News from Fedcap

Hiring People with Conviction Histories: Fedcap Event Brings Ex-Offenders and Employers to the Table

On Thursday, May 31, Fedcap will bring ex-offenders and employers to the table to discuss the challenging issue of jobs after jail, along with elected officials, funders and important service providers and advocates.

More than 650,000 people are released from prison in the United States each year. Within three years, about two-thirds of them are likely to be rearrested. There is widespread agreement that a job is critical to successful reentry. Yet the formerly incarcerated often lack skills that make them attractive to employers. And employers are asked to hire them without adequate support, protection or clear evidence that doing so will benefit their business or society.

“Recidivism costs the United States billions of dollars in incarceration and related costs, and an incalculable amount in lost human potential and damage to our families and communities,” said Christine McMahon, President & CEO of Fedcap.

“Job-related reentry strategies must address demand as much as supply. Employment among the formerly incarcerated will only improve when business becomes fully engaged in developing and implementing a comprehensive new approach to reentry.”

As an agency that annually serves thousands of people with conviction histories and other employment barriers, and an employer of 1,500 people with barriers, Fedcap is uniquely equipped to lead this conversation. On May 31, What every business should know about employing people with conviction histories, a Fedcap Solution Series panel discussion, will address employment among ex-offenders from the perspectives of the formerly incarcerated, the officials who imprison and release them, and the companies asked to hire them. An interactive Q&A will elicit insights from panelists:

  •  Amy Solomon, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice and Co-Chair, Federal Interagency Reentry Council Staff Working Group
  • Alphonso David, Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights for New York State, whose work covers all civil rights/discrimination issues and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Work for Success program on employment for the formerly incarcerated
  • Esta R. Bigler, Director, Labor and Employment Law Programs, Cornell University ILR School
  • Fernando Santiago, formerly incarcerated individual, Fedcap Building Manager at the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island

Fedcap invites the public to submit related questions for panelists via Twitter (@FedcapNYC, #FedcapSS) and Facebook (/Fedcap) for possible inclusion in the discussion.