Second Chance

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On March 31, 2021, United States President Joseph Biden proclaimed April 2021 as Second Chance Month and called on all government officials, educators, volunteers, and people to observe the month “with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities,” according to a proclamation posted on the White House website.

“During Second Chance Month, we lift up all those who, having made mistakes, are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions… We must commit to second chances from the earliest stages of our criminal justice system,” President Biden stated in “A Proclamation on Second Chance Month, 2021.”

“More than 600,000 individuals return to their communities from State and Federal prisons every year,” President Biden stated. “Transitioning back into society can be overwhelming for those who are formerly incarcerated as well as their families and communities. Too many individuals face unfair legal and practical barriers to reentry.”

President Biden stated: “We must remove these barriers. Every person leaving incarceration should have housing, the opportunity at a decent job, and health care. A person’s conviction history should not unfairly exclude them from employment, occupational licenses, access to credit, public benefits, or the right to vote.”

President Biden added in the proclamation that “certain criminal records should be expunged and sealed so people can overcome their past” and that by focusing “on prevention, reentry, and social support, rather than incarceration, we can ensure that America is a land of second chances and opportunity for all people.”

He concluded that “America’s criminal justice system must offer meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation. After incarcerated individuals serve their time, they should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society. It benefits not just those individuals but all of society, and it is the best strategy to reduce recidivism.”

Second chance programs and reentry laws that help allow ex-offenders with a prior criminal record an opportunity to find work will continue to evolve, according to leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), which compiled the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021.

ESR founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Attorney Lester Rosen will speak to members of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and other attendees during the Virtual 2021 PBSA Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference taking place virtually from April 19, 2021, to April 20, 2021.

Rosen will be part of a panel discussing “Fair Chance Screening” on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. He will be joined by fellow panelists Krisy Bucher, Director of Marketing Programs at Appriss Insights; Rachel Theisen, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at InCheck, Inc; and W. Barry Nixon, founder and COO at PreemploymentDirectory.com.

A racially biased criminal justice system has created significant barriers to employment for ex-offenders. The panel will explore criminal justice systems, the role of arrest and conviction records in screening, prisoner reentry programs, “Ban the Box” legislation, and guidance on mitigating racial bias in the screening process.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – which was named the #1 screening firm in 2020 by HRO Today – offers a white paper on “Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce,” an “ESR Ban the Box Resource Guide,” and a Ban the Box Resource Page. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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