Increasing Job Opportunities for Formerly Incarcerated Black Men
Date:  09-25-2015

Job training programs help chip away at barriers that people with a criminal history encounter
Although employment rates in some parts of the country have gone up slightly over the past year, the Urban Institute reports that African American communities have failed to see an uptick in employment, claiming, “Many of these African American communities lack job opportunities, and few people living there have connections to jobs outside the community. Schools in these areas frequently lack the resources to prepare people adequately for today’s jobs or are deemed by many employers to be inferior, leaving graduates at the end of the job-hiring queue.”

But the mass incarceration of African American men must also be considered when discussing the of lack job opportunities. According to the Urban Institute:

“Many employers either ask about felony convictions on their job applications or use a service to check whether prospective employees have been arrested (even if those arrests did not lead to convictions). Newspaper accounts and crime statistics verify that African American men are more likely to be caught up in the criminal justice system, sometimes solely due to the fact that they live in communities that are heavily monitored by the police, which means that these hiring policies have a larger effect on them than on other job applicants.”

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