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Consequences of a Prison Record for Employment: How Do Race, Ethnicity & Gender Factor In?

Dr. Scott Decker, Ph.D., Arizona State University

Scientific studies have long documented the negative impact of a prison record on a person's ability to find employment. But what is the impact when gender and race/ethnicity are factored in? Also, most jobs are now advertised online — so how does this affect the ability of former prisoners to find a job?

Dr. Scott Decker and his colleagues have recently completed an in-depth examination of the roles of race, gender, and education in one of the greatest social challenges facing our nation today: employment for criminal offenders returning to the community. The findings — including the impact of having some post-high school education — may surprise you. Based on the results of this three-year study, Dr. Decker makes recommendations that could be critically important as decision-makers craft pre- and post-release policies and strategies to help more than 600,000 criminal offenders who return to the community every year, particularly in this increasingly online world.

Date Published: February 1, 2014