New Findings: When to Hire Somebody With Criminal History

Carnegie Mellon University's new study researches the length of time when an ex-convict has been "clean" long enough to be considered "redeemed" for employment. Estimates show that it takes about five years crime-free for an individual with criminal history to be "at no greater risk of committing another crime than other individuals of the same age."

Currently, employers receive criminal information dating back seven years in accordance with the FCRA. As Alfred Blumstein, co-author, said however, "Hiring an ex-offender was a totally arbitrary decision. We believe our model can change that and help provide employers with data in making such decisions. Or it can be used by state criminal record repositories in deciding when a prior arrest is too 'stale' to warrent distributing."

The study used 88,000 criminal history records of first time offenders and most commited new crimes within the first few years after their inital arrest. A small minority had a newarrest after remaining clean for at least five years. They are placed at the same level of risk as individuals with no criminal history and who are of the same age.

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