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Training and Preparing Inmates for Post-Prison Employment

NCJ Number
248574
Date Published
December 2014
Length
2 pages
Author(s)
Doris Wells
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Issue Overview
Annotation
This article reviews a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded study which indicated that a prison record has a negative effect on employment, especially for black and Hispanic high-risk populations.
Abstract
In his Research for the Real World presentation, based on a study funded by the National Institute of Justice on race and ethnicity (NCJ 245440), Scott Decker indicated that he and fellow researchers found that a prison record has a negative effect on employment, especially for the high-risk populations of blacks and Hispanics. To counteract this, Decker and his fellow researchers recommend that correctional institutions should train and prepare inmates for the challenges of the current employment environment. In the three-year study that included both online and in-person application processes and an employer survey, Decker and his fellow researchers' goal was to determine the effect of a prison sentence on employment prospects. The researchers wanted to know whether the effect of a prison sentence on someone's future employment was affected by race, ethnicity, and sex. Consistent with prior findings, the researchers found differences by race and ethnicity, with black and Hispanic ex-offenders generally faring worse than white ex-offenders. The differences were more significant for the in-person interview process, but nonetheless, the researchers found that a prison record has a negative effect on job prospects, particularly in the low-skill food service sector, where exoffenders are likely to seek employment during reentry. The employer survey revealed that employers strongly preferred hiring individuals with no prior criminal justice record. The employers associated a prison record with a number of negative work-related characteristics, including tardiness and the inability to get along with co-workers.
Date Created: January 15, 2015