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 (www.cjei.cornell.edu). 

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. 

Programs

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.