Finding legitimate employment upon release from prison is an important, yet daunting, aspect of offender reentry. Researchers have argued that negative employer attitudes toward hiring ex-offenders act as a barrier during the job search process. This study explored existing attitudes of employers in their willingness to hire ex-offenders in the current labor market and determined whether these attitudes were dependent on the concentration of ex-offenders in the surrounding geographical community. Mail surveys and follow-up telephone contacts with a random sample of businesses that typically employ ex-offenders within 12 Texas zip-codes (six high parolee concentrations, six low parolee concentrations) were conducted. Respondents indicated a general willingness to hire ex-offenders, which did not vary by concentration of parolees in the surrounding area but was found to vary by the conviction offense. Other significant predictors included the respondent's age and arrest history, whether their business was currently hiring, and whether the business had previously hired an ex-offender.
- employer attitudes
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