Senate committee considers “Earning Safe Reentry Through Work Act”

In today’s tight labor market, more employers are turning to alternative talent pools to fill jobs — including justice-involved individuals.

While working to safeguard the state’s economy from habitual, dangerous offenders, the Missouri Chamber is also supporting policies that would incentivize nonviolent justice-involved Missourians to pursue work experiences that will prepare them for jobs after they are released.


Under House Bill 2088, nonviolent offenders who are on probation, parole, or conditional release may earn work-for-time credit for reduction of their supervision by maintaining eligible employment.


Research shows that previously incarcerated people are much less likely to re-offend when they have stable, full-time employment. And data further shows that ex-offenders, typically eager to keep a job when they find one, often make the most loyal employees. Workers with criminal records tend to stay in their jobs longer and are less likely to leave, a Northwestern University study found. This study also found former inmates were no more likely to be fired than other employees.


Missouri employers who hire ex-offenders can also help offset risk by participating in the Federal Bonding Program, developed in 1966 by the U.S. Dept. of Labor to empower businesses to take a chance on justice-involved job seekers.