SecondStartDC is an alliance of workforce developers and local employers partnering to create more attractive career opportunities for individuals with prior convictions.
By collaborating to create training programs more aligned with the skills needed by employers in high growth sectors, we are building pathways to sustainable employment - jobs that can support families and neighborhoods, and will end the intergenerational cycle of hardship that characterizes so many of our communities.
Why Employment Matters
70 millions Americans (almost one in three of working age) have a criminal record and more than 650,000 will be released from a federal or state facility every year. Like all justice-involved individuals, they will face significant obstacles: discrimination in housing, employment, education; restricted access to benefits, credit and voting. Often resulting in recidivism, these barriers effect not only the individual but also their families and communities - and sustain the cycle of poverty and hardship that plagues so many of our cities and towns.
Community leaders and socially responsible businesses have now realized that removing these obstacles and providing employment to people with a prior arrest or conviction makes our communities safer, stronger and more economically vibrant.
Excluding individuals with convictions from employment is sustaining our high rates of recidivism and undermining our efforts to achieve racial equality.
By revisiting our hiring practices, we can disrupt this vicious cycle and harness new sources of talent.