Fighting to Breakdown Barriers to Employment for Ex-Offenders

More than 9,000,000 people are under the jurisdiction of a criminal court or administrative agency with 2,500,000

incarcerated in the United States for criminal violations. Over 600,000 of those individuals are being released annually. 
Helping to find decent and dignified employment to returning citizens who have served their time and are willing to work toward a self-sufficient and productive lifestyle is our goal. Certainly precluding specific employment for individuals with a type of criminal history that would be unwise for certain positions or circumstances is without question appropriate, however criminal background checks are being used universally to prejudice an entire and growing segment of the American society from obtaining meaningful employment and in so doing, relegating ex-offenders to the margins of society and festering the vicious cycle of recidivism.  

Prison sentences have become longer for nearly all convictions, regardless of the conduct of the offense.


Removing a person from society even for a short period can create a dislocation that is difficult to overcome, particularly when family and friends have limited resources and are living under financial stress. When an ex-offender is released from confinement they almost always return to the locale from which they were originally sentenced, often distressed urban areas, where housing, employment and transportation are a complicated course. Access to computers, telephones and other essential resources required to seek employment are difficult to find. After overcoming the challenges of obtaining the resources the barriers that ex-offenders face becomes clearer. Generally, employment websites that post jobs are designed to sift out those with criminal backgrounds. The practice of excluding ex-offenders often is without bearing to the position, but simply to keep the ranks of the employed at specific companies felony free.  

Facts About Job Hunting for Ex-Offenders   

Most Companies mandate that all applicants denote their criminal history on the application, stating it does not exclude consideration, yet in practice it is the overarching basis for rejection.
    Applying for employment positions online for many is frustrating and wastes time as the questions and surveys required to be completed are time consuming and almost never are accompanied by the courtesy of a response regarding the status of an application. Adding the footnote of a criminal history to an online application often dooms the prospect entirely.  
Applying for a job on a local site like Craig’s List that sometimes does not list the requirement of a background check. Disclosing criminal history in an application, email or interview sometimes instigates a job poster to reject an application and then repost the position with the legend; "background check required".

​    There are significant tax incentives for hiring ex-offenders and a free bonding program.
 

Don’t Waste Your Time

  • There are companies and people who will hire ex-offenders and those that won't. Generally the ones that won't, will not actually say they won't, but insidiously waste your time and energy applying for a job that you will never get a fair shake at consideration.
  • Jobs that are available for ex-ofedners at large recognizable companies are often minimum wage, labor intensive and offer little advancement, healthcare or meaningful benefits and sadly are a means for a business to objectify the individuals status as an ex-offender.