Theories How Refusal to Hire Ex-Offenders Research Paper

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How Refusal to Hire Ex-Offenders in Florida is affecting the Recidivism Rate Compared to Other States.

Criminal offenders often commit more crimes after they return to the community. This re-offense performance is known as recidivism. The result of prison or jail sentences on recidivism is a significant matter to those apprehensive with public safety and the cost-effectiveness of putting people in prison. Attitude is split between those supporting longer sentences in the attention of public safety, and those supporting shorter sentences with the supposition that confinement, or longer prison terms, will not decrease recidivism rates (Song and Lieb, 1993). Recidivism can be calculated in a lot of different ways. The majority of correctional agencies calculate the proportion of prisoners released in a fiscal year who return to prison, for technical infringement of community administration or committing a new crime, inside a particular period of time (Schriro, n.d.).

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One of the main obstacles to reentry for offenders is employment. Most companies run criminal background checks on everybody they think about hiring and have changeable levels of anxiety about the criminal records of potential workers. That means that individuals with criminal records are forever vulnerable to being turned down for a job. In a lot of cases, companies may want to hire an otherwise capable person, but they feel that their criminal record proposes a prospect risk of criminal behavior. Without some capability to evaluate whether a person with a criminal record offers a better risk than someone else, they prefer to make a mistake on the side of care and pass them over (NIJ Conference 2009: Remarks by the Attorney General, 2009).

TOPIC: Research Paper on Theories How Refusal to Hire Ex-Offenders in Assignment

New research has established that there may well be a point at which someone that has carried out a crime is no longer at any bigger risk of committing an upcoming crime than someone who has never committed a crime before. This could be revolutionary, because it could offer empirical direction to employers on how to evaluate a possible workers past criminal record, and it would assist to decrease the obstacles for people with criminal records who are attempting in good belief to return themselves in their neighborhoods (NIJ Conference 2009: Remarks by the Attorney General, 2009).

When filling out an employment application, job applicants are characteristically required to give their name, address, education and work history. They also are frequently asked to divulge whether they ever have been charged with or convicted of a crime. A positive response to this criminal history question may lead to the automatic removal of the applicant from the applicant pool, even where the conviction is not pertinent or linked to the available position and even where the applicant is otherwise capable. In this manner, the criminal history question on an employment application represents a primary and sometimes insuperable obstacle that stops people with criminal histories from gaining work and dejects them from applying for available positions in the first place (Henry, 2008).

Employment is a vital part of victorious reentry by people into society. A number of major states have put into place a ground-breaking and cost effective program to encourage the employment of ex-offenders by taking away from public employment applications all questions involving an applicant's criminal history. Prisoner rights supporters had disputed that the presence of the criminal history question on job applications discouraged ex-offenders from applying to jobs for which they were otherwise capable and also lead to employment discrimination based on ex-offender position. Preliminary data signifies that the accomplishment and effectiveness of the policy vary significantly between states. Considerable boundaries of the policies should be looked at in order to make sure that the planned outcome of increased ex-offender employment (Henry, 2008).

Yet, unemployment amid ex-offenders creates a severe apprehension for policymakers. Criminologists are in near common accord that unemployed persons with a criminal history are more probable to recidivate than their employed complements. Therefore, the employment of people with a criminal history is a vital part of triumphant and productive reentry to society. Given the significant role of employment in crime lessening, states often face a policy quandary. Increasingly, ex-offenders are returning home yearly from prison. Upholding the status quo, in which ex-offenders are banned from employment, means that states will likely face high rates of recidivism, along with connected financial, community security and social expenses. Therefore, some states need to begin to experiment with strategies that promoted employment occasions for ex-offenders in an attempt to decrease recidivism, endorse public safety, uphold families and decrease general expenses (Henry, 2008).

Employment discrimination against ex-offenders is common and, in many states, not clearly banned. Only fourteen states forbid employment discrimination against people with criminal convictions: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico and Washington ban discrimination by public employers, while Hawaii, Kansas, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin extend that ban to public and private employers. Even the most complete employment discrimination statutes permit employers to either fire or decline to hire in the first instance a person with a criminal record where there is a rational or direct relationship amid the conviction and the proposed employment. One Hawaiian congressman has enlightened for his support of legislation to expand an employers' authority to reflect on criminal history and to carry out background checks, would result in any conviction bearing a rational association to job qualifications (Henry, 2008).

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than eighty percent of U.S. employers carry out criminal background checks on potential workers. Add two supplementary factors to that equation, progress in information technology and mounting apprehensions about employer liability, one can begin to comprehend how complex the matter of employing ex-offenders has turned out to be. Presently, companies have no empirical direction on when it might be measured safe to fail to notice a past criminal record when hiring an ex-offender for a particular job. Employers usually pick a random number of years for when the significance of a criminal record should end: five or ten years, for instance. It goes without saying that dissimilar kinds of companies will have dissimilar sensitivities about the probable employee's criminal record. It is well-known and extensively acknowledged by criminologists and practitioners alike that recidivism declines increasingly with time clean. Most discovered recidivism takes place inside three years of an arrest and almost definitely inside five years (Blumstein and Nakamura, n.d.).

There are some experts that believe that those performing criminal background checks might find it valuable to know when a person has been clean long enough that they present the same risk as other people in the general population. Employers might also be more likely to utilize this type of analysis if there were state statutes protecting them against due diligence liability claims when they adhered to practical risk-analysis findings. This information can be obtained by using the hazard rate, which is the probability, over time that a person who has remained clean will be arrested. For a person who has been arrested in the past, the hazard rate goes down the longer they stay clean (Blumstein and Nakamura, n.d.).

Hazard Rate for 18-Year-olds: First-Time Offenders Compared

to General Population

Source: Blumstein and Nakamura, n.d.

Background check statute is the expression normally used to portray a statute that necessitates or permits an evaluation of specified issues in a person's past. Covered issues always comprise at least some type of criminal conviction. Background check statutes also provide for looking at criminal history other than convictions, such as arrest records, juvenile records, child maltreatment or susceptible adult reports, or employment history. Look-back period is a term sometimes utilized to portray a statute that only looks back at, or inflicts penalties for, convictions or other matters that took place during a specified period before the background check that is being done. "If a given statute has a limited look-back period in terms of what is checked or what matters have consequences for the ability to get a certain job, license, or permit" (Criminal Background Check Statutes an Overview, 2010).

If one looks at the recidivism rates between Florida, Washington State and Hawaii one can see a big difference. The overall recidivism rate in the state of Florida is 63% (Recidivism Rates in Florida, n.d.). In Washington State the recidivism rate is about 57% (Recidivism of Adult Felons, 2004). The recidivism rate in the state of Hawaii is about 48% (Hawaii Recidivism Study, a Three-Year Baseline Follow-Up Analysis, 2005). The argument can be made that Florida has such a high recidivism rate due to the fact that there is no limit on the amount of time that employers in that state can ask about ones past criminal history. In the state of Washington the limit is ten years and in Hawaii there are no background checks.

State and local governments spend a momentous quantity of cash supporting the criminal justice system, including preservation of large police, parole and probation departments, paying for the expenses of arrest and judicial procedures, and building and upholding correctional facilities. When… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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