Key Takeaways :
While 1 in 3 adult Americans have had some involvement with the criminal justice system, nearly half of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed one year after leaving prison.
“Ban the box” efforts have supported more companies in hiring individuals with past convictions. At JP Morgan, 2,100 justice-involved people were hired in 2020 — roughly 10 percent of the company's new hires that year.
While the expungement of criminal records helps increase employment, many eligible Americans don’t or simply can’t wipe clean their eligible records. One report found that less than 7 percent of those who qualify for expungement in Michigan obtain it within five years of becoming eligible.
Despite having served their sentences, those who return home from incarceration face significant barriers when attempting to reenter the workforce. Jamie Dimon, chairman, and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Company, writes in his New York Times op-ed about the importance of Fair Chance hiring and the positive impact companies can make by considering practices like “Ban the Box,” expungement efforts, and developing deep partnerships with community organizations. Dimon also discusses the general lack of affordable and accessible expungement resources and stresses the ongoing need for policy change, especially “clean slate” efforts that can help automatically seal and expunge records for individuals with past convictions.