Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Second Department

Legal Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Groscup

Reader 2

Stacey Wood

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Marissa Leigh Enfield

Abstract

Because rejoining the workforce may prevent against ex-offender recidivism, securing gainful employment is one of the best indicators of successful societal reintegration for released prisoners. However, the stigma attached to a criminal history, combined with ex-prisoners’ lack of human capital, may threaten their ability to obtain a job. The present study examines hiring managers’ attitudes towards previously imprisoned offenders applying for positions in their workplace. Using a combination of brief, fictional applicant biographies and surveys, this mixed-groups factorial study explores how hiring managers (N= 28) consider gender, type of offense, and race when an ex-offender is assessed during the application process. Results indicated that, regardless of their offense, gender, and race, ex-prisoners were generally perceived to be less employable and less likely to have work-related characteristics such as honesty and the ability to communicate effectively.