The Case for Second Chance Hiring
After decades of harsh criminal justice policies, as many as 100 million Americans now have a criminal record. For too many, the stigma of a past conviction – including felonies, misdemeanors and even arrests that do not result in conviction – is preventing them from finding attractive employment and making a fresh start.
The Georgetown Pivot Program was created both to generate employment opportunities for our graduates, and also to make second chance hiring a more commonly accepted practice. Our strategy is to target “early adopter” employers who share our mission and want to support the program by helping us to prove the model and recruit other potential employment partners.
Second chance hiring is not preferential treatment; it is simply equal treatment through the elimination of unnecessary systemic barriers. Even in jurisdictions with “Ban the Box” policies, it is common for returning citizens to make it through to the final stage of the hiring process, only to be eliminated upon receipt of a background check report that may contain outdated or inaccurate information. In “best practice” settings, applicants would be given an opportunity to respond, rather than be subject to automatic elimination.
An increasing number of employers here in the DMV area are welcoming returning citizens into their organizations, and finding out just how loyal and productive they can be. To learn more, check out these employer resources and toolkits.
Employ A Pivot Program Fellow
The success of the Pivot Program depends crucially on the support and engagement of our local employer partners. If you are interested in joining our coalition of second chance employers and would consider hiring a Pivot Program graduate, please contact Alyssa.Lovegrove@georgetown.edu.
Here are some of the organizations that have hired Pivot graduates: