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Urban Institute: Criminal Background Checks and Access to Jobs - Promising Practices?

How is your program handling the unique employment issues facing your formerly incarcerated learners?  Do you know what those challenges are, and what best practices look like in programs that actively work to address them?

This 2017 report, from the Urban Institute, reviews publicly available court records, and employer-specific labor market datasets, from Washington D.C. to assess the challenges faced by these individuals, and identifies promising practices that link and build relationships with local employers.  It also points out the need for more research to inform future policy. 

Practitioners would benefit from more clear information on how different types of criminal background check requirements vary based on job industry; whether employers that require lower educational attainment and fewer years of experience conduct criminal background checks more often; and a better estimate of people with criminal records who are denied employment based on inaccurate and incomplete criminal background reports.  

If you read this report, I encourage you to share how it resonates with you.  What are your strategies, and promising practices, for building relationships between the formerly incarcerated and local employers?

Mike Cruse    

Career Pathways Moderator