Criminal Records and Employment

Reducing employment barriers for justice-involved persons is an essential and growing aspect of the Georgia Justice Project’s (GJP) criminal records work. As articulated in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s blog post featuring GJP, expanding employment opportunities for those with a record is necessary for a “stronger economy and thriving communities.”

GJP’s Work in Employment

GJP’s collaboration with the private sector and community stakeholders highlights the business case: Hiring individuals with a record is good for the employer, good for the economy, and good for the community.

GJP has engaged with members of the business community directly in order to understand the existing barriers to hiring an individual with a record and to determine which potential policy options and incentives are most compelling for employers.

GJP’s current work in the area of criminal records and employment includes:


  1. The Employment Working Group: We have assembled a group of advocates, service providers, and other employment stakeholders to develop and propose strategies to improve employment opportunities for individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system. The goal of this working group is to generate recommendations and proposals for the Council on Criminal Justice Reform and other legislators in the 2018 session.
  2. The Aerotropolis Collective: Atlanta CareerRise and the Aerotropolis Workforce Collective asked the Georgia Justice Project to assist in their mission of bridging employers in the Aerotropolis Atlanta region and the local workforce, many of whom face barriers to employment because of a criminal record. Read about our May 16th training here.


  1. Employer Roundtable: The Employment Working Group hosted a roundtable of legal and HR representatives of 20 employers from a cross-section of industries on September 29, 2017 at Georgia-Pacific. The goal was to learn more about their internal obstacles to hiring justice-involved individuals and what policy changes would encourage them to hire those with a record. Read the event summary here.
  2. The Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation’s 2017 Second Chance Summit: The Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation (DKBF) shares our vision of educating and encouraging businesses to see the practical side of hiring individuals with a record. On October 31, 2017, GJP co-hosted DKBF’s sixth Summit in Atlanta at Georgia-Pacific.

At the Summit, GJP facilitated the panel “The Business Case for Hiring those with a Criminal Record.” Our panelists shared their rationale and experiences hiring individuals with a record with an audience of employers. Learn more about our panel here.

If you are a member of the private sector and have interest in participating in upcoming events or serving as a resource for our policy efforts, please contact Ann Colloton at Ann@GJP.org or 404-827-0027 ext. 248.