January Audioconference Will Highlight City Hiring Initiatives Promoting Reentry of People with Criminal Records

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City efforts to assist people with criminal records in reentering the workforce and avoiding recidivism will be featured in a free, hour-long audioconference on Thursday, January 18, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Tune.

The audioconference, titled "Banning the Box: Facilitating the Reentry of Former Offenders into the Workforce and Community" is hosted by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, the National Employment Law Project and the National HIRE Network.

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In the past year, several major U.S. cities, such as Boston; Chicago; St. Paul, Minn.; and San Francisco, have adopted significant policies to limit discrimination in city hiring practices against people with criminal records. The new policies seek to enhance public safety by ensuring that those with records are given employment opportunities to help them become productive members of their communities.

"Implementing this new policy won't be easy, but it's the right thing to do," said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley when he announced his city's reentry initiative. "We cannot ask private employers to consider hiring former prisoners unless the city practices what it preaches."

Building on the momentum and interest generated by these new hiring initiatives, the audioconference will foster discussion on using municipal policy to create a more fair and effective hiring process that expands the qualified pool of applicants available for city jobs while removing unreasonable barriers to employment of people with criminal records.

Public Attitudes Toward Rehabilitation

Polls show that the vast majority of Americans support rehabilitation as a means of improving public safety.

An April 2006 Zogby poll shows that by a 9 to 1 margin (87 percent to 11 percent),Americans favor rehabilitative services as opposed to a punishment-only system of crime prevention. …