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Criminal Records Are Keeping Millions Of Men Out Of The Workforce

January 25, 2017, on Criminal Defense Articles |

Fighting conviction with the help of federal drug defense attorneys is of vital importance for many reasons. One big reason why you want to fight hard against being convicted of a crime is to avoid being left with a criminal record. If you are convicted of a crime and you have a record, this can make it very difficult for you to find work. Vice recently reported on the challenges that many people face in getting jobs after they have served their time. 

The fact it is so hard for those with convictions to find work is not good for anyone. Recidivism rates are higher if a person cannot find a job after incarceration, and the potential for rehabilitation is lost. To try to tackle this issue, New York is making it easier for companies to hire people with past convictions.

The Difficulty of Finding Work With a Criminal Record

According to Vice, more than 600,000 people annually are released from state prison or federal prisons after serving their time.  With high mass incarceration rates and so many people being jailed and released each year, there are now millions of people with felony criminal records who are looking to rebuild their lives.

A significant portion of men, in particular, have criminal records and have served time in jail.  Around 13 percent of the male population has a criminal record, and African American men are disproportionately represented among those with felony convictions.

Unfortunately, the millions of men with criminal records will find it very difficult to get work. The high percentage of male felons who struggle to get hired helps to explain why males between the ages of 25 and 54 are leaving the labor force in record numbers.

After World War II, 98 percent of men during their prime working years either had jobs or were trying to find employment. Today, only 89 percent of men in this age group are employed or looking for work. In total, around seven million men are not working and between a quarter and a third of them may have criminal convictions that led them to give up on finding legitimate work.

New York is taking comprehensive steps to try to ensure employers can give some of these convicted felons a chance to rebuild their lives. In December of last year, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued a new regulation, Insurance Regulation 209, which will take effect in July of 2017. The new regulation forbids an insurance company from denying commercial crime insurance to a business within New York that employs people with past convictions.   Commercial crime insurance is insurance protecting employers from theft, burglary, and similar offenses.

New York law outlines eight factors in its corrections laws which set policy for hiring people with past criminal convictions. A wide variety of factors are taken into account by employers, including how long it has been since the conviction. Now, employers who follow the guidelines for hiring convicted felons will no longer need to worry about whether they will be denied insurance coverage they need.

While it is good New York is trying to make hiring people with past convictions easier, life is still likely to continue to be harder for someone with a criminal record. Work with the attorneys at The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC to try to avoid conviction if you are charged so you will not find yourself in a position where your record prevents you from finding work.

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