How Business-Liability Reform Can Help Encourage Ex-Offender Employment

When a former offender leaves prison to rejoin the community, much of his success at staying away from crime depends on his ability to find a job. Former offenders employed within two months of release are less likely to be incarcerated a year later.

Many employers are willing to hire qualified ex-offenders, but are concerned about the possibility of a civil lawsuit if an employee commits an offense while on the job. Given the serious investment in money, time and effort that business owners make, it’s hard to fault them for wanting to protect themselves.

To encourage ex-offender employment, Illinois needs to take the concerns of employers seriously. One way the state can do this is by limiting the risk employers face from civil negligent-hiring lawsuits – giving employers the confidence to take a chance on a former offender without fear of exposure to lawsuits as a result.

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