Why hire returning citizens?

on Sunday - August 30, 2015.

The Huffington Post recently released an article titled “Five Bottom Line Reasons Why Employers Should Hire Ex-Felons”. The article brings to light the relationship between recidivism and employment, statistics from the Bureau of Justice regarding returning ex-offenders, and the new movement for The National Hire Ex-Felons Campaign. The article reinforces the idea that the longer an ex-offender stays unemployed, the more likely they are to seek other means of income, often leading them to reoffend.

There is a stigma of risk attached to hiring ex-felons. However, hiring members of this vast population returning to society brings with it opportunities to pay back debts to society, provide for families, and reduce the rates of recidivism. The article states 5 main reasons employers should hire these returning citizens:

  1. Hiring incentives for employers such as tax credits, subsidies, and bonds.

  2. Employee reliability with lower turnover rates.

  3. Hiring opportunity due to a massive pool of employable ex-felons that are often already undergoing drug testing and supervision.  

  4. Economic impact in turning a “criminal liability into a community asset”.

  5. Crime market disruption by providing acceptable means of income to individuals that are at risk of reoffending.  

At the Lancaster County CareerLink, the staff of the Reentry Employment program specialize in helping clients overcome barriers to employment when they have a criminal background. CareerLink is a resource where these individuals can go to receive education, skills training, employment counseling, and job hunting assistance.

The original Huffington Post article is available at: