Excerpted from SHRM.org, by Mark Feffer

The relatively low unemployment rate is spurring once-reluctant employers to rethink their position on hiring candidates with criminal histories.

A wide range of companies are opening their application processes to former prisoners and state and local governments are removing obstacles to their employment.

According to the Department of Justice, around 650,000 prisoners are released nationwide every year. Advocates say the great majority are eager to work and could take on many jobs that would otherwise go unfilled.

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