"Disclosing prior convictions no matter the severity of the crime or how long ago it was committed is a direct form of employment discrimination,” said Eddy Zheng, Asian Prisoner Support Committee Co-Chair. “Many former incarcerated people fall victim to recidivism due to the lack of resources and opportunities that exist upon release. As discussed at the AFL-CIO Criminal Justice Strategy Session last week, finding employment is a critical part of the re-entry and rehabilitation process for those who have been part of the criminal justice system.”
“More than 600,000 individuals are released from federal and state prisons every year,” said Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President. “Unions and the labor movement can play a vital role in helping provide a pipeline for the formerly incarcerated to become a contributing component of society, especially through apprenticeships and other job training programs.”
According to the Department of Justice, 60-75% of formerly incarcerated people are unable to find work within their first year of release. “Revealing an individual’s criminal record later in the hiring process is a critical step for a more equitable workplace and restorative criminal justice system,” said Gregory Cendana, APALA National Executive Director. “APALA is committed to ensuring formerly incarcerated individuals have access to good jobs and working to stop the cycle of incarceration and criminalization of people of color in America."