At CJC, we know how many barriers exist for jobseekers with a criminal record. We are also committed to serving agencies that help them find work. Our Frontline Focus Training Institute provides a course called From Records to Re-Entry: Working with Ex-Offenders. Whether you’ve attended this training, and would like some additional materials, or this is the first time you’ve looked to CJC to help you better serve clients with criminal records, we thought we would share some helpful tools.
You may know the occupational overview tool CareerOneStop, but did you know they have a special portal for individuals with criminal records? Their Job Search Help for Ex-Offenders site has useful tools for both job seekers and service providers, such as tips for discussing a conviction during the interview, and common first jobs after release.
Sometimes, employers need support making the decision to give someone a second chance. CareerOneStop also has a Business Center, which provides employers with resources and support when hiring justice involved workers (along with members of other populations, such as older workers, and those who are differently abled). Job developers and other frontline staff can point employers to this site to better understand some benefits and incentives that come with hiring individuals with a criminal record.
A criminal record has consequences that are important to understand. The National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction is a great place to learn about the implications of specific charges on someone’s record (though visitors to the site should know that no online database can replace legal counsel from an attorney). The Collateral Consequences database lets users search for the impact of different offenses (such as “weapons offenses,” “child support offenses,” or “any felony”) on specific areas of life (such as “housing,” “employment,” or “Occupational and professional license and certification”). It can provide consequences at the state level, federal level, or both. A search for the consequences of any felony in Illinois on Employment rights turned up 1481 results. This information can be downloaded as a spreadsheet, allowing anyone to filter and search more precisely for different types of consequences.
Let us know if you find these helpful, and whether you have other tools you rely on to help job seekers with criminal records!