When businesses hire people with a criminal record, communities thrive.
Having a job is an essential part of a successful life. Yet for the 70 million Americans with a criminal record, there are over 28,000 legal barriers just to employment. Not to mention the social stigma of having to check the box on job applications and identifying upfront as a former prisoner.
However, some companies promote second chance hiring and report that returning citizens often bring value to their organizations. And when businesses and organizations hire people with a criminal record, communities and families thrive.
THE BENEFITS OF HIRING FORMER PRISONERS FOR COMPANIES
According to the Second Chance Business Coalition, 82% of managers report the value second chance employees bring to their organization as high or higher than that of workers without records. Hiring returning citizens also leads to a more diverse workforce because it opens the door to unique perspectives.
Employers who promote second chance hiring found that individuals with a criminal record were less likely to quit, generating cost-savings related to turnover. In fact, the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that preventing people with a criminal record from fully reentering the workforce costs the U.S. economy between $78 billion and $87 billion in projected economic output.
THE BENEFITS OF HIRING FORMER PRISONERS FOR COMMUNITIES
In addition to improving companies and businesses, there are many benefits to hiring former prisoners for local communities. Studies show that offering a job to those with a criminal record reduces the recidivism rate by more than 10%.
Hiring people with a criminal background actually advances public safety because it encourages productivity from returning citizens who may then avoid a return to crime.
SECOND CHANCES: ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES
Every April, Prison Fellowship® leads the nationwide campaign Second Chance® Month to unlock second chances for the tens of millions of Americans with a criminal record who have paid their debt to society.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that we continue the important work of raising awareness about the challenges men and women face upon reentry. Our diverse spectrum of partners—more than 700 organizations, congregations, and businesses—work together to open brighter futures for returning citizens.
Throughout April 2022, we and several of those partners participated in weekly Twitter chats to discuss the issues that returning citizens face.
On April 13, 2022, we spoke to several partners and asked how they have seen second chances positively impact our culture through our economy. Here is what they had to say.
Seventy million adults have a criminal record in America. How can communities benefit from their contributions?
A2: Inclusive hiring is a powerful way to break the cycle of economic hardship, poverty & incarceration that characterizes many American communities. A second chance can strengthen financial health, support prosperous communities and help close the wealth gap. #SecondChanceMonth
— Business Roundtable (@BizRoundtable) April 13, 2022
Having a job is an essential part of a successful life, yet there are over 28,000 legal barriers to #employment for people with a criminal record. How does Second Chance Hiring recognize human potential?
A3: For too long, collateral consequences have imposed a “civil death” on people with criminal records. Protecting their right to earn an honest living would go far in granting them a second chance at life. #SecondChanceMonth
— Nick Sibilla (@nick_sibilla) April 13, 2022
According to the Second Chance Business coalition, 82% of managers report the value second chance employees bring to their organization is as high, or higher than, that of workers without records. What are some unique talents someone with a criminal record could bring to your team?
A4 We have seen from neighbors with records: the power of learned listening skills ; deep understanding of the mental health crisis; signs to look for when others need help; they hold others accountable. #SecondChanceMonth @JusticeReform
— Carrie Coyner (@CarrieCoyner) April 13, 2022
Studies show offering a job to those with a criminal record reduces the recidivism rate by more than 10%. Employing people makes them productive members of our communities, avoiding a return to crime. How does hiring people with a criminal background advance public safety?
A7. Disadvantaged neighborhoods have been especially hurt by rising crime. But jobs and opportunities can help build healthy communities. We urgently need investment in people and places touched by histories of hardship. @JusticeReform #SecondChanceMonth https://t.co/JH7rSP3lft
— Ames Grawert 🌱 (@AmesCG) April 13, 2022
A7: A 70% recidivism or failure rate is unacceptable for our prison system and we all have some responsibility to improve it. Businesses can play a small part in that through #SecondChanceHiring and helping individuals find purpose in their work. 3/3 #SecondChanceMonth
— Jeremiah Mosteller (@jgmosteller) April 13, 2022
I'll say it again - if we want someone to be a productive member of society, we need to actually give them the chance to be a productive member of society. https://t.co/vOas0l9yDI
— Lisel Petis (@LiselPetis) April 13, 2022
What are some organizations or corporations that implement and promote #SecondChanceHiring today? Give them a shoutout!
A9: Companies in a wide range of industries, including complex & highly regulated sectors, support second chances. Visit https://t.co/kTbldI03PU for a list of large employers working to expand hiring and advancement practices for people w/ criminal records. #SecondChanceMonth
— Second Chance Business Coalition (@SecondChanceBiz) April 13, 2022
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