Our prisons are broken. The United States is home to 4.4 percent of the world's population but nearly 25 percent of the world's inmates. And while the goal of incarceration is to produce law-abiding and rehabilitated citizens, 75 percent of released prisoners are arrested again after five years.
As we wait for legislative reforms aimed at tackling recidivism, America's private businesses can help put a stop to this ruinous cycle by equipping offenders with jobs and work experience. Research by the Indiana Department of Correction found that unemployment was the greatest predictor of recidivism, with unemployed offenders being more than twice as likely to reoffend than those with a job.
For starters, companies must no longer view a criminal record as an automatic disqualification for employment.
To read the full commentary by SHRM’s president and chief executive officer, visit CNN Digital.