"Hiring the Formerly Incarcerated: A Resource, Not A Burden"
In celebration of Second Chance Month 2021, The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) hosted a one-of-a-kind virtual event to discuss the business case for “second chance” hiring: “A Hire Calling.” The event featured nationally known CEOs and people who have created thriving careers post-incarceration and included the premiere of “The Road Home,” a short feature video and a “fireside chat” featuring “second chance” expert and author Jeff Korzenik and Master of Ceremonies David Snyder, CEO and President of Economic Club of Chicago President. The Partnership’s CEO and host, Karin M. Norington-Reaves, opened the event by setting the stage for the unique, important dialogue and presentation:
“Data shows that 60% of people incarcerated in Illinois return to 15 communities in Cook County and 12 zip codes in Chicago. The need to ensure that these individuals receive access to resources, including employment training and job placement, is more critical than ever before."
All across the country, as the economy surges and employers struggle to find enough workers, individuals with felony and other criminal records are finding a sliver of a silver lining in the dark cloud of the pandemic.
State leaders discuss recent transformative policies that offer a model for state and federal policymakers to put second chances within reach for workers and families facing the stigma of a criminal record.
As of May 2021, Stateline found a dozen bills introduced across 10 states this year that push for automatic clearing, expungement or sealing of criminal records.