For Employees

The Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative (CJEI) has been examining barriers to employment for people with criminal records for over a decade. Nearly one in three U.S. adults - 70 million Americans - has a criminal record on file that may be reported on a routine background check. Having even a minor criminal record, such as a misdemeanor or even an arrest without a conviction, can present obstacles to employment. Communities of color are disproportionately affected: Black men are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men, and Hispanic men are two-and-a-half times more likely to be incarcerated than white men. 

As a result, CJEI, in collaboration with employers, advocates, government agencies, and community stakeholders, developed a multifaceted educational program that focuses on employment laws and rights related to a criminal record, covering federal, state and local laws. We deliver customized training to justice-involved individuals, including incarcerated men at the Queensboro Correctional Facility. 

Resources for People with Criminal Records

CJEI has developed resources, including easy-to-understand brochures for job seekers and a website for prospective employees that explains federal, state, and local laws ( 

General Information

The links below provide information about background checks, which may be helpful for prospective employees to better understand what is revealed in a background check and what they may be able to do about it. 


The links below provide information for young people with criminal records to find: employment after release; transitional job programs for the justice-involved; help in preventing recidivism; alternatives to incarceration; and reentry services.