October 19, 2021

Are You Willing To Place A Bet On People?

By Paul Bieber

What are the odds on this bet? What would I win? Can I lose? Here are the answers: The odds are 70-30 in your favor; your win would be a new employee or two, and yes, you could lose. But that is what betting is all about.

Roughly a quarter of a million, mostly men, are released from federal, state, and local prisons every year, and 95% of these folks need a job. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, about 75% of released prisoners are ready to go back into society and become productive. These are the people that are available to hire.

Some thoughts first. There are not too many people who will know glass, so you will have some training to do. But, that is no different than hiring a rookie right out of high school.

On leaving their imprisonment, most folks move into a halfway house where they will receive some socialization training. Your goal would be to hire someone who has lived in the halfway house for at least a month or so. Call your local police or other government agency to find the local halfway houses. Call and ask what their procedures are to interview and hire candidates. You will want to set certain criteria. A person who was convicted of theft should not be handling invoices right off the bat. A person who was a drug or alcohol user has to agree to be randomly tested, at least once a month, during their first year. And so on.

Don’t discriminate against one race or another, or between men and women in your interviewing. If you hire, you will want to place one or two of your current employees as mentors for both social and glass skills.

If you use an employment attorney ask what the procedures are in your state for hiring people released from jail. Every city and state will have different rules. Also, feel free to contact your religious leader for info on this form of hiring.

The federal government has an insurance policy, that is free to you when you hire an ex-inmate. It is called UNICOR and pays a $5,000 benefit for any problems created by an inmate. Google this term for full information.

Explain, in advance, to your present workforce, what the situation will be when you do hire a person. Don’t describe what their crime was, but that they have served their time and are now ready to come back to society. Also, tell your new hire not to discuss their past crime(s). I know of a couple of local companies that have hired this way and had great success. The parole officer in charge of the cases was extremely helpful in finding the right fit for those jobs.

Don’t ignore this avenue. Everyone is looking to hire. You may just find your diamond in the rough when you look in the craziest of places!