1 As an employer, what are you asking me to do?
2 Does this mean people with criminal records get priority over people who don’t?
3 How does this change my hiring process?
Very little. The only thing we are asking is that employers wait until the interview phase to ask someone if they have a record. This allows the applicant to explain his or her circumstances, rather than being discarded from the start because of questions on the job application about a record.
4 Why should I give an individual with a record a second chance?
One in four working-age Americans has a past offense. That’s 70 million people who would be automatically eliminated from the workforce if an employer asked about a criminal history and tossed aside every applicant who answered “yes.” Many of these arrests or convictions are either decades-old, or one critical mistake a person made. Employers who have hired ex-offenders often say these workers are the most loyal, reliable and valuable on their teams.
5 Can this really have a big impact?
Yes. The reduced output of goods and services of people with felonies and prison records is estimated at $57 billion to $65 billion in losses to the nation’s economy. Allowing people to work increases their tax contributions, boosts sales tax, and saves money by keeping people out of the criminal justice system.
6 How can hiring people with past offenses reduce crime?
The number one factor in whether a person returns to jail or prison is whether or not they have a full-time job. When a person has a job and the means to provide for himself or herself, the chances of reoffending are significantly reduced.
7 Are you pushing for a new law to make this mandatory?
No. Many cities have enacted this type of legislation, but we do not believe this is necessary in Northeast Florida. We are supporting a peer-to-peer shift, where businesses large and small in our community commit to waiting until later in the hiring process to ask applicants if they have a criminal background.
8 How do I learn more?
For more information, please contact Julie Hindall at 904-366-6615 or firstname.lastname@example.org