“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
Everyone has beliefs about various social and identity groups, and this stems from as humans our natural tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing them. Most of the time we are unaware of the categories or social stereotypes we place certain groups of people in. One of these large groups are Americans across our country with a criminal record.
America is a country founded on the idea of new chances and new beginnings, yet we continue to close the door that leads to a better life for many Americans. We turn our backs on an entire section of our population. People with criminal convictions are left out of the job market, blocked from specific jobs, and stereotyped as unhireable.
There are preconceived conclusions and judgement against those with a past criminal history, Those with a criminal past are automatically dismissed and assumed to be a “bad” person or “poor” worker, but this is not always the case. Many ex-offenders want a chance to do things right and will work even harder to prove it. There are many smart and talented people who made mistakes, and learned from them; nobody is perfect and everyone deserves a second chance. Just because you don’t have a criminal record does not make you a great employee and just because you have a criminal record does not make you a bad employee.
We all need to take the time and effort to help our communities and make a difference in someone’s life, and all it takes is giving someone a chance. At Dave’s Killer Bread 30-40% of the workforce had a felony conviction, and the opportunity that Dave’s Killer Bread gave these individuals was a leading factor to their success and change in their lives. Organizations across the US needs to do a better job offering opportunities to those with a criminal background.
Share your thoughts, Do you believe we should give those with a criminal past a second chance?