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Second Chance Breaking Barriers: Navigating Fair Chance Hiring in the WorkforceSecond Chance

I. Introduction

It’s important that we provide opportunities for people who have served their time to re-integrate back to society. As Judge Pyle made mention of if you don’t have hope there’s no where else to go. This panel highlighted a serious discussion for our community and the society we live in. Providing stability to others in need is a public-safety and common sense approach.

Poverty plays a large role in the criminal justice system, and often times when you have been incarcerated, the barrier to finding new employment becomes even higher than other situations. People, though understand that we can navigate barriers together, to help others overcome their struggles, repair their lives and reduce the impact of trauma for them and their families.

II. Understanding Fair Chance Hiring

Fair chance hiring, also known as second chance hiring, is a practice aimed at providing individuals with conviction or arrest histories, as well as those with nontraditional backgrounds, equal opportunities in the job market.

So, what does an opportunity really entail? It’s more than just an interview or a conversation. It’s a chance for individuals to showcase their skills and values that align with your business ethos. However, it’s important for employers to recognize and empathize with the barriers some candidates may face. This could mean accommodating time for meetings with probation or parole officers or assisting with access to essential resources such as a phone, shelter, or medical care. By understanding and addressing these challenges, employers can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all potential employees.

Significance of fair chance hiring lies in its ability to promote inclusivity by breaking down barriers to employment and offering individuals the chance to rebuild their lives post-incarceration or after facing other challenges.

One prevalent misconception is the assumption that individuals with criminal records are inherently untrustworthy or incapable of rehabilitation, which overlooks the potential for growth and redemption.

III. Perspectives from the Panel A. Joe Watson (Moderator)
Since 2022 Hey Joe Media has been at the forefront of driving impactful transformations through strategic communication. During this event Joe asked insightful questions that shared unique perspectives from formerly incarcerated community members, the Pima County Attorney and local business owners.

Laura Conover, Pima County Attorney

Laura highlighted that the Legal considerations and policies surrounding fair chance hiring improve the public safety in our community and are a common sense approach to making our communities a safer place to live.

Laura explained that the more our community focuses on advocacy for creating pathways to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals the more likely these members of our community will return to stable and thriving lives, that a common sense approach to opportunities changes lives.

Moniqua Lane, Owner of the Downtown Clifton Hotel

Moniqua spent time sharing experiences and best practices for supporting employees with nontraditional backgrounds, as a person of color she understands how the criminal justice system impacts members of her community, and that she addresses that by offering employment to community members that are rehabilitating their lives.

She also explained the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and that people offered second chances come to work, re-integrate and live fulfilling lives. As the owner of a hotel, she has even ensured that employees have shelter if they become at risk for losing their housing. These actions help our community be the thriving place it is.

Charles Pyle, Founder of Second Chance Tucson

Charles shared insights into rehabilitation and reintegration programs for individuals with conviction histories, and that in the first 10 days it is imperative for members of our community to have access to shelter, medical care and food. These services help keep second chance community members mentally and physically fit.

He also expressed the importance of community support and collaboration in fair chance hiring initiatives and to have that dialogue with more people in our community.

Nathan Dixon, Owner of Heroes Carpet Cleaning

Nathan shared his personal anecdotes and success stories of hiring individuals with conviction histories, and that the number one thing to do is be empathic to these members of our community, communicate wants and needs to help restore their livelihoods.

Nathan offered practical tips for employers on navigating the hiring process and providing ongoing support, that includes being empathic to their situation, asking questions and providing access to resources.

IV. Strategies for Employers

Employers can and should hire these community members, as they are equally deserving of an opportunity, stable and reliable employment helps give people purpose, mission and restoration to a just and equitable society.

V. Conclusion

The insights shared during this event, facilitated by Joe Watson, shed light on the critical importance of fair chance hiring and its broader implications for our community. Laura Conover emphasized how legal considerations and policies surrounding fair chance hiring contribute to public safety and create pathways to stable and thriving lives for formerly incarcerated individuals. Moniqua Lane highlighted the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, emphasizing the role businesses play in supporting community members on their journey to rehabilitation. Charles Pyle stressed the necessity of access to essential services during the early stages of reintegration, underscoring the importance of community support in fair chance hiring initiatives. Nathan Dixon shared practical tips for employers, emphasizing the significance of empathy and ongoing support in restoring livelihoods and fostering a just and equitable society.

Employers have a crucial role to play in providing opportunities for all members of our community, ensuring that everyone has access to stable and reliable employment as they work towards a brighter future.

Rye – Tucson Warehouse Photo


2 thoughts on “Second Chance Breaking Barriers: Navigating Fair Chance Hiring in the WorkforceSecond Chance”

  1. Great insights and discussion. Our beliefs about others many times get in the way before we even give them a chance. Seek to understand before judging. I am a supporter of not having to disclose if you have a conviction.

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