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Mark of a Criminal Record

NCJ Number
Perspectives Volume: 36 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2012 Pages: 62-69
Beth Skinner, Ph.D.
Date Published
8 pages
This article examines the effect that criminal records have on an ex-offender's chance for employment and reintegration back into the community.
This article examines the difficulties that ex-offenders face when trying to reintegrate back into the community and become gainfully employed. The use of criminal background checks by a growing number of commercial enterprises can be detrimental to job applicants with a criminal record because many of these reports contain information that is often inaccurate and that could be misread by human resources personnel. The article notes that a criminal record can be as permanent as a social security number and that inaccuracies and inconsistencies in criminal databases can often result in ex-offenders being "branded" for years despite having completed their sentences and fulfilled their obligations. The article discusses protections available for ex-offenders who may have difficulty obtaining employment due to faulty information in the databases. The article also discusses the role that correctional agencies can play to ensure that the databases are correct and that employers know how to properly interpret the information contained in the databases. Implications for policymakers are discussed. References