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NCJ Number: NCJ 238488     Find in a Library
Title: In Search of a Job: Criminal Records as Barriers to Employment
  Document URL: HTML PDF 
Author(s): Amy L. Solomon
  Journal: NIJ Journal  Issue:270  Dated:June 2012  Pages:42 to 51
Date Published: 06/2012
Page Count: 10
  Series: NIJ Journal
  Annotation: This article is an adaptation of the author’s testimony before the Equal Opportunity Commission (July 26, 2011) in her capacity as co-chairperson of the Attorney General’s Reentry Council.
Abstract: The first section of the article presents data to show that nearly one-third of American adults have been arrested by age 23. This means that a significant number of Americans are disadvantaged in seeking employment, given that employers are reluctant to hire persons with arrest records, even though only 4 percent of the arrests in 2009 were for serious violent crimes. Moreover, many of those arrested were never convicted of the crime for which they were charged. This barrier to employment disproportionately impacts African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans and their families, because they are disproportionately arrested in relation to their percentage of the population. The author argues that the issue is not about restricting employers from knowing about a job applicant’s criminal history. Rather, the concern is that some employers cast an overly broad and absolute net in banning this population from employment altogether. Job applicants should have an opportunity to be considered for jobs based on their qualifications for performing the job, particularly when their criminal record is not relevant to the job or is not a significant factor in predicting future behavior. Specific guidance is provided for employers and job seekers on the use of criminal records in the hiring process. 2 figures and 38 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Background investigations ; Ex-offender employment ; Minority employment ; Barriers to ex-offender employment ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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