Employment Is the Key to Reducing Recidivism
Derrick G. Patrick
November 09, 2012
Dr. David Willis
Employment is the Key to reducing recidivism
Individuals returning from incarceration each year live in virtually every zip code in the country. Most ex-offenders have every intention of becoming productive, tax paying citizens, and no intention of returning to the penal system. However ex-offenders are largely on their own when returning to our communities. They are often estranged from families and friends, and are increasingly faced with tremendous challenges upon their release. Most are simply unprepared for the challenges they will encounter in the attempt to restore normalcy to their lives – finding a …show more content…
Indeed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said that although considering an applicant's criminal record may be acceptable on a case-by-case basis, an "absolute bar to employment" for such people is illegal. "Candidates must be able to pass: background check (no felonies or misdemeanors)," reads one ad placed by the bailed-out banking giant Bank of America. "Do not apply with any misdemeanors/felonies," warns another. And one study last year found that 92 percent of employers said they screen some or all applicants for criminal records.”(Roth, 2011) Finding gainful employment is a difficult task, more so for African Americans, than their white counterparts, adding a criminal record into the mix makes it much harder and more disheartening for those who do. According to Pager’s study “race was clearly more important. The differences were to the point that a White job applicant with a jail record actually received more callbacks for further consideration than a Black man with no criminal record.”(Schaefer, 2011) Taking into consideration that over 52% of those released from prison each year are African American, it makes a pretty powerful case that being Black and an ex-offender is a no win situation.
There has been research on a small level to provide insight of the advantages of ex-offenders being employed and