Connecticut's Malta Justice Initiative Publishes New Survey on Practices and Attitudes Regarding the Hiring of Formerly-Incarcerated Persons
Date:  01-09-2017

95 percent of employers believe in giving people convicted of non-violent crimes a second chance...with provisions
From Malta Justice Initative:

Highlights of Malta’s employer survey regarding the hiring of formerly incarcerated persons:

Why This Survey?

  • Prior research strongly suggests that holding a job during the first year following release is the single most important factor as to whether a releasee ends up back in prison.

  • In Connecticut, well over half of releasees end up back in prison within three years, thereby costing the taxpayers as much as $51,000 per inmate per year.

  • It is estimated that as many as 60% of ex-offenders do not hold a legitimate job one year after release.

  • Significantly, research indicates that 93% of those who found and held jobs during their period of supervised release avoided a return to prison.

  • If we are serious about giving second chances, promoting reintegration, reducing recidivism and saving money for taxpayers, we must do whatever can practicably be done to enhance the job prospects of those with a past criminal record.

    Key Findings

  • Nearly 95% of respondents agree that hiring an ex-offender has the potential to turn them into a productive member of society and 97% agree that those with a non-violent criminal record deserve a second chance.

  • The Malta survey found a strong willingness among Connecticut employers to hire formerly-incarcerated persons under certain circumstances, particularly if the perceived risks are mitigated and/or incentives are provided:

  • if the ex-offender is trained for a job the employer has difficulty filling (77%);

  • if the applicant has been drug- and crime-free for at least three years (63%);

  • if tax credits are made available and/or healthcare costs are underwritten for up to two years (73%);

  • if salary or training costs are subsidized (76%);

  • if immunity is provided for the conduct of the ex-offender while on the job, thereby insulating employers from suits for negligent hiring or supervision (77%); and

  • there is support (52%) for making it unlawful to discriminate against ex-offenders without sufficient justification (particularly if no private right of action is available to job applicants, thereby minimizing the threat of a spate of additional employment lawsuits).

    Specific Recommendations

  • Minimize risks for employers through immunity protection.

  • Use savings from right-sizing our prisons to incentivize employers with grants and vouchers.
  • Expunge criminal records after 3-5 years if an ex-offender stays clean.

  • Enact an anti-discrimination law, but with no private cause of action.

    Read the full Malta Employer Survey report here.