Something we don’t always consider when building a team of employees is Second Chance Hiring. In the United States, where overcriminalization is a huge problem, the amount of prospective employees in our pool of applicants with a criminal record is very high. How high? Well, our guest today shares the staggering numbers with us and how business leaders can not only help turn lives around but can also discover a very loyal and engaged team member.
Our guest today is Jessica Smith. Jessica is the director of The Criminal Justice Innovation Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also an established lawyer, which is an unusual type of guest to have on this podcast. This unique perspective is exactly why I asked her to chat with us today about the consequences of criminal records, second-chance initiatives, and the compelling stories that illustrate the impact of both.
What We Talked About in This Episode:
- The Mission and Work Behind the Criminal Justice Innovation Lab
- Overcriminalization in the United States
- The Impact of Criminal Records of Minor Offenses
- The Difference Between Second Chance and Clean Slate Initiatives
- Hiring Someone with Misdemeanor and Felony Criminal Records
- The Sentence of a Life in Poverty
- Change Among Policymakers and Businesses Regarding Second Chance Hiring
- Loyalty and Low Turnover Among Second Chance Employees
- How Jessica Trains and Educates Organizations About Second Chance Hiring
- Perceived and Actual Risk Mitigation
- Partnering with Companies That Support Those Seeking Re-Entry
- Business Profitability Versus Charity
- Compelling Stories That Illustrate The Benefits of Second Chance Hiring
About Our Guest:
Jessica Smith is a W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began with the School of Government in 2000 after practicing law in Washington, D.C., and clerking for judges in North Carolina. She is also the director of The Criminal Justice Innovation Lab which seeks to promote a fair and effective criminal justice system, public safety, and economic prosperity. It works by engaging a broad range of stakeholders to examine the criminal justice system through an evidence-based perspective and promoting the use of a rigorous evidence-based approach to criminal justice policy.
To reach Jessica, go to The Criminal Justice Innovation Lab’s website: www.cjil.sog.unc.edu
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