For Advocates

Expanding the labor pool to better include justice-involved individuals poses challenges to employers potential employees, and reentry organizations. Some of the most significant barriers to the process of hiring people with criminal records include: 

  • Employers' fear of negligent hiring lawsuits
  • Lack of knowledge about how to evaluate a candidate with a criminal record
  • Outdated statutory bans on occupational licensing
  • Inability to read and understand often complex information on background checks
  • Errors on criminal records
  • The social stigma of involvement with the justice system
  • How to discuss a criminal record

To assist reentry organizations, nonprofits, and advocacy groups, CJEI developed a multifaceted educational program that focuses on employment laws and rights related to a criminal record, covering federal, state, and local laws. We have delivered customized training to justice-involved individuals, including incarcerated men at the Queensboro Correctional Facility, as well to as law enforcement personnel and advocates. Additionally, we have offered specialized training to employers in multiple employment sectors (i.e., healthcare, retail) about their rights and responsibilities related to this issue. CJEI has developed resources, including easy-to-understand brochures for both job seekers and employers, as well as a website for prospective employees that explains federal, state, and local laws (www.cjei.cornell.edu).