Reentry Research Summary from Center for American Progress

Jun 19, 2018 No Comments by

The Center for American Progress has compiled a Reentry Research Roundup summarizing key findings of recent research about the economic consequences of criminal records and the effects of policies designed to expand opportunities for people with records.

An estimated 1 in 3 Americans now have some type of criminal record, which may be as minor as an arrest that never led to conviction. Employers’ high use of background checks in hiring, though, can severely limit one’s job prospects. As reported in the Roundup, “an applicant with a criminal record is 50% to 63% less likely to get a callback or job offer than an identical applicant without a record – and this effective hiring penalty increases twofold for black applicants compared with white applicants.”

On the positive side, once hired, employees with criminal records have lower rates of turnover. As the report states, employees with criminal records in the private sector “have longer average tenures than employees without records, are less likely to leave voluntarily, and are no more likely to be terminated involuntarily.” (For more details about these workers’ motivation and loyalty, read our post highlighting More evidence that ex-offender hires excel on the job.)

The research summary closes with data relating to two policy remedies – record-clearing and occupational licensing reform. Among the findings, “preliminary research from Michigan finds that recipients of record set-asides saw an 11% increase in the probability of employment and a 22% increase in quarterly wages in the first year after the set-aside.”

Visit the Council of State Governments’ Clean Slate Clearinghouse to access state-by-state information on record clearing procedures, links to application forms and guides, and a directory of pro bono legal service providers.

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