Research - Criminal Records

Two studies of comparative stigma: employer attitudes and practices toward rehabilitated convicts, mental and tuberculosis patients

Brand RC Jr, Clairborn WL, (1976.) Journal of Community Mental Health;12(2):168-75.

The authors compared employers considered hiring people from three groups: people with a mental illness history, a criminal record, and tuberculosis. Read abstract here. 



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Criminal Stigma, Race, Gender and Employment: An Expanded Assessment of the Consequences of Imprisonment for Employment

Scott H. Decker, SH., Spohn, C., Ortiz, NR., Hedberg, E. (2014.) US Department of Justice

The authors conducted an extensive multi-part research study on the impact of a criminal record on employment, with comparisons of Blacks, Whites and Hispanics, as well as often unexamined women. The study included an assessment of on-line job applications, in-person job interviews and surveys of employers. Read report here. 

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The Use of Criminal History Records in College Admissions: Reconsidered

Weissman, Marsha; Rosenthal, Alan; Warth, Patricia; Wolf, Elaine; Messina-Yauchzy, Michael; Siegel, Loren (2010). The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA):  Innovative Solutions for Justice.

This report explores the use of criminal history screening in college admissions procedures, and concludes that the collection and use of this information is problematic for several reasons. Read report here. 

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The Mark of a Criminal Record

Pager, Devah (2003.)  American Journal of Sociology, 108,5: 937–75.

This article focuses on the consequences of incarceration for the employment outcomes of black and white job seekers. The present study adopts an experimental audit approach—in which matched pairs of individuals applied for real entry-level jobs—to formally test the degree to which a criminal record affects subsequent employment opportunities. A criminal record presents a major barrier to employment, with important implications for racial disparities.  Read article here. 

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