Taking Action: Continuing the “Pathways to Prosperity” Conversation in Your Jurisdiction

Understanding and addressing challenges associated with putting people with criminal records on pathways to employment requires a two-way dialogue between business leaders and government officials. A similar exchange is needed between workforce development professionals—who have considerable expertise in connecting people to the workforce who have historically struggled to find employment—and corrections and criminal justice professionals who are increasingly applying more sophisticated strategies that reduce a person’s risk of reoffending. Start thinking about how these conversations can take place in your jurisdiction:

Creating Job Opportunities for Adults with Criminal Records: A Dialogue between Business Leaders and Policymakers

  • Under what circumstances do criminal history background checks make sense and how should that information be used to inform hiring decisions in a way that is in line with the EEOC guidelines while still balancing public safety considerations?
  • To what extent do local, state, and federal laws and regulations prevent employers from hiring people who— but for their criminal records—would be well qualified for high-demand jobs?
  • What are the liability concerns of employers associated with employing people with criminal records and what can government do to help mitigate employers’ real and perceived risk?
  • What public/private partnerships can be established to build high-demand, sector-based skills among people who are incarcerated or have criminal records?
  • What policy changes are needed to promote long-term job attachment and a more robust workforce?

Understanding What it Takes to Reduce Recidivism and Connect People to Jobs: A Dialogue between Corrections and Workforce Development Professionals

  • To what extent are valid risk/need assessments conducted to inform case management and program referrals for people under correctional supervision?
  • To what extent are job-readiness assessments conducted to match individuals to appropriate employment services?
  • What employment service programs and community supervision strategies are available to serve people with a range of criminogenic and job-readiness needs?
  • How does the existing system that connects people to reentry programs and services draw on risk and job readiness data to ensure that individuals are placed in programs that are best equipped to meet their unique needs?
  • How do supervision officers and community-based employment service providers coordinate case management and ensure the effective delivery of services?

Technical Assistance Resources for Your Team

Made available by the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC)

  • Connect with national experts on best practices for hiring individuals with criminal records and effective strategies for reducing recidivism and promoting employment
  • Receive educational materials and examples of innovative policies and practices to guide conversations in your jurisdiction
  • Guidance on how to plan an event similar to the conversation held at the White House on June 30, 2014
  • Send your success stories to be shared on the NRRC web page

To access any of these resources above, please contact Sherri Moses at [email protected] or 240-482-8580.

The NRRC is a project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

To view this announcement as a PDF, click here.