Reentry Employment Strategies

Asheville bans criminal record questions on job applications

Sunday, January 17, 2016 09:32PM from Channel 11 ABC news, Raliegh NC


Asheville, one of the region’s biggest employers, is eliminating any question about criminal convictions from most job applications, a change planned for some time in January.

When the change is made, applicants will still go through a criminal background check, just later in the hiring process. The change will help cut unemployment and recidivism among a growing population with criminal records, a number for which no local count exists but that totals 1.6 million in North Carolina. That is according to employment law experts and “ban the box” advocates, a slogan referring to the box job applicants are asked to check for criminal convictions. To read the rest click here


Can hiring former prisoners be rewarding?

“Most employers would say they believe in the idea of second chances and fresh starts, but when it comes down to it, they haven’t thought about what it means for their business,” she says. “There is a lot of fear associated with it, and understandably so.” To read this article at Benefitspro click here. 

Reducing Re-incarceration and Joblessness

The Council of State Governments Justice Center released Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness, a white paper that provides a new tool that can be used as a starting point for cross-systems collaborations to reduce re-incarceration and unemployment among adults with criminal histories.


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) new rules regarding the hiring of the formerly incarcerated.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted to pass updated guidelines on the hiring of individuals with criminal records.  The updated guidance provides employers with greater clarity on the fair use of background checks, in order to help the vast majority of employers who are often unaware of federal civil rights laws and how criminal record based discrimination can serve as a surrogate for race based discrimination.  The guidance will also go a long way to educate job seekers with criminal records who face tremendous challenges in navigating the expanded use of criminal background checks for employment in today’s competitive job market. Click to read about the changes.


Reducing Employment Barriers for People with Arrest Records and Convictions – National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Please check out this powerful Power Point presentation from Michelle Natividad Rodriguez,  National Employment Law Project,  that addresses reducing employment barriers for people with arrests and convictions. Please click for the presentation and  for the NELP homepage


More than 92 million individuals have a criminal history on file in state databases, according to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Having a criminal past can haunt a person’s future, especially when it comes to seeking employment. Yet a new CareerBuilder survey shows that companies are open to giving people a second chance. According to the study, 51 percent of human-resource managers reported that their organization has hired someone with a criminal record. The study included 2,298 U.S. hiring managers and human-resource professionals and was conducted between May 14 and June 4, 2012. To read more, click here.


National HIRE Network

The National HIRE network has the objective of increasing the number of job opportunities that are available to individuals that have criminal records. Click here to access their webpage. Click here to read their “National Blueprint for Reentry” pdf file.


Center for Employment Opportunities

Findings from an independent, random-assignment evaluation of CEO programs show that people who enroll in CEO have significantly lower rates of recidivism on a variety of measures—including a 40 percent reduction in re incarceration for a new crime—two years after joining the program, an effect rarely seen in rigorous studies such as the one CEO underwent. They have a pdf file entitled “The Power of Work”, that you can download to view by clicking here. Access their website here.


Smart Solutions for Employers

Information helpful for employers, who may be considered hiring  formerly incarcerated persons. Click here for the PDF


Employment specialists for the “formerly incarcerated” UPDATED Aug 12 2016

Click here to get a PDF file of North Carolina local and state branch offices for former offender specialists / Employment Security Commission. The Former Offender Initiative (FOI) began in 2008, assigning one state coordinator and identifying local office specialists as the “go to person” for the program.


Can Employers Play a Major Role In Prisoner Reentry?

Click here for a 17 page pdf file that describes the barriers, as well as possible remedies, towards the hiring of the “formerly incarcerated”. This is a good report not only for employers, but for those seeking employment with criminal records.


National Employment Law Project (NELP)

Criminal records and employment. Click here to access their website.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Labor

The Inmate Transition Program Branch (ITB) serves to strengthen existing Federal Bureau of
Prisons (BOP) programs and to establish new ones designed to enhance the post release
transition of federal prisoners. This employment information handbook provides prisoners with
contacts and other information that can help them to prepare for release. Free information has
been gathered from a variety of sources including, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Internet web
site, and you may freely copy, share, and use these materials. Click here to download this file.


A Businessman’s Good Reasons for Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Persons

Click here to view the webpage.

Why I Hire Former Convicts and Gang Members

Click here to read this interesting webpage at!


North Carolina Dept of Commerce Former Offender Work Search Guide.

Click here to download the updated pdf file.


Making favor with desserts

DURHAM – “Thirty-six-year-old Keijuane Hester is one serious man who’s on an amazing journey, and cake baking makes it a sweet walk. “We don’t play no games. We are making cakes around here,” said Hester as he proudly looks around his new “baker’s” kitchen.” Read about his amazing return to the “Real World”, at the Triangle Tribune website by clicking here.