Attitudes toward hiring offenders: the roles of criminal history, job qualifications, and race.
A large-scale study was conducted to examine the perceived employability of ex-prisoners and offenders. Four participant groups comprising 596 (50.4%) employers, 234 (19.8%) employment service workers, 176 (14.9%) corrections workers, and 175 (14.8%) prisoners and offenders completed a questionnaire assessing the likelihood of a hypothetical job seeker's both obtaining and maintaining employment; the importance of specific skills and characteristics to employability; and the likelihood that ex-prisoners, offenders, and the general workforce exhibit these skills and characteristics. Apart from people with an intellectual or psychiatric disability, those with a criminal background were rated as being less likely than other disadvantaged groups to obtain and maintain employment. In addition, ex-prisoners were rated as being less likely than offenders and the general workforce to exhibit the skills and characteristics relevant to employability. Implications for the preparation and support of ex-prisoners and offenders into employment are discussed, together with broader community-wide initiatives to promote reintegration.