One of the best ways to re-enter society after a low point in life is through employment. Getting a job can help you reintegrate into society, feel more normal, and financially support yourself all at once.
But what happens if your past crimes have left a mark on your criminal record? In that case, how do you keep your record from impacting your career or employment opportunities?
The Fix discusses how to get a job even with a criminal record. First, it is important to understand why it is so hard for people with criminal records to find jobs.
Background checks can reveal your criminal history. Even before that, gaps in employment record could potentially tip an employer off about the fact that you may have spent time in jail. Despite the fact that it is illegal to discriminate against workers for their criminal record, many employers will lean away regardless. Statistics show that 29 out of every 30 applicants have clean records, which makes it easy to obfuscate discrimination.
However, many people recognize the damage that poor reintegration can do to a person on an individual level, and to society as a whole. For example, over 300 companies have taken the Fair Business Chance Pledge. With this, they promise to give people with criminal records a fair chance for employment.
Certain sites and organizations also dedicate themselves to helping people with records find jobs. On top of that, the “ban the box” initiative gains more popularity consistently. This initiative campaigns to ban the checkbox on applications asking if an applicant has a criminal history. This could allow for a fair look at an application without biases and may allow for more applicants to have a fair chance.
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