skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Event Detail

Consequences of a Prison Record for Employment: How Do Race, Ethnicity & Gender Factor In?
February 26, 2014
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), U.S. Department of Justice
City: Washington
State/Territory: DC
Country: USA
Event Site: Office of Justice Programs, 3rd Floor Ballroom
This event is part of NIJ's Research for the Real World series of seminars.

Scientific studies have long documented the negative impact of a prison record on a person's ability to find employment. But what is the impact when gender and race/ethnicity are factored in? Also, most jobs are now advertised online—so how does this affect the ability of former prisoners to find a job?

Dr. Scott Decker and his colleagues have recently completed an in-depth examination of the roles of race, gender, and education in the one of the greatest social challenges facing our nation today: employment for criminal offenders returning to the community. The study consisted of six pairs of job applicants: Black men, Black women, Hispanic men, Hispanic women, White men and White women; the résumé of one person in each pair included a prison record; in every other respect, their résumés were identical. Using an "audit" method, the researchers studied what happened when the participants applied in-person for more than 500 jobs with 60 different employers in Arizona. Using a "correspondence" method, they studied what happened when the participants applied online for more than 6,100 jobs. Finally, the researchers interviewed 48 employers from the audit portion of the study.

The findings—including the impact of having some post-high school education—may surprise you. Based on the results of this three-year study, Dr. Decker makes recommendations that could be critically important as decision-makers craft pre- and post-release policies and strategies to help more than 600,000 criminal offenders who return to the community every year, particularly in this increasingly online world.

If you cannot make the seminar in person, all of the NIJ Research for the Real World seminars are recorded and posted to the NIJ site.
Event URL:
Name: Ted Robinson
Phone: 202-616-1739

Back To Results Page