Skip to main content
Cornell University mobile logo


The Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative (CJEI) of the Labor and Employment Law Program provides criminal records and employment law training to job seekers who have been involved in the criminal legal system, assists employers in rethinking their approach to hiring, engages in research to study reentry practices, and influences policy makers and legislators on criminal justice reform.

In the News

Cannabis Careers for Justice-Involved

Timothy McNutt, Director of ILR's Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative, participated in the NYS AFL-CIO’s Union Strong Podcast about “Adult-Use Cannabis – Building a new industry from the ground up in a way that will raise revenue, create good union jobs, and address social, racial, and economic equity."

ILR Initiative Bridging Gap Between Legal System, Employment

ILR’s Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative will help the Port Authority hire job candidates with criminal records.
Port Authority Training

Cornell Trains Incarcerated Men at Tompkins County Jail

ILR Inequality and Work Theme Project involves students, staff, and faculty working together to remove barriers to employment for people with criminal records in Tompkins County Jail through a multifaceted educational program focusing on employment laws and rights related to a criminal record, covering federal, state, and local laws.
Tompkins County Teaching - Tim

ILR’s Prison Job Fair Opens Doors for Incarcerated

Twelve employers, along with a former inmate now working as a union carpentry representative, met with 78 incarcerated men Oct. 4 at the Queensboro Correctional Facility in New York City.

ILR Program Helps People with Criminal Records Return to Workforce

Through the Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative, School of Industrial and Labor Relations legal experts are helping people with criminal records get jobs – an effort that not only changes the course of people’s lives, but helps employers find motivated workers at a time of historically low unemployment.
NY Retail Council Training

ILR Course Educates Incarcerated Individuals On Employment Rights at NYC Correctional Facility

The “Know Your Employment Rights” course operated by Cornell’s ILR CJEI covers employment rights and strategies for reintegrating the incarcerated population into the workforce after their release.
Cayuga Training Class

ILR Teaches Employment Rights at Correctional Facility

Every other Friday, individuals incarcerated at the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Queens, New York, take the three-hour Know Your Employment Rights course on employment rights taught by the ILR Labor and Employment Law Program.
The ILR team working at Queensboro includes, from left, Timothy McNutt, Esta Bigler, Rachel Colman and Rachel Joseph.

Listen: Cornell Collaboration Delivers Hope

Listen to Esta Bigler ’70, in a conversation with Cornell colleague Rob Scott, discuss her work with incarcerated men seeking jobs.
Cayuga Correctional - Esta Teaching

Listen: Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance

Esta Bigler speaks with Rashawn Davis, a policy analyst at The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, about why employment is an important component of reducing recidivism and increasing safety.
Rashawn Davis interviewing Esta Bigler

ILR School Program Remedies Class-Action Settlement

As part of a landmark class-action settlement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and African-American and Latino plaintiffs represented by Outten & Golden, ILR’s Labor and Employment Law Program is slated to begin a $4.9 million contract with the law firm.
justice scales