Why Public Health Practitioners Should Care About Job Prospects for People with Criminal Records

Harvard Public Health ReviewChildren with parents who are unemployed are more likely to become involved with the justice system, according to an article published in the Harvard Public Health Review.

The article discusses the importance of employment for people returning home from incarceration and their families, and highlights how barriers to stable employment fuel poverty, recidivism, and, ultimately, poor health in vulnerable populations.

Studies have shown that people with criminal histories who are unable to find legal employment are more likely to commit a new crime and return to prison, and children whose parents are unemployed have poorer performance in schools, likely leading to possible future involvement with the justice system.

The article also reviews how fair hiring legislation, such as “ban the box” policies, which remove questions about criminal histories from applications, give individuals with criminal histories a better a chance of getting a job.