Using case studies of ex-offenders who have been fired from jobs because of their criminal convictions decades ago followed by crime-free living and good employment records, this paper reviews the nature and benefits of "redemption" research, which provides actuarial evidence on time frames of non-offending after which ex-offenders pose no more risk for offending than a person with no criminal record.
The need for such research has become evident from the outcomes of cases in which ex-offenders have brought lawsuits against employers who fired them for criminal convictions incurred years ago. These cases have failed in court because of a lack of scientific evidence regarding the length of crime-free time that must pass before an ex-offender poses no higher risk of offending than a person with no criminal history. Without the benefits of such research, ex-offenders will be at risk for losing or failing to gain employment no matter how long they have been crime-free. Although there are no examples of successful civil rights lawsuits that have used "redemption" research findings to regain lost employment, there is evidence from a failed case that the introduction of such research findings could have a beneficial impact on such cases. The case cited is El v. SEPTA. In another case cited, Gregory Walton and Eartha Britton have filed suit against the Cincinnati Public School System. Britton and Waldon are currently pursuing legal recourse in a Federal district court (Walden et al. v. CPS). 10 notes
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Date Published: October 1, 2014