As former prisoners and other individuals with a criminal history face struggles in applying for jobs, many employers might pause at their past record when hiring. President Barack Obama has announced a series of measures that will assist former prisoners as they continue to integrate back into society, along with asking federal employers to delay inquiries into a prospective employee’s criminal past.
The White House released a fact sheet ahead of President Obama’s visit to Newark, N.J. this morning to join Sen. Cory Booker and Newark mayor Ras Baraka. Obama will announce the measures in full, which also includes educational and training programs for the formerly jailed as well.
From the fact sheet:
Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons. Advancing policies and programs that enable these men and women to put their lives back on track and earn their second chance promotes not only justice and fairness, but also public safety. That is why this Administration has taken a series of concrete actions to reduce the challenges and barriers that the formerly incarcerated confront, including through the work of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a cabinet-level working group to support the federal government’s efforts to promote public safety and economic opportunity through purposeful cross-agency coordination and collaboration.
The President has also called on Congress to pass meaningful criminal justice reform, including reforms that reduce recidivism for those who have been in prison and are reentering society. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, which recently received a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, would be an important step forward in this effort, by providing new incentives and opportunities for those incarcerated to participate in the type of evidence-based treatment and training and other programs proven to reduce recidivism, promote successful reentry, and help eliminate barriers to economic opportunity following release. By reducing overlong sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, the bill would also free up additional resources for investments in other public safety initiatives, including reentry services, programs for mental illness and addiction, and state and local law enforcement.
Read the entire details of President Barack Obama’s measures to aid prospective employees as they reintegrate into society here.