Millions of ex-offenders have rehabilitated themselves and become productive members of society contributing to their communities instead of consuming limited resources.
According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly 700,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons every year, and there are approximately 70 million people in the United States with a state criminal record(s) history or about 30 percent of the adult population.
ESR does not believe that background checks should prevent ex-offenders from employment. We believe that with thoughtful consideration of all aspects of a person’s background – there should be viable employment for everyone.
At the same time, employers have both the right and obligation to protect their assets, employees and their customers from both financial and physical harm. Doing this in a way that is fair and equitable to the applicant is essential.
Employers should follow sensible procedures in considering the past conviction records of job applicants, in line with the EEOC’s guidance, making sure that a particular criminal history would have a direct connection to a discernable risk to the business before using it to exclude an applicant. Providing a fair review of both qualifications and background and following non-discriminatory practices will enable employers to protect their interests and the interests of those they serve, without unduly burdening applicants for past mistakes.
Here are some resources that may be helpful for those who are attempting to re-enter the workforce.
Resources for Ex-Offenders
- ENSURING PEOPLE WITH CONVICTIONS HAVE A FAIR CHANCE TO WORK
- CareerOneStop Job Search Help for Ex-Offenders
- The National Transitional Jobs Network
- The Lionheart Foundation State by State Listing of Re-Entry Programs for Prisoners
- Federal Bureau of Prisons Resources for Former Inmates
- U.S. Department of Labor Employment Information Handbook for Ex-Offenders
- Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring
- ESR News Blogs Tagged "Ex-Offenders"
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