The Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) strongly supports second chances, and often third chances, for formerly incarcerated people. This is a key value for CDIA and our members’ work to empower economic opportunity.

Employers, landlords, and volunteer organizations should look for more ways to bring in to their workplaces, apartments, and nonprofits people with criminal histories. They can make fair and lawful decisions about a worker, a tenant, or a volunteer, but they must do so based on the full array of a person’s past criminal conduct.

We are heartened to see more reports that employers are pleased with their felon hiring programs. According to an article in Human Resources Executive (10/16/2017), “[t]hough few in number, companies that have fully embraced hiring people with felony convictions find the rewards far outweigh the risks.” The article goes on to mention a study from researchers at Northwestern University, whose research—Criminal Background and Job Performance (1/4/2018)—offers encouragement for employers. Their data indicates, “individuals with criminal records have a much longer tenure,” and “perform as well or better than those without a record in some jobs.” The HR Executive also offers practical guidance for HR professionals in setting up procedures for a successful reentry program.

CDIA supports bringing down absolute barriers that may exist for many people who have paid their dues to society. Our members work every day to help create safe working and living environments; they provide reliable information to employers, landlords, and volunteer organizations in ways that help them and the people they serve, and they help empower economic opportunity for job, residential, and volunteer applicants. This is a win for everyone.