77 million people have a criminal record in the U.S.
That’s 1 out of every 3 adults.
650,000 people are released from U.S. prisons each year. These are our returning citizens.
A returning citizen is someone who has done their time and is striving to be a part of the community again.
Diversity & Inclusion
“When you value diversity, you encourage diverse idea exchange.” – Harvard Business Review
70% of job seekers look at workforce diversity when evaluating a job offer. (Glassdoor)
|Unemployment rates by race & gender:
Source: Prison Policy Initiative
Compliance: Practicing fair hiring allows you to align your practices with applicable law & EEOC guidance
Ban the box & Fair Chance Ordinances: Adopted by over 35 states and 150 counties
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidance:
Societal Impact: Help build safer communities and break generational cycles of poverty and incarceration
By providing meaningful employment to Returning Citizens, you are helping to break these harmful cycles and allowing parents to leave better legacies for their children.
The Employer Stigma
Employment has been proven to be the single most important influence in reducing recidivism – or someone’s likelihood to reoffend. Despite this, most employers prefer not to hire people with records, even if their record has no relation to the job.
60% lower chance of getting a callback if you have a record
27% of people with records are unemployed
Barriers of Traditional Hiring Practices
Traditionally, employers evaluate applicants based on their past experiences rather than their present skills and qualifications.
They tend to rely on the factors of a “Golden Resume”, including formal education, years of professional experience, and previous titles held.
These traditional practices create barriers for people with records, who often have the skills to qualify but may have gaps in their resume, lack formal education, or have less professional experience than other applicants.
Racial Discrimination in Hiring
Ensure your company has fair hiring practices to avoid perpetuating racial inequalities
Currently, 17% of white people with a record get called back after a job interview, compared to 5% of African Americans with a record.
Shockingly, even white people WITH a record get called back more than African Americans WITHOUT a record.
Recidivism Rates in the U.S.
These challenges make it extremely difficult for Returning Citizens to succeed. As a result, state and national recidivism rates soar at staggering heights.
A Department of Justice study found that amongst 401,288 Returning Citizens, about 68% were rearrested within three years of release from state prison.
Lower the barrier, not the bar
Fair chance hiring means increasing fairness for qualified applicants, NOT lowering your hiring standards.
Use Inclusive language
Job descriptions & interview questions can unintentionally create barriers for Returning Citizens
|Language that may have unconscious bias||Example replacement language|
|Bachelor or Master’s degree required||4-6+ years of relevant experience preferred|
|Years of professional management experience required||Can demonstrate examples of effective team leadership|
|Excellent executive presence||An engaging and persuasive communicator|
|“Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?”||“[Checkr] considers qualified applicants with prior arrest or conviction records. Having a record does not automatically disqualify you and should not discourage you from completing your application.”|
|“Your resume says your last job was six years ago. What have you been doing since? ”||“Tell me about the relevant skills you’ve developed that would help you succeed in this role.”|
Conduct skills-based interviews
Traditional interview questions don’t effectively evaluate someone’s ability to perform the job
Work with hiring managers to understand the skills needed to succeed in the job and then help them develop interview practices that evaluate people for those skills.
Develop sourcing pipelines
Hundreds of reentry organizations are preparing Returning Citizens for work. We will help you build pipelines to them
Evaluating risk with proven practices
Going above and beyond
If you end up not hiring someone, there are still opportunities to help them succeed!
Dispel myths and stereotypes
Creating an inclusive culture can help Returning Citizens feel a sense of belonging once hired
The Reentry Challenge allows you to virtually walk in the shoes of a Returning Citizen and discover the challenges they face when reintegrating back into society.
Inviting Returning Citizens to come and share their stories of challenge and triumph can help to build empathy and understanding amongst your teams.
Did you know?
There are tax credits and federal bonding programs available to you
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: Up to $9,000 available per qualifying new hire
The Federal Bonding Program: First 6 months of employment costs covered