Many people with criminal backgrounds want the opportunity to start their life over and finding good employment is the key. It has been proven that numerous ex-offenders seeking to rebuild their lives and get back into the mainstream face significant challenges. Taking that into consideration there are many obstacles to face such as the barriers placed by society and systematic barriers. It is not surprising as to how many who have been incarcerated return to prison within three to five years because of these challenges.

The measurement of success that a prior ex-offender has been completely rehabilitated is determined by these factors: occupation, residence, family, physical well-being, criminal justice compliance, and social influence. These are basic life needs that a former inmate needs to be successful when integrating back into society. It is estimated in the US that about 2.3 million people are incarcerated which is about 7% of the entire US population. With these statistics, an organization is more likely to hire an individual without a criminal record versus an individual with a criminal record.

The challenges that an ex-offender incurs after being released from prison are difficult. A few changes that have recently been implemented to help an ex-inmate become rehabilitated are that many states have passed a Ban-the-Box Law. This law supports ex-offenders by not having to initially disclose any criminal history on an application. It gives an individual the chance to disclose any prior criminal history during the interview process allowing the employer to consider an ex-offender as a potential employee.

Another approach taken by non-governmental agencies is a grassroots approach. For example, programs have been implemented that can help an individual get his GED or a college degree while still in prison. In addition, there are some programs that have been established to give an ex-offender a ride home from prison and provide mentorship while transitioning back into a suitable lifestyle. Overall, the general population has an interest in helping people with a past criminal record obtain and maintain employment. It is difficult for an ex-offender to become a law-abiding citizen without a job or life’s necessities.

Ex-offenders need the opportunity to rejoin the workforce. Getting ex-offenders back into the workforce is a win for everyone. After gaining employment it has been proven that an ex-inmate is loyal to an organization and grateful for a second chance thus decreasing the chance for reimprisonment. Establishing a good job history with valuable experience is an asset and will help close prior gaps in employment. Having a long-term strategy and understanding the potential opposition is the best way to prepare for a successful future.

References: SHRM, Privacy Rights