Many of our clients have criminal records, so this is an important barrier to recovery:
We ran an audit experiment that sent trained testers to apply for more than 1,000 entry-level jobs throughout New York City. The fake job applicants were dressed similarly, gave similar answers, and provided résumés with identical education and work experience. At each job interview, however, one randomly chosen tester would tick the application box indicating a criminal record and submit a résumé that mentioned a prison and provided a parole officer as a reference.
White testers who were assigned a criminal record received call-backs or job offers from employers only half as often as testers with clean records. For African Americans, a criminal record reduced employment opportunities by two-thirds.