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Hiring Ex-Offenders

There are more than 31,000 people serving time in Missouri state correctional facilities. Ninety-seven percent of them will one day be released.

Here’s a staggering statistic about the population of individuals who leave prison and reenter society: Of those who do not gain full-time employment, 72% return to prison within two years. Of those who DO gain full-time employment, only 27% return to prison within two years. What a telling statistic. Full-time employment plays a major role in whether or not an individual returns to prison.

This is a dangerous and expensive problem, but I believe we can positively impact this problem while working toward solving one of our other challenges. I hear every day from employers that they can’t find the workers they need. With low unemployment rates, it’s important for us to start exploring other ways of finding workers and hiring ex-offenders is one possible solution.

Approximately 80% of prison admissions are for non-violent offenses, meaning many of these individuals pose no greater risk than any other employee. In fact, most ex-offenders are still under some sort of State supervision through the Department of Corrections, so they are compelled to show up and behave. It could really be a win-win and I encourage any business that is having hiring challenges to explore this option.

Let us know if you would like more information at sburner@capechamber.com or call 573-335-3312.  

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