The recidivism rate for ex-offenders is significantly lower when they find employment after they leave prison. But getting hired can be difficult for people with criminal records.
This week, Iowa employers can attend free seminars to learn more about the benefits of hiring people with criminal records. The federally-sponsored program is titled “Iowa’s Untapped Workforce: A Roadmap for Second Chance Hiring.”
Employers will get information about theft insurance programs and tax benefits they can claim if they hire ex-felons. They’ll also learn about working with probation officers to find staff with skills that fit their business’s needs.
U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau of the Northern District of Iowa adds that often the ex-offender workforce is very dependable.
“Many of the offenders are actually under supervision. And so they’re in a very strict program. So that, that means in terms of where they live and the hours they keep,” says Techau. “They’re very reliable because they’re under supervision.”
Employers will also get guidance on how to create a hiring policy that protects their company, but is also legally compliant.
The seminars will take place on Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Wednesday in Fort Dodge and Sioux City on Thursday.