The Rosenberg Foundation released a new report on the movement to restore employment rights to formerly incarcerated people. Over the last decade, this powerful movement led by formerly incarcerated people has elevated the issue of employment discrimination against people with criminal records and scored significant policy wins at all levels. The new report, “Jobs for All: The Movement to Restore Employment Rights for Formerly Incarcerated People,” provides an overview of the most significant policy wins to date and outlines the priorities that are essential for expanding employment opportunities.
Stable employment is a powerful crime-fighting tool, helping individuals rebuild their lives, take care of themselves and their families and make positive contributions to our communities. Research shows that more than half of those released from prison will be back behind bars within three years. While there are many reasons for recidivism, employment is one of the most significant factors in reducing the number of people with prior records who return to prison or jail.
“Limiting access to jobs and housing not only victimizes formerly incarcerated people, but also generations and generations of children and grandchildren.” – Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children/All of Us or None
A number of important policy reforms in California and across the country are restoring the rights of formerly incarcerated people and reducing employment barriers for people with prior convictions. Our new report details the progress made thus far, and also provides specific calls to action for philanthropy, policymakers and public and private employers for building on successes to expand opportunities.
Philanthropy can play a critical role to ensure that this movement continues to gain strength, that barriers to employment for people with prior convictions are dismantled, and that strong pipelines to quality employment are constructed.
We must continue to work together to help restore the communities that have been torn apart by the failed criminal justice policies of the past.