Criminal Records, Positive Credentials and Recidivism: Incorporating Evidence of Rehabilitation Into Criminal Background Check Employment Decisions

Decision makers increasingly incorporate "evidence of rehabilitation" into criminal background checks. Positive credentials can decrease criminal record stigma and improve employment outcomes, but we lack research on whether rehabilitative factors used in such assessments are correlated wi...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Crime & delinquency
Main Author: Denver, Megan (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2020
In:Crime & delinquency
Year: 2020, Volume: 66, Issue: 2, Pages: 194-218
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Decision makers increasingly incorporate "evidence of rehabilitation" into criminal background checks. Positive credentials can decrease criminal record stigma and improve employment outcomes, but we lack research on whether rehabilitative factors used in such assessments are correlated with recidivism. The current study examines more than 1,000 state-mandated criminal background checks in the rapidly growing health care sector. Everyone in the sample received an initial denial and requested reconsideration by submitting evidence of rehabilitation. The findings indicate prior employer recommendations and program completion are positively correlated with clearance to work, but conditional on contesting in the first place, none of the evidence of rehabilitation factors are negatively correlated with recidivism. Persistently pursuing an employment opportunity through a contestation process may, in itself, signal rehabilitation and lower risk.
ISSN:1552-387X
DOI:10.1177/0011128719833358