Thursday, March 19, 2015

Job Hunting With a Criminal Record

There is no dispute that far too many Americans carry the burden of a criminal record — at least 70 million, by recent estimates — or that the easy accessibility of these records in the information age imposes debilitating obstacles, especially when it comes to finding a job.
 
The harder question is what to do about it.
 
Employment is, after all, an important factor in keeping people out of the criminal justice system, yet, in a struggling job market, employers are often tempted to turn away anyone who appears to pose even the slightest risk. Thanks to the proliferation of companies offering instant online background checks, a vast majority of employers now run such checks on all job applicants. They can, and do, refuse to hire people on the grounds of an arrest itself — let alone a conviction.
 
People with criminal records often face all manner of entrenched and unjustified prejudice. Studies have found that job applicants who reported having a criminal record were 50 percent less likely to receive a callback or job offer. And, as with virtually every part of the criminal justice system, the effect was more pronounced when the job candidate was black.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/opinion/job-hunting-with-a-criminal-record.html
 
 

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