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March 12, 2008

1 of Every 100 American Adults in Prison

Filed under: General HR Buzz1:09 pm

A report from the Pew Center on the States has found that for the first time, one in every 100 American adults is behind bars. In the last 30 years the prison population has tripled, now standing at 1.6 million, with another 725,000 in municipal jails.  One in 36 Hispanic men is incarcerated and one in fifteen black men (one in nine black men from 20-24). The U.S. keeps more people in prison than any other country, even China. As a percentage of population the numbers are particularly attention getting.

That’s tragic, shocking, or interesting you may say, but what does it have to do with HR?   Well, most of those people eventually get out and apply for work.  Issues surrounding criminal backgrounds checks, how to handle results from such checks, avoiding discrimination against people with criminal records, and negligent hiring have all become more common issues.  If you haven’t had to face them yet, you most likely will.  It may be time to review your policies and procedures.

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