Survey Finds Most Americans Want to Give Ex-Offenders a Second Chance

Second Chance

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Seven in ten Americans agree that employers should eliminate or reduce blanket-bans that automatically reject job seekers who are ex-offenders with minor and non-violent criminal offenses on their record, according to a national survey conducted by Kelly Services (Kelly) as part of National Second Chance Month in April 2021.

In April 2021, Kelly revealed the survey findings that showed Americans wanted companies to end discriminatory hiring practices and policies. The research is part of Kelly’s ongoing [email protected] initiative designed to identify and remove systemic and rarely challenged barriers to work for millions of Americans. The survey found:

  • 64 percent of Americans say non-violent mistakes made in the past should not automatically disqualify a person from being able to find employment.
  • 71 percent agree employers should eliminate or reduce blanket-bans that automatically reject job seekers with minor, non-violent criminal offenses.
  • 76 percent are more likely to support businesses committed to breaking down discriminatory barriers that prevent Americans from finding employment.
  • 81 percent say companies should do more to remove discriminatory hiring policies or practices that keep people from being hired or promoted.
  • 90 percent say access to employment is important to have a good quality of life in America.

“Nearly one in three Americans now have a criminal history of some kind, and many are non-violent offenders unable to access work because of unjust blanket-bans companies have in place,” Kelly President and CEO Peter Quigley stated in a news release. “Second chances are not just good for people, they are good for business.”

U.S. President Joseph Biden proclaimed April 2021 as Second Chance Month. During Second Chance Month, we lift up all those who, having made mistakes, are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions,” President Biden stated in “A Proclamation on Second Chance Month, 2021.”

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

Attorney Lester Rosen, ESR founder and chief executive officer (CEO), wrote the article “Starting a First Chance Movement is Critical to the Success of the Second Chance Movement” about how a First Chance movement should impact factors that lead a person to the criminal justice system and incarceration in the first place.

“Rather than ask employers to bear the brunt of the burden to provide employment opportunities for former offenders, the entire country should focus on providing a means to deflect people away from the criminal justice system in the first place,” wrote Rosen, the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual” (3rd Edition).

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.

© 2021 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies of or using any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.