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



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 | Second Chance Jobs | Fair Chance Pledge


Jobs for Felons: Companies Pledge Second Chance Opportunities


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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Felon needs a job for a new start

Felon needs a job for a new start


Felon needs a job for a new start
Dear Mr. Mayo,

I read your book and its a really good book.   I was wondering if in any way you can help me.  At the age of 17 (in 2002), I was accused and convicted of possession of a controlled substance.  Under the felony conviction, I received two years of intense probation which required me to be tested for drugs once a month, see my probation officer once a month and pay a $10.00 per month restitution charge.
 
In 2003 after being on probation for six months, I incurred a new felony charge, which violated the terms of my probation.  At the age of 18, they found cocaine on me I was charged with possession, intent to deliver and manufacturing of drugs. Both of my court cases were ran concurrently.  I received a four year sentence and served 18 mos in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
 
While being incarcerated, I took responsibility for my actions, paid the penalty for the crime and have been rehabilitated.  At the age of 17 and 18, I was young, immature and a victim of my circumstances.  I lived in a poverty-stricken neighborhood infested with drugs and economic injustice.  This is not an excuse for the crime I committed.  However, I became of product of my environment.  When I was exposed to better opportunities, I wanted to change my life and make a difference in my life and community.  I made immature mistakes and have since changed my life for the better.
 
 
Since being released from the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2007, I completed various training programs:  a Medical Assistant Program at Everest College in Merrionette Park IL and a Cosmetology Program at Canella Beauty School in Blue Island, Illinois.  I am trying to educate myself and make a positive contribution to society.
 
Eight years later at the age of 27, I pose no threat to society and would like to use my compassion and skills to help others in the healthcare industry.  In addition, I currently take care of my elderly uncle (age 70) who has multiple health issues. I currently have me CNA certificate I have been looking for a job for a while now and nobody doesn't want to give me a chance. I was wondering if you can help me.  I have been given a waiver for my convictions through Illinois Department of Public Health and every place I apply to tell me they doesn't accept waivers.  I've tried everything I really need your Sir. 

Angela


Felon needs a job for a new start

 

Hello Angela,

I'm sorry you are having so much trouble.  It seems that you are really trying to get together.  Unfortunately there are some obstacles.  You have a Cosmetology certificate.  If that is what you want to do, you should apply to small, independent hair salons.  You may have to start at the bottom by washing hair etc., but often if you want more, you have to pay your dues.

If you want a career in the medical field, as I often suggest to ex-offenders and felons looking for employment is to apply for temporary employment. There are temporary agencies that service the field of medicine.  Often companies end up hiring their temporary help. There is a twist for ex-offenders and felons when it comes to applying for temporary assignments. They should apply at smaller independent temporary employment agencies. Independent agencies don't have to deal with restrictions larger agencies may have placed on them by their parent companies as they relate to hiring ex-offenders and felons. They are free to hire anyone they choose. You can find listing in your local telephone directory and apply as you would any other job.  There are also home health aide and visiting nurse services that you also should apply to.

I also strongly recommend to all ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs is to go to the nearest One-stop Career Center.  There you will find a list of services that can help you find a job.  There are also trained counselors to assist you.  Many of these counselors have experience working with those who have criminal backgrounds and may know which employers have a history of hiring ex-offenders and felons.  You can find you nearest One-stop Career Center here:


Whenever you get an interview, remember to tell the interviewer that you can be bonded.  The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Applications for federal bonding can be obtained through any Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) office or Illinois Employment Training Center (IETC)

    Contact:
    Re-entry Employment Service Program
    33 South State Street
    Chicago, IL 60603
    312-793-1107    


If you ever have an interview with a private employer, mention that they may be eligible for a federal tax credit just by giving you a chance.  The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

 
Contact:
 
State wide Program Manager WOTC
33 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60612


312-793-1597

 
Web Site: www.ides.illinois.gov/page.aspx?item=80



I hope this helps.

Ex-offenders and convicted felons can get jobs with Federal Bonding Program






Felon needs a job for a new start


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


Felon needs a job for a new start

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Companies that Hire Ex-Offenders Can Get a Tax Credit, But Very Few Actually Claim It


Companies that Hire Ex-Offenders Can Get a Tax Credit, But Very Few Actually Claim It
By 

April has been recognized as “Second Chance Month” since 2017 as part of a bipartisan effort to push criminal justice reform. This year, President Trump has announced that he wants to cut unemployment among ex-offenders—currently around 27%, according to the Prison Policy Initiative—to single digits within five years. The most efficient way to do that is to modify the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

A job provides needed income and adds structure to a person’s day; it’s no surprise that studies have shown employment can reduce the chance of re-offending by about 20%. Jobs for ex-offenders benefit everyone in a community.

That’s one reason ex-offenders are included in the class of applicants employers are encouraged to consider by an incentive known as Work Opportunity Tax Credits. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a provision of the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes a tax credit for companies that hire from certain populations, like veterans, recipients of certain entitlement programs, and people with felony records. Employers submit eligible new hires to claim a tax credit equal to a percentage of an employee’s wages.

More than job training or education, the WOTC holds promise for people leaving prison whose applications may not be as competitive as others. It also encourages higher wages since the tax credit is a proportion of what employees are paid.

In its current form, the WOTC isn’t as effective as it can be. The law applies only to those who are hired within one year of the date of their conviction or release from prison, whichever is later. In that respect, it may limit eligibility only to first-time users of the program; no job applicant can be certified twice if they need another job after that first year.

But as many as 45% of released prisoners don’t have a job in that first year of release. According to a study completed by the Brookings Institution last year, only 55% of released prisoners have any earnings at all during the first year they’re home. Very often, by the time they land a job, their eligibility for the WOTC is gone.

This might explain why the WOTC appears to suffer from underutilization. For instance, Oklahoma, the nation’s leading incarcerator, certified only 1,465 people in fiscal 2018 in the “ex-felon” category. New York, a state with approximately 47,100 inmates and 36,410 parolees, certified only 1,534 people for the WOTC. In 2014, an average of 41,866 people were on parole in California, yet only 527 eligible felons were certified to give their employers the tax credit.

The Labor Department reports that, for fiscal 2018, only 85,796 people with criminal records were certified as eligible employees—and this among a sea of an estimated 626,000 people who leave custody every year.

While it’s possible that 500,000 of those released people are ineligible because they’re beyond the one-year cutoff for the WOTC, any underutilization may stem from the inherent conflict between two policies that have same overarching goal: to help disadvantaged individuals secure employment.

Employers aren’t allowed to know of an applicant’s criminal record and eligibility under “Ban the Box” statutes—laws that remove felony conviction checkboxes from job applications.

Awareness of the WOTC benefit needs to grow and may very well do so on its own if aspiring hires can disclose their eligibility; but they won’t disclose if they’re prohibited from doing so. Ban the Box advocates have been so busy hiding people’s records to remove a disadvantage in hiring that they forego leveraging an advantage. We don’t know how many people who weren’t hired because of the eventual disclosure of their criminal record would have been offered a job if the company knew of the potential tax benefit.

There is a way to protect people’s understandable desire to both hide their record and also signal to employers that hiring them can bring a tax benefit. It involves not banning the box but revising it; a box asking of an applicant is a member of the groups covered by the WOTC would hide a criminal record while also informing businesses of the tax credit if hired.

It true that the stigma of criminal conviction prevents many people from being hired. It’s unclear whether the WOTC is enough to overcome preconceived ideas about released prisoners. The little evidence we have on this, a survey of companies in Connecticut by a small nonprofit, the Malta Justice Initiative, says employers are likely to respond to expanded tax incentives. 73% of respondents indicated a tax credit would motivate hiring managers; subsidies would entice 76% of them.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is authorized through the end of 2019 through the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. Its reauthorization process will now involve criminal justice reform insider Senator Chuck Grassley who is the new Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Taxation. Grassley’s dedication to reforming the reentry process and his new positions prime him to optimize the tax code to help meet the president’s employment goal.

Amending the WOTC to expand eligibility beyond one year would likely go a long way in helping released prisoners secure employment as well as provide a boon to businesses.

Chandra Bozelko is the Vice President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and writes the Webby award-winning blog Prison Diaries.


Introduction to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit




Companies that Hire Ex-Offenders Can Get a Tax Credit, But Very Few Actually Claim It

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


Companies that Hire Ex-Offenders Can Get a Tax Credit, But Very Few Actually Claim It


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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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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Five Bottom Line Reasons Why Employers Should Hire Ex-Felons


Mike Green, Contributor
Co-founder, ScaleUp Partners LLC

Five Bottom Line Reasons Why Employers Should Hire Ex-FelonsThere is no city in the nation that’s growing faster than the population of 70 million Americans with criminal records. As one of them, former real estate developer R.L. Pelshaw is determined to turn this costly societal burden into an opportunity. “With criminal records it’s difficult for many ex-offenders to get jobs making a livable wage,” Pelshaw said. “Showing (ex) criminals how to be successful in legal businesses is far better then returning to crime, and will change the destiny of millions of people.” For employers, there exists a real opportunity to disrupt the continuous cycle of quarantining humans. And for the sake of society at large, sustainable employment may not only represent our best opportunity to significantly disrupt recidivism and the growing population of Americans with criminal records, it may be our only option. Consider the costs. Between 1973 and 2009, the nation’s prison population grew by 705 percent. Over the past two decades costs of incarceration have skyrocketed more than 305 percent, according to a 2011 Pew study. States now spend more than $52B out of their budgets (second only to Medicaid), for incarceration. And the economic impact inherent in the process of policing and locking up those who perpetrate crimes in our communities is compounded by the economic impact of high recidivism rates of 84 percent for males, age 24 years and younger. This revolving door is fueled by a pipeline that has grown exponentially over the past several decades to the point where the United States incarcerates more of its population than any nation in the world. America’s employers must take note of what happens to released inmates when they re-enter society, often after years of being quarantined, and with little hope of finding employment that funds a new path to productive citizenship. In 2012, more than 630,000 inmates were released into targeted communities across America. According to the latest study by the Bureau of Justice, three of every four released prisoners were re-arrested within the five-year life of the study. An extraordinarily high percentage (89 percent) of ex-felons re-arrested were unemployed. Pelshaw is determined to change that. He launched and self-funded a campaign called, The National Hire Ex-Felons Campaign, designed to inform employers of the benefits of tapping into this 70-million-strong workforce. Of course, there are plenty of unemployed people who do not commit crimes. The suggestion is not that employment alone is a panacea for this national problem. But, there is no other immediate option to developing sustainable financial stability for ex-felons. The longer that former inmates remain unemployed following release, the greater the risk they will seek income through alternative means. Their fate impacts the fate of families, communities and ultimately society at large. Employment is one of the tools we have to address this growing problem. Those who pay their debt to society and emerge from prison with a new perspective and lease on life deserve an opportunity to earn a living. They represent a class of prospective employees unlike any other. But, why should employers assume the risk of hiring ex-felons? You may be surprised by these five fact-based, bottom line reasons. Hiring Incentives: Finding good help is a key factor in running a successful business. Too many employers get robbed daily by lazy employees who work with a sense of entitlement, watching the clock, anticipating that moment they can break free of the bonds that trap them in cubicles, offices and warehouses. Many daydream of weekend getaways and play-cations while robotically moving through tasks, diluting the level of worker productivity. Ex-felons are no stranger to hard work. And they are grateful for the opportunity to earn a living. Most believe they have something to prove to their families and employers. But there are additional bottom line incentives to employees who hire former inmates. Substantial tax credits are available for hiring ex-felons, such as the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Some states even provide partial wage reimbursement, additional tax credits, and other training funds for employers who hire ex-felons.
“We’ve had three (subsidies) that amount to several hundreds of thousands of dollars to bear down on training our employees,” said Mike Hannigan, CEO of Give Something Back. “It’s amazing to me how many resources are available to a company.” Employers who hire felons can also be eligible to obtain a free fidelity bond funded by the federal government to protect them against employee dishonesty or theft. More importantly, credible studies clearly indicate that ex-felons out of prison seven years or more have no higher rate of committing a crime than non-felons. A 2009 University of Maryland study found that people with a criminal record are at no greater criminal risk after they’ve been out seven to 10 years than those with no record. Employee Reliability: Few things hurt a business more than high turnover rates. Employers who spend too much time with a focus on hiring employees who won’t leave shortly thereafter find themselves neglecting other areas of the business that require attention. Ex-felons have far fewer options than conventional employees. Due to the scarcity of opportunities for ex-felons, many employers that hire them have lower turnover than with conventional hires. According to the Partnership for Safety and Justice, many ex-felons have a favorable employment and educational history. “In general, formerly incarcerated people are as reliable as other workers,” the report states, citing numerous studies. Hiring Opportunity: The landscape of employable ex-felons is large. Ex-offenders on probation often have to maintain employment as a condition of release. Most parolees are drug-tested by their probation officer or halfway house at no expense to employers. Most parole officers and halfway houses welcome contact with employers of supervised felons. That supervision de-risks the employment opportunity and is an added value at no cost to the employer. An estimated 6.9 million persons were under supervision of adult correctional systems in 2013, according to the Bureau of Justice. This is a significant, largely untapped and motivated work force. A 2008 study by the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center found that fewer than 45 percent of felons were employed eight months after being released. In real numbers that means more than 3.5 million prospective workers are available for hire. Economic Impact: Employers can make a considerable difference in transforming a criminal liability into a community asset. Unemployed ex-felons are at a greater risk of re-offending compared to employed ex-felons. Many ex-felons turn to crime and return to jail (recidivism) because they can’t find a job paying a livable wage.
“People who break the law need to be held accountable and pay their debt to society,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project. “At the same time, the collateral costs of locking up 2.3 million people are piling higher and higher.” According to VERA institute of Justice, the U.S. spends nearly40 billion a year to house inmates. The average cost per state to house one inmate is31,286 per year. But if that one felon gets a job instead of returning to prison, he or she now contributes to the economy by more than $10,000 a year, according to a Baylor University study. Crime Market Disruption: An estimated 70 million U.S. adults have arrest or conviction records based on Bureau of Justice statistics. Tougher sentencing laws, especially for drug offenses, have swelled that total. Society can’t afford to simply banish 70 million people from the workplace. Children of incarcerated adults are the highest at-risk group in America. Many follow in their parents’ footsteps, continuing the cycle of crime and fueling a criminal market pipeline. Children of felons are seven times more likely to be incarcerated themselves. They are more likely (23 percent vs 4 percent) to be expelled or suspended from school than other children.
And the criminal market isn’t just isolated to minority populations. Across the nation, 40 percent of young men (regardless of race) will have a police-record encounter before the age of 23. Of those incarcerated, 84 percent will return to prison. It’s a continuous criminal market cycle that costs taxpayers more than $52 billion a year and threatens the stability of families and communities, in particular those already suffering from economic distress. Employing an ex-felon can disrupt the cycle of this criminal market and provides an opportunity to restore stability to families through a solid financial footing. “To fight the vicious circle of crime and recidivism we need to create ways offenders, ex-offenders, those at risk to offend, and those living off crime (but not yet caught) can make money legitimately,” said Pelshaw, who is also the author of Illegal to Legal: Business Success for (ex) Criminals. With more than 630,000 inmates released into neighborhoods across America every year, the community of ex-felons released each year is larger than the population of many major cities. Employers are already discovering the challenges of finding good employees without criminal records. Perhaps it’s time employers considered the benefits of hiring good employees who happen to be ex-felons. Originally seen at Huffingtonpost.com: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-green/five-bottom-line-reasons-_b_8021476.html



Five Bottom Line Reasons Why Employers Should Hire Ex-Felons

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