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:


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:


Employment and Recidivism

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Saturday - March 03, 2012.

Lancaster:  With so many people currently unemployed and looking for work, why help people coming out of prison to get a job?

There's evidence that doing so can:

  • Reduce crime rates
  • Rreduce homelessness
  • Reduce parole violations
  • Reduce recidivism

Helping people coming out of prison and back into the Lancaster County community to find employment is one essential part of the RMO program. The Lancaster RMO's Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS*) team will be offering a training for professionals in social services and corrections who work with clients with criminal records. Here are the details:

Study Calculates Losses to the Economy from Incarceration

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Saturday - February 04, 2012.

Washington, DC: A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research uses Bureau of Justice Statistics data to estimate that, in 2008, the United States had between 12 and 14 million ex-offenders of working age. Because a prison record or felony conviction greatly lowers ex-offenders' prospects in the labor market, we estimate that this large population lowered the total male employment rate that year by 1.5 to 1.7 percentage points. In GDP terms, these reductions in employment cost the U.S. economy between $57 and $65 billion in lost output.  For a downloadable copy of the article, click here.

Estimates suggest that in 2008 there were between 5.4 and 6.1 million ex-prisoners (compared to a prison population of about 1.5 million and a jail population of about 0.8 million in that same year). The calculations from the study also suggest that in 2008 there were between 12.3 and 13.9 million ex-felons.  In 2008, about one in 33 working-age adults was an ex-prisoner and about one in 15 working-age adults was an ex-felon. About one in 17 adult men of working-age was an ex-prisoner and about one in 8 was an ex-felon.

An extensive body of research has established that a felony conviction or time in prison makes individuals significantly less employable. It is not simply that individuals who commit crimes are less likely to work in the first place, but rather, that felony convictions or time in prison act independently to lower the employment prospects of ex-offenders.