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Reaping The Positive Potential of People With Criminal Records
Reaping The Positive Potential of People With Criminal Records
Gojob Blog

Reaping The Positive Potential of People With Criminal Records

In the United States, having a criminal record has traditionally represented a black mark on an individual’s record, limiting their ability to effectively reenter society after their jail or prison term has been served.

Their numbers are significant. An estimated 70 million Americans—about one out of every three individuals in the country—has a criminal record.

Many of those released want to turn their lives around and have a positive impact through gainful employment, but often the deck seems stacked against them.

Stigma exists but, given the widespread nature of the issue, employers should know that the stigma may be less than they believe.

Shared Experiences, and Understanding, Can Reduce Stigma

With so many Americans represented among the millions of people with a criminal record, it’s quite likely that you or someone close to you is a member of these ranks.

For instance, according to The Center for American Progress, nearly half of the children in the US have at least one parent with a criminal record.

And Checkr, a background check company that is committed to second chance hiring, has found that employees themselves are supportive of giving a second chance. In a 2021 survey of business leaders and their employees they found that:

  • 4 out of 5 employees would approve of their companies hiring people with conviction histories.
  • More than half of employees—54%--believe hiring people with conviction histories should be part of their companies’ DEI strategies.
  • 84% of executives are interested in learning more about how to be fair chance employers.

Increasingly employees across all demographics focus on companies’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) when they’re considering job offers, according to Glassdoor which says that 70% of job seekers consider workforce diversity when considering offers.

Giving people a second chance is not only the right thing to do—it can also represent real benefits for the organizations that do so.

Companies Can Benefit From Giving a Second Chance

Research and companies’ experiences point to some real benefits to organizations when they take a chance on employees with criminal records. Northwestern University, for instance, has found that companies that hire employees with records see higher retention and lower turnover rates. That represents a cost savings as well as an opportunity to build a loyal and committed workforce.

Unfortunately, despite the value they can provide to organizations, it is estimated that 45% of the more than 600,000 people released from prison remain unemployed for at least a year after their release.

That represents an opportunity that Gojob and others have publicly stepped up to support. At least 95% of the US prison population is eventually released. But, while free, and often eager, to join the workforce, many struggle to get a second chance.

April is Second Chance Month

April is Second Chance Month, an observance that President Biden formalized in 2022, “reaffirming the importance of helping people who were formerly incarcerated reenter society.”

Gojob is committed to second chance employment and helps to place a number of these employees with organizations that benefit from their commitment and skill.

Societal impact is at the heart of Gojob’s work. Gojob is committed to the recruitment and training of people who are far from employment. That includes employees with criminal histories. Everyone deserves a second chance and we’re helping them get just that. Learn more about our work and how we’re using advanced digital technology to connect individuals and organizations in Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Learn more.