New National Report: Housing as a Platform for Formerly Incarcerated Persons

on Tuesday - May 22, 2012.

A national research partnership group called the "What Works Collaborative" has just published a report on housing as a "pathway toward more successful reentry and reintegration for formerly incarcerated persons." The report covers housing options and barriers for people coming out of prison, and reviews several case studies of specific housing models and the characteristics of those models that can "lead to better outcomes for formerly incarcerated persons." The models reviewed in this report include peer-led, mutual help models such as Oxford Houses, and supportive housing models. In addition, the report highlights the critical connections between housing stability and employment success. Finally, the report outlines areas where additional research is needed to further explore linkages between housing and successful outcomes for people returning to the community after incarceration. The full report is available here

WEBINAR: Understanding the EEOC's New Criminal Records Guidance: Education and Enforcement Opportunities

on Monday - May 21, 2012.

On Wed, May 30, 2012, from 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM EDT, an important webinar for advocates, workers, employers, workforce development specialists and policy makers will offer critical information on how to apply the new EEOC policy to their daily decisions when navigating criminal records for employment.

In addition to detailing the key elements of the new EEOC guidance, the webinar will highlight best practices for employers, helpful implementation strategies for worker advocates, and key considerations for state and local policymakers to explore.

To register, go to:

RMO Success Story: The Heart of a Man

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Friday - May 18, 2012.

After two heart attacks in three months, Lancaster resident, Edward*, was diagnosed with "a bad heart." His doctor told him he needed to stop working, as the strain on his heart could kill him. It was a shock and a devastating blow to the broad-shouldered, muscular 42 year-old former athlete, who has worked steadily since his teen years.

"It's pretty ironic," observed Doug Hopwood, Director of the Transitional Living Center, "because Edward is one of the most genuinely GOOD-hearted people I know, in the non-medical sense of the word. He's incredibly positive and he's doing the right things . . ."

EEOC issues new rules for employers' use of criminal records in employment decisions

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Friday - May 18, 2012.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new rules for how employers may use information about criminal records of applicants and employees when making employment decisions. The EEOC's new "enforcement guidance" document indicates that blanket employment policies that automatically exclude anyone with a criminal record violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Employers can continue to conduct criminal background checks, but the new EEOC guidance document spells out important differences between arrest records and conviction records, how employers need to consider each, and urges employers to establish policies based on individual assessment and consideration rather than blanket policies.

A press release summarizing the new EEOC rules is here:

A Q&A document from the EEOC on the new guidance is here:

And the full Enforcement Guidance document is here: