Frequently Asked Questions

1 As an employer, what are you asking me to do?

To hold off asking about an applicant’s criminal record until the interview process.

2 Does this mean people with criminal records get priority over people who don’t?

No. This in no way tilts the scales in favor of people with a record. It simply levels the playing field at the beginning of the hiring process by not immediately rejecting someone because he or she has a prior arrest or conviction.

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 jhindall@jaxusa.org

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