HIRING INDIVIDUALS ON CORRECTIONAL SUPERVISION
Benefits of Hiring Individuals on Correctional Supervision
With proper referral and recruitment procedures, you will hire an individual that is hired based on the individual’s merit and skills as with any other applicant.
Probation/Parole officers are a direct point of contact and resource for the employer and can assist with employee retention.
As a condition of supervision, the individual must maintain employment and submit to random drug testing.
Individuals are guided to job seek in areas that they have the interest and abilities to meet the work requirements for which they are job seeking.
It means success for the community by reducing the costs to multiple public services and reducing the overall risk to community members.
The person becomes a tax-paying citizen.
Research shows us that 97% of the 1.3 million inmates will eventually be released (Barnett & Parent, 2002) and that 83% of offenders who violated probation/parole, were unemployed (NY Dept of Labor, undated)
Myths About Employing People With Criminal Records
- Myth: People with criminal records (PWCR) are only capable of doing manual or repetitive work.
- Fact: PWCR come from all areas of our society and have a wide range of employment experience.
- Myth: PWCR are unreliable-they arrive late or not at all.
- Fact: PWCR are carefully monitored and since they are required to be successfully employed to advance through the correctional system they are often more reliable than the general public
- Myth: PWCR are high risk
- Fact: PWRC are not a higher risk and the employer has up front knowledge of what to expect and a support system to keep the risk low.
- Myth: Someone will always have to watching over them.
- Fact: PWRC are people who committed a crime and who have worked through their punishment. Most of them want to make a fresh start.
- Myth: Other employees will not want to work with the PWCR.
- Fact: There is no need for employees other than line managers to know of the employee’s past. You’ll be surprised how quickly an ex-offender will fit in, given the opportunity.
- Myth: The existence of criminal convictions is an indication of being untrustworthy.
- Fact: Many people assume that PWCR have a basic character flaw that is not found in the "normal" population. In most cases, they are "normal" people who have made a mistake and are ready to put it behind them.
- Myth: A PWCR would not be a conscientious worker and would only be working for the money.
- Fact: Most PWCR feel they have a responsibility to pay back the community for their past behavior and are loyal, conscientious workers.
- Myth: Our company policy excludes PWCR because of the type of work involved or legal restrictions.
- Fact: It is a common misunderstanding that certain professions and trade licenses bar PWCR. In fact refusal is determined by type of offense not by the existence of an offense.
Two programs were established specifically to help the employer hire PWRC:
Federal Bonding Program (www.Bonds4jobs.com) and Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), www.iowaworkforce.org/access/wotc.html
Assessing a Conviction
It is impossible to produce a list of those convictions that should be taken into account, and those that should not, any more than health conditions can be split into relevant and irrelevant conditions.
Assessing a conviction to make a reasoned judgment about risk is a fairly simple process. It involves checking a person’s criminal history against the following criteria:
- Relevance of the offense(s) to the job being applied for.
- How long ago the offense(s) occurred?
- How many times has the person offended?
- Nature and seriousness of the offense(s).
- Background to the offenses (circumstances often change, i.e. drug dependency, homelessness, etc.).
- Were the offenses work related?
- Person’s attitude regarding the offense(s)
- What has the person done since being convicted of the offense (treatment, education, work, skill development, volunteer)?
If you are an employer or know of an employer who is interested in hiring an individual under correctional supervision;
please contact me for more information.
All information is kept confidential.
Department of Correctional Services
1000 Washington Ave
Des Moines, IA 50314
Iowa Workforce Development
430 E Grand
Des Moines, IA 50309