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The Effect of Criminal Background Checks on Hiring Ex-Offenders

Employers who are legally required to run background checks are far less likely to hire someone with a criminal record, compared to employers who run background checks of their own volition. Using a phone survey of over 600 employers in LA during 2001, this study analyzes the motivation behind running a background check and how it impacts the hiring of a formerly incarcerated person. The authors suggest policy changes should focus on ensuring laws that require background checks are based on legitimate necessity rather than eliminating or delaying background checks all together.

Stoll, M. A., & Bushway, S. D. (2008). The Effect of Criminal Background Checks on Hiring Ex-Offenders*. Criminology & Public Policy, 7(3), 371–404.


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