The data behind hiring previously incarcerated people

As we adjust to life during a pandemic, businesses continue to struggle with staffing issues. However, there’s an untapped and often unrecognized sector of workers who are ready for employment – justice-involved individuals. This seems like an easily solvable issue, right? Wrong. Even with the right certifications and qualifications, having a record reduces the likelihood of a callback or offer by as much as 50%.

For previously incarcerated individuals, finding stable employment after release is imperative to breaking the cycle of recidivism. Studies show that justice-involved individuals with solid, full time jobs are less likely to reoffend, which allows them to become active community members and involved family members. In fact, it’s reported that after hiring individuals with records, retention rates increase and turnover decreases. When given a chance, justice-involved individuals are loyal employees.

How can you help?

If you’re looking to make a difference and set an example for fellow business owners, we encourage you to reconsider your hiring practices. A simple step you can take is to Ban the Box.

When filling out job applications, the yes or no question that often halts justice-involved individuals is “Have you been convicted of a crime?” If they check yes, there’s a good chance they won’t get the job – even if they’re a qualified candidate. If they check no, a background check can access records. This could be considered fraudulent as well, meaning the applicant could face fines and even criminal charges.

The ban the box movement is spreading throughout the U.S. As of Oct. 2021, 37 states and 150 cities adopted Ban the Box in hopes of removing the stigma surrounding hiring previously incarcerated individuals and allow employers to hire candidates based on their qualifications.

Are you interested in getting involved? Partner with Hope 2 Hire today to provide second chances for our neighbors.


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