Finding employment when released from prison can be difficult
Many ex-convicts report that finding a job once released from prison can be difficult because they have a criminal background. Many job applications ask for criminal history and this can lead to the candidate not being considered for a position that they are qualified for. This article discusses a company, Dave’s Killer Bread, that has found much success in hiring ex-convicts.
One-third of this company’s workers have criminal backgrounds
The company says that one in three of its employees has a criminal past, largely felony convictions. And through its newly formed foundation, launched this summer, Dave’s Killer Bread is hoping to help other companies interested in providing employment opportunities for ex-offenders take action on the issue.“We feel employers are missing out on amazing human potential,” Genevieve Martin, executive director of the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, told The Huffington Post. “Through seeing them do well and seeing them be successful at turning their lives around rather than being branded as criminals for the rest of their lives, we saw an opportunity and feel a duty to start talking about this now.”
Why Dave’s Killer Bread company hires ex-convicts
When an offender is released from prison, many factors play into their risk of returning, perhaps none greater than their ability to find a job. And yet, research shows that the majority of employers largely remain reluctant to hire ex-convicts.Joblessness dramatically ups former offenders’ chances of recidivism. Half of the federal prisoners released over a four-year period who had not found employment over the course of their supervised release committed a new crime or returned to prison, according to statistics from the administrative office of the U.S. Courts. Among those who found work, 93 percent did not re-offend.Pushing for more employers to take a chance on ex-offenders is Dave’s Killer Bread, a company that specializes in organic, whole-grain bread. Launched in 2005, the company got its start when its co-founder and namesake Dave Dahl joined up with his brother, Glenn, to work in the bakery their parents had started decades before.Dave came to work in the bakery after serving 15 years in prison. But despite his past difficulties with the law — which resurfaced in 2013 when he was arrested after behaving erratically and ramming police cars during a chase — his brother gave him a second chance, a decision that inspired the company to make offering a similar chance to ex-offenders central to its hiring practices.