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Criminal Records, Positive Employment Credentials, and Race

Job applicants who have felony convictions as well as positive credentials (such as job training, an occupational license, or a reference letter) are slightly more likely to be considered for a callback compared to applicants with criminal records and no credential. This survey study, which surveyed the general U.S. public, also found no difference in hiring based on race when it came to criminal records and positive credentials. Based on these findings, the authors argue for more focus on policy that helps people to attain positive credentials, rather than ban the box-type policies.

DeWitt, S. E., & Denver, M. (2020). Criminal Records, Positive Employment Credentials, and Race. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 57(3), 333–368.


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