SBA is a member of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council. The Council is an interagency task force led by the Department of Justice which seeks to explore ways in which agencies can reduce the Federal barriers to successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals in order to assist them in becoming productive members of society. Ex-offenders who maintain steady employment are less likely to return to jail; however, often, formerly incarcerated individuals have difficulty finding employment. Many formerly incarcerated individuals have an entrepreneurial spirit, and upon release, they can use their skills to start small businesses. With support from their families and communities and proper training and counseling, they can become productive tax paying citizens.
The Department of Labor addresses a number of myths relating to issues that are critically important to formerly incarcerated individuals. These myths “are commonly cited incorrectly as rationale for prohibitions against ex-offenders.” The Reentry Council’s Myth Busters lay out the federal policies regarding formerly incarcerated individuals and their access to such things as public housing and federal benefits as well as incentives in place to encourage employers to hire ex-offenders.
You may download the Federal Interagency Reentry Council “Reentry MythBuster” Series. Further information is also available from the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at these links:
- DOL Directive Complying with Nondiscrimination Provisions: Criminal Record Restrictions and Discrimination Based on Race and National Origin
- EEOC Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions
- EEOC Questions and Answers About the Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII