts, ties and shoes at very affordable prices.

Need Interview Clothes? Ex offenders and Felons Should try Thrift Stores

No matter where you find your clothing, clean and neatly pressed clothing will give you the professional look and help you make a good impression.

When looking for a job, dress like you are going to an interview

I encourage ex-offenders and felons to dress like you are going on an interview whenever you go out filling out applications.  You never know who you are going to meet on your job search.  It's always better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.

Make a list of your skills 

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Make a list of all of your skills and be able to talk about each one.  Make a list your skills and practice talking about them.  The better you can explain you value, the better your chances to get hired. The skills you should focus on are:



Work-specific Skills

These are skills that were acquired by working at a particular jobs.  Can you paint, cook, use tools or perform other types of work?  The skills you used to perform on a job are all examples of work-specific skills.

Transferable Skills

These are skills that can be taken from one type of job and used in other types of work.  Typing, use of office equipment, and telephone skills are all examples of transferable skills.

Personal Skills

These are skills that are part of your personality that helps you do other things well.  Are you a punctual person?  Do you work well under pressure?  Do you work well with customers?  These are all personal skills.

These are three types of skills you can sell to an employer.  If you can easily talk about your skills and how they can benefit an employer, you can get job, even with a criminal record

Follow Up

Follow up with everyone you meet on your job search.  If you fill out an application, find out the name and phone number of the hiring person.  If you get an interview, always get the business card of the person you interview with. The business card will have the interviewer's name, title, address, phone number  and email address.  Right after the interview, you may want to send a thank you email.  If you really want to stand out, you could even send a thank you card.

Get Good References

Having a few good references may be the difference that could get you hired. Have a list reputable who would say something positive about you make a list of five great references.  A reference may look like this:
How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Mr. David O'Bannion
Vice President, Marketing
XYZ Company
922 N. Bank St.
Chicago, IL 60610
312-555-3222

References should never be included on your resume.  They should be listed on a separate sheet and only be submitted upon request.  Before you use anyone as a reference, you should ask their permission.

Use your One-stop Career Center

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Every ex-offender or felon looking for a job should visit their local One-stop Career Center.  You will find many resources that can help you find a job or get training for a new career.  You may get personal assistance from trained employment counselors.  You can get help writing a resume, learn interviewing techniques and find lists of open jobs in your community.  Click this link to find your local One-stop Career Center  One-stop Career  Centers



How felons can land jobs today



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Eric Mayo

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