On Heels of FIRST STEP Act, Koch Network Takes the Next Step to Give People a Real Second Chance

More than 650,000 individuals are released from prison every year. But studies show 77 percent of people released from prison are rearrested within five years. Research shows a good job significantly decreases the chance someone will re-offend, but more than 15,000 laws and regulations limit job opportunities for people with criminal records.

The FIRST STEP Act, signed into law in December 2018, is a landmark piece of legislation which improves rehabilitation and re-entry opportunities for thousands of incarcerated men and women. But it was only the first step.

Business leaders can take the next step by ending hiring practices that screen out otherwise qualified job applicants because of a criminal record.

Second-Chance Hiring
Will Change Lives

Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, Inc., is urging business leaders to unite and take the next step by ending practices that screen out otherwise qualified job applicants because of a criminal record.

As part of a new national campaign called Getting Talent Back to Work, The Koch Network is partnering with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to release a new toolkit that can help more business leaders adopt best practices for giving more employment opportunities to qualified job applicants with criminal backgrounds.

Thanks to SHRM’s new toolkit, businesses interested in taking the next step now have access to a clear guide that helps them:

  • Understand the legal factors around hiring workers with a criminal background.
  • Apply evidence-based best practices in hiring applicants with a criminal background, and in inclusion programs for them.
  • Get practical guidance from industry leaders in acquiring, developing, and promoting talent including workers with a criminal background.

Research Shows Businesses Support Second Chances

Research conducted by the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) and SHRM shows that managers, employees and human resources professionals are willing and open to hiring and working alongside people with criminal backgrounds.

  • 84 percent of managers were either neutral, willing, or very willing to work with individuals with a criminal record.
  • 88 percent of HR professionals were either neutral, willing, or very willing to work with individuals with a criminal record.
  • About two-thirds of managers and HR professionals said they were either neutral or willing to make the hire.

Through second-chance hiring, businesses can change lives and be a major force for good in their communities. Learn more about the challenge.