One of the biggest challenges for individuals who have been in custody is successfully re-entering the workforce. It is difficult for them to get back to employment with a criminal record, an employment gap, and lack of skills.

With a criminal record, getting a job, obtaining an occupational license, and accessing educational opportunities isn’t easy.

The workers with a criminal background may be reliable employees, but most of the employers disqualify them. Research shows that individuals with criminal records are less likely to quit their jobs as compared to other workers.

Crucial Approach for Ex-Offenders

Let’s have a look at the several ways and approaches a person with a previous criminal record can consider when seeking employment:

  • See an attorney explore if you are eligible to get your conviction sealed, expunged, or judicially set aside.
  • You may have the Legal Right to say NO on an application or interview if asked about a criminal record.
  • Always check if “Ban the Box” applies to you or not?
  • Understand your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws
  • Take a stand for yourself if there is any action against you based on your background check and previous record.
  • If a background report is fully correct and accurate, immediately contact the background screening firm and the employer.
  • You have the right to request an individualized assessment of your situation.
  • Feel free to seek professional assistance and talk to people experiencing the same challenges for betterment.
  • Always stay loyal to your surroundings because honesty is the best policy.
  • Start to rebuild a good Resume that can help you to get a suitable job.
  • Take the advice from professionals for a better future and employment opportunities to compete.

What are Workforce Re-entry Programs?

The significance of Workforce Re-Entry Programs is one of the most common questions from Felons.

Well, these programs assist previously incarcerated individuals equally compete for jobs, attain stable housing, support their families, and contribute maximum to the surrounding societies, communities.

There are hundreds of organizations that help formerly imprisoned individuals attain the skills and knowledge. Such productive, technical, and professional skills contribute to successfully reintegrate into their communities.

Various organizations also organize programs that include training, employment assistance, job placement, transitional housing, counselling, mentoring, and other support services.

Workforce Re-entry Programs Focus on Various Aspects

Know Your Rights: You should be well aware of your rights so that when required you can fight for yourself.     

Hiring Programs and Incentives: There are several informational programs by the government and organizations in the favor of ex-offenders.

Preparing to Re-enter the Workforce: Preparation towards the right opportunity is important at the initial stage! In addition, these re-entry programs aim to offer equal opportunities to ex-offenders.

What Employers can do with Job Applicants having Criminal Records?

Fair chance hiring is based on the principle that everyone, regardless of background, has the equal right to apply for a role they are qualified for. What about the real facts? The fact is that black people are more likely to face this situation of arrest and criminal charges. Black men are indeed incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white men. This means that they are more likely to be restricted from entering the workforce because of their criminal history.

Moreover, fair chance hiring motivates candidates with a criminal record to prepare for interviews and get a job. To have a true impact, employers must go beyond “ban the box” policies and be proactive about establishing a fair chance for qualified candidates.

NOTE: Employers should

  • Assess the Candidate, Not the Record
  • Create an intentional hiring plan
  • Connect with local partners to find top fair chance talent
  • Conduct a skills-based interview
  • Fairly assess charges

Final Thoughts

As already noted, ex-offenders face numerous challenges in obtaining employment once again. However, it’s not impossible; you can do it with helpful tips. Individuals with the right attitude can easily overcome obstacles and get back into the workforce. One essential tip that has helped people is getting familiar with their rights first.

However, keep in mind that just a background check does not affects your entire performance. It means that an applicant should not necessarily risk hiding something from the employers. Moreover, join the re-entry programs that work towards promoting employment for ex-offenders.   

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