Gov. Dennis Daugaard traveled to Capitol Hill last month to tout the success of South Dakota’s prison reform efforts.
Since 2013, the state’s criminal justice system has changed its approach to dealing with non-violent offenders. Changes to South Dakota’s system emphasize drug and alcohol programs instead of incarceration — holding offenders accountable while allowing them to remain in the community.
While society and taxpayers stand to benefit from prison reform efforts, employers are finding that the reforms benefit business, too. How? Read on to find out what “Second Chance Employers” have learned about hiring people with criminal backgrounds.
Second Chance Employers benefit by tapping an under-utilized workforce.
The unemployment rate in Sioux Falls hovers around 3% wsome 2,000 unfilled jobs. Among possible solutions to the labor shortage — employing people recently released from state or federal custody. In South Dakota, as many as 2,000 adults are released from the prison system annually. The majority — 81%≈aymp;nsp; — are non-violent offenders.
Second Chance Employers gain loyal employees.
Since most people who have spent time in prison find it difficult to get jobs and re-enter society, they tend to be extremely loyal to any employer who gives them a chance. Talk to other employers to find out why they are employing former offenders.
Second Chance Employers access a well-trained workforce.
Many incarcerated offenders receive vocational training and participate in a variety of educational programs that help prepare them for employment. They are familiar with discipline and hard work.
Second Chance Employers help prevent recidivism.
Today, 70 million Americans have criminal records—nearly one third of the American adult population. Studies reveal that formerly incarcerated people with stable employment are far less likely to reoffend than those who are unemployed
Is your company ready to become a Second Chance Employer?
It’s understandable that many employers shy away from hiring ex-offenders. A national survey shows that 71% oivate businesses are unlikely to hire a person who has a criminal record. But employers can be assured that people who are part of the justice system are consistently checked on. South Dakota’s prison reforms are based on a strong system of accountability. And placement agencies like Employment Edge are part of that accountability. We closely monitor the performance of the employees that we place.
Employment Edge has a long history of working with Second Chance Employers and now, thanks to a grant from the City of Sioux Falls, we are doing even more to pair non-violent offenders with willing employers.
Our goal is to help businesses find skilled and loyal employees, reduce the rate of people returning to prison, and improve lives by giving deserving workers a chance to successfully re-enter society. Very simply, it’s the right thing to do.
We invite you to join us. Call today — 605-271-5627 — and let us fill your workforce needs with eligible and eager employees.
Governor Daugaard touts South Dakota prison reform plan in Washington, D.C.
Should South Dakota ease the path to a job for ex-cons?