Sixteen years ago, the federal government enacted the Second Chance Act, which resulted in grants to local and state governments and organizations to create programs to help hire employees reentering the workforce after incarceration. (People may be surprised to know that nearly 80 million Americans have a criminal history, which includes arrests and convictions.)

The impetus for the program was the realization that if people are released from prison and not hired because of their criminal history, chances were great they would return to prison, a phenomenon known as recidivism.

In 2017, the Prison Fellowship organization successfully lobbied to make April “Second Chance Month,” to raise awareness. President Joe Biden’s statement this year included: “America was founded on the promise of new beginnings.”

Fortunately, Americans have taken this initiative to heart, with many states enacting laws giving applicants with criminal histories opportunities to work.

Legal Locator Service can help you navigate the laws about hiring people with criminal histories. Municipalities and states have different requirements and exceptions. Call Legal Locator Service at 866-225-2435 (toll-free) or 503-697-5821. We are a Certified Women-Owned Business. Multilingual speaking office.