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Criminal Record Risk Factor Assessment

The  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) identifies the following factors as appropriate considerations when an employer assesses whether an applicant (or an incumbent employee) has a record of rehabilitation that shows a likelihood that the person will commit acts harmful to the employer's customers, clients or workforce.

  • The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct. For example, when an offender received a purely probationary sentence with no prison time for a felony conviction, that is a common indication that the offense was not as serious as the felony classification would typically indicate.
  • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted.
  • Age at the time of conviction or release from prison. Studies indicate that people who commit offenses when they are older and are older at the time of release from prison or completion of a sentence are less likely to re-offend.
  • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work post-conviction with the same or a different employer and with no known incidents of criminal conduct.
  • The length and consistency of employment history before or after the offense or conduct.
  • Rehabilitation efforts after the offense (e.g., education/training).
  • References from former employers, particularly from post-offense employment.
  • Character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position. Whether the individual, since the latest offense, has been bonded under a federal, state or local bonding program.

Other factors not specifically listed by the EEOC but relevant to many persons with a criminal conviction:

  • Parole release obtained after serving only a short period in detention for a felony conviction, with no record of any subsequent offenses.
  • Evidence of family responsibility, such as uniting with a spouse or partner and, if relevant, caring for children or dependent relatives.
  • Additional rehabilitation after the offense, such as continuing participation in a 12-step program. 


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