Myths about employing people with criminal records
- Ex-offenders are only capable of doing manual or repetitive work
- Ex-offenders are not educated
- Ex-offenders are un-reliable - they arrive late or not at all
- Ex-offenders are a high risk
- Someone will always have to be watching over them
- Other employees will not work with them
- The existence of criminal convictions is an indication of being untrustworthy.
- Many people assume that ex-offenders have a basic character flat that is not found in the "normal" population
- An ex-offender would not be a conscientious worker and would only be working for the money
- People do not put their past behind them
- Our company policy excludes ex-offenders because of the type of work involved or legal restrictions.
Reality about employing people with criminal records
- People with criminal records come from all areas of our society
- Nearly one in three have graduated high school and/or college.
- In general, they are as reliable as other workers
- It is policy of the U.S. Probation Office to notify employers of any third party risk.
- Ex-offenders are people who have committed a crime and who have worked through their punishments. Most of them want to make a fresh start.
- There is no need for employees other than line managers to know of the employee's past. You'll be surprised how quickly an ex-offender will fit in, given the opportunity.
- In the vast majority of cases, these are "normal" people who have made a mistake and are ready to put it behind them.
- Most ex-offenders feel they have something to prove and will be conscientious workers.
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 32 adults were either on probation or incarcerated at the end of 2001.
- It is a common misunderstanding that certain professions and trade licenses bar people with criminal records. In fact, refusal is determined by type of offense, not by the existence of one.
Assessing a conviction
Assessing a conviction to make a reasoned judgment about risk is a fairly simple process. It involves checking a person's criminal history against the following criteria:
- What is the relevance of the offense(s) to the job being applied for?
- How long ago did the offense(s) occur?
- How many times has the person offended?
- What are the nature and seriousness of the offense(s)?
- Evaluate the background to the offenses; (circumstances often change, i.e. drug dependency, homelessness, etc.).
- Were the offenses work related?
- What is the person's attitude regarding the offense(s)?