Why consider hiring someone with a criminal history?
Employing someone with a criminal history may at times be a difficult decision for employers, but please consider these facts:
- More then 700,000 incarcerated individuals return from Federal and State Prison each year.
- In the United States 1/15 of all people have served time in a jail, prison, or a correctional setting.
- Approximately 68% of persons under supervision return to custody within 3 years of being released to the community.
- Of the 68% who return to custody , 80% do so without having a job.
The negative cycle of release and return costs states more than $50 billion annually. These statistics emphasize the importance of employment. In most circumstances a good job provides a means to support themselves and their families, increases self esteem, and creates a sense of belonging as a taxpayer in the community. Also consider these New Federal Rules for Job Seekers with Criminal Histories. The new 55-page document (pdf), intended to prevent racial and ethnic discrimination, calls on employers to use criminal background checks only when they can show they are job-related and necessary for the business. For example, the guidelines say employers should consider the "nature of the crime, the time elapsed and the nature of the job." If you decide to hire someone who is under Federal, State, or County supervision, the following benefits may apply.
- US Department of Labor Initiative
- Utah Department of Workforce Services
- Myth Buster on the Federal Bonding Program (pdf)
- DWS Bonding Pamphlet (pdf)
*For more information, contact Utah's Bonding Program Coordinator, Jennifer Domenici at 801-526-9876
This unique job placement tool is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and is a business insurance policy that protects the employer from any loss of money or property due to employee dishonesty. The bond is free-of-charge to the employer who hires a job applicant who is a risk, based on their personal background.
Risk factors include:
- Criminal history - record of arrest, conviction or imprisonment; anyone who has ever been on parole or probation, or has any police record
- Substance abuse - rehabilitated or participating in treatment for alcohol or drug abuse
- Credit history - poor credit record or have declared bankruptcy
- Dishonorable discharge from the military
- Lack of work history and from a low-income family
Work Opportunity Tax Credit:
- US Department of Labor
- Myth Buster on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (pdf)
- Utah Department of Workforce Services
This tax credit is given to employers who hire persons under supervision who were convicted of a felony and who are hired within one year of the conviction or release from prison. See Employer's Guide for more details. This program is currently awaiting funding approval.
Working with U.S. Pretrial Services and U.S. Probation
While under supervision, it is our responsibility to assess the risk to the community as well as monitor the conditions imposed by the Court. As a result, many individuals under our supervision participate in random drug screening; they must be in contact with their assigned supervision officer on a regular basis; and barriers to employment (substance abuse, mental health, etc.) are identified and minimized through treatment and close monitoring.
Benefits of hiring individuals under our supervision:
- Pretrial Services and Probation Officers are a direct point-of-contact and will provide continued support by intervening if problems arise.
- Individuals are guided to seek employment in areas in which interest and abilities meet the work requirements; thus improving the likelihood of job retention.
- By reducing the risk of re-offending behavior, the community benefits with safer neighborhoods.
- Employed perons under supervision become tax-paying citizens.
- Many individuals must maintain employment and submit to random drug testing as conditions of supervision.
- We are engaged with many community partners who can provide wrap-around services to those who are ready and motivated to change.