adeshina emmanuel

Adeshina Emmanuel of the Chicago Reporter, explores the possible reforms that may eliminate job barriers for ex-offenders.

Ex-offenders are expected to pay their debt to society, join the workforce and move on with their lives. But some laws and company policies bar employment to people with criminal records regardless of their qualifications or how long in the past their offenses occurred, making it extremely difficult for them to become contributing members of society.

Victor Dickson is CEO of the Safer Foundation, an organization that helps people with criminal records find employment. Although his agency’s clients are eager to get a job, he said “they have a lot working against them.”

“They may have $20 and the clothes on their back and that’s just about it,” Dickson said. “They may walk out of prison owing thousands and thousands of dollars in child support. They may have other fines that they still are responsible for…They know that they need to make a contribution to their family… Certainly there’s a strong pull for them to come back and get back into the routine that got them incarcerated in the first place.”

Read more at the Chicago Reporter.

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