I Want my Dad Back: One Father’s Struggle and Journey with Depression and Anxiety

Andrew trying to keep pace with his son Luke

While I was stationed in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, my then 3-year-old son, Luke, would end each video that he, his baby sister and his mom sent me with the same five words: “I want my dad back.” He missed his dad, and there was no way to measure how much I missed all of them. Given the technology of the times and my remote location, there was no immediate way to respond and let him know that I would have done...


Super Charge Your Talent Acquisition Plan by Hiring Those with Criminal Backgrounds


There is no doubt that the success of a company is determined by those it employs; thereby making acquisition of the appropriate and necessary talent a key priority for any business. However, with the job market tightening, employers are experiencing more difficulty in recruiting and hiring qualified employees; requiring companies to become creative with their hiring practices.

My suggestion – hire former offenders! 

On a national scale, one in three American adults has some type of criminal record. More than 2 million Americans are in state and federal prisons. More than...


Hiring People with Records: The Economic Imperative


“Would you rather pay someone $30,000 to do a job, or pay $30,000 to keep someone in jail?” That was the question posed to me by Dan Meyer, CEO of Nehemiah Manufacturing. The Cincinnati-based manufacturer of consumer products has pursued the former option, hiring dozens of employees with past criminal records. The national dialog on the U.S. justice system largely focuses on sentencing reforms, but proposed changes will be fruitless if those with criminal records have no job opportunities and no recourse but to return to illegal activities. Nehemiah and others...


Second Chance Hiring - How Employment Can Change Someone's Life


Imagine for a moment that you spend months or years apart from your loved ones – locked in a prison or jail cell that may be hundreds of miles away from your family, your partner and children, your friends and community. Imagine that you are completely separated and secluded from the world that you once called your home. When you are released from incarceration, you immediately begin to reconnect with your loved ones and try to regain a sense of normalcy.

Like most people who leave incarceration, your primary and most...


How One Background Screening Company Supports Second Chances


Applying for jobs can be strenuous and nerve-wracking. The applications are tedious, and the waiting period in-between interviews and feedback can be trying. The question about criminal history is one that many applicants don’t think twice about. They can check no and move on. However, there’s a large pool of applicants who won’t even apply for the job knowing they have to answer that one question.

Between 70 to 100 million Americans have some type of criminal record, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. That’s almost one-third of individuals that...


Solving the Skills Gap Through Prison to Workforce Pipeline


What if I told you that right now business has the ability to solve today’s skills gap? Would you believe me? The fact is, we do. And it all starts with changing the way we think about, view and support people with criminal backgrounds. As the Chief Social Responsibility Officer for a company that trains and hires incarcerated women, I know this: if we broaden the lens we use to identify talent and future potential, we will enable our companies to flourish, build stronger communities and boost the economy. How amazing...


How a Second Chance Culture Helps Employees Succeed


For many people, receiving a Second Chance and being given a job after being released from prison is life-changing. But their success depends on more than just being hired. It’s about the environment that they are hired into.

Crystal is the community outreach coordinator for Dave's Killer Bread. Ten years after receiving a second chance opportunity with the company following her release, Crystal is thriving in her role. She credits the culture at Dave’s Killer Bread, and describes her experience as an employee partner at Dave's this way:

"Dave's Killer Bread...


Second Chance Month - Blog Series Recap


This month, SHRM celebrated Second Chance Month by featuring a series of blogs from business owners—many of whom were formerly incarcerated themselves—and workplace influencers writing about hiring those who have criminal records. 

Second Chance Month highlights the need to improve re-entry for citizens returning to society and reduce recidivism. One of the primary ways to achieve this is by providing an opportunity for gainful employment, since studies show the single most important predictor in recidivism is joblessness. 

Here at SHRM, we’re working on creating second chances through the Getting Talent Back...


Three Tips to Provide a Positive Workplace Environment for Employees in Alcohol Recovery

I've tried to quit drinking more times than I can remember during my lifetime. I'm in long-term drug recovery from meth, a drug known for the psychological cravings being arguably the most difficult to overcome. Not a single day goes by that I don't think about how difficult kicking alcohol is compared to meth. Alcohol is all around us. It's on billboards driving to work, on radio ads while we listen to music at work, and encouraged for happy hour after we get off work.

My company is located in a shared coworking...