The Path to a Fresh Start Begins with Work—and More Companies are Starting to Realize It

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Should your life be defined by a past mistake? For millions of Americans with nonviolent, nonsexual criminal records, their lives are stunted or on hold even years after they served time due to barriers to work. 

More than 600,000 people leave prison each year, and more than 60 percent of these individuals remain unemployed a year after rejoining society. Why? In many cases, there are barriers to employment. Work is redeeming, plays a significant role in preventing dependency, and is a strong indicator of how likely someone is to re-offend. Research has shown that once a nonviolent offender is crime-free for three to four years, they are no more likely to commit a crime than the average person. 

Providing someone the opportunity to get their foot in the door and climb the economic ladder is the foundation of our country. And, it’s an opportunity that needs to be extended to more people, which is why JP Morgan’s announcement that it’s opening its hiring pool to more people with criminal records is welcome news.