Securing a job can be challenging if you are one of the 70 to 100 million Americans with a criminal record. Even minor offenses, such as a misdemeanor, can follow former offenders for a lifetime, threatening their economic security and increasing their chances of recidivism.
“Without employment, people being released end up with no other options,” says Dwight Tostenson, CEO and co-founder of the Redemption Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the chance of recidivism. “They end up short on money and have to pay their bills somehow. They have a tendency to go back to doing what they know best — a life of crime, which puts them right back in the system.”
The business case for second chance hiring has become more pronounced post-pandemic and following the social justice movements of 2020.