The Effect of Criminal Background Checks on Hiring of Ex-Offenders

Awarded Scholars:
Shawn D. Bushway, University of Maryland, College Park
Project Date:
Mar 2005
Award Amount:
$30,394
Project Programs:
Future of Work

As increasing numbers of American men—particularly African-American men—serve time in prison, the issue of their successful reintegration into society after incarceration becomes more pressing. Complete reincorporation into society requires that ex-offenders find and hold a job, but employers are traditionally unwilling to hire former prisoners. With support from the Foundation, Shawn D. Bushway of the University of Maryland, College Park, and Michael A. Stoll of UCLA examined whether the recent availability of computerized background checks via the World Wide Web has hurt the employment prospects of ex-offenders. They have compiled a data set of firms in Los Angeles that they used to determine how many employers use background checks and how this figure has changed over time. They then explored the willingness of firms to hire ex-inmates.

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