Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium

What Can Researchers, Policymakers, and Practitioners Do to Improve Outcomes?

Group of unrecognizable candidates waiting for a job interview, photo by skynesher/Getty Images

Photo by skynesher/Getty Images


Tuesday, October 15, 2019


8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Eastern
Program begins at 9:15 a.m.


Continental breakfast and lunch will be served


RAND Corporation
1200 South Hayes Street
Arlington, Virginia 22202

Register for the Symposium

Registration has closed. For questions about this event, please contact Kysha Barnes-Chambers at

About the Program

There are many policies and programs aimed at equalizing employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. Results of their effectiveness are mixed. Why? Why do employers respond the way they do? Why do job seekers with a record make the decisions they do? What can policymakers and practitioners do next?

On October 15, RAND will host a one-day symposium to discuss these questions and explore ways to improve employment outcomes of people with criminal records.

Plenary Speakers

Shawn Bushway

Shawn D. Bushway, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Researcher
RAND Corporation

Nicole Jarrett

Nicole Jarrett, Ph.D.

National Reentry Resource Center

Toney L. Earl

Toney L. Earl, Jr., OWDS, CPC

Executive Director & Founder
M.A.D.E. Transitional Services

Peter Leasure

Peter Leasure, J.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
York College of Pennsylvania

Tony Lewis Jr.

Tony Lewis Jr., B.A.

Vocational Development Coordinator
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller, Ph.D.

Managing Director
Georgetown Pivot Program

Andrew Morton

Andrew Morton, M.S.

Developer and Implementer
Getting Talent Back to Work
Society of Human Resource Management

Naomi Sugie

Naomi F. Sugie, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society
University of California at Irvine

Michael Vuolo

Michael Vuolo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology
Ohio State University


Veronica Cunningham

Veronica Cunningham, M.S.

Executive Director
American Probation and Parole Association

Priscillia Hunt, Ph.D.

RAND Corporation

Dr. Dionne Barnes-Proby

Dionne Barnes-Proby, D.P.A.

Social Policy Researcher
RAND Corporation

Program Outline

8 - 9:15 a.m.

Registration & Morning Refreshments

9:15 - 9:30 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Opening Plenary

Can criminal justice reform help people with a record get and keep a job, or better yet, a career? Maybe a better understanding of desistence is the key.

  • Speaker: Bushway
  • Moderator: Hunt

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Morning Refreshment Break

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

Policy Panel

Improving career prospects through federal policies – Is it working? What can we learn from state and local policies? Evidence from employer and job seeker studies on Ban-the-Box, Certificates of Relief, and background checks.

  • Panelists: Leasure, Sugie, and Vuolo
  • Moderators: Hunt, Cunningham

11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Facilitated Discussion Lunch

1 - 2 p.m.

Practice Strategies Panel

Overcoming barriers and improving employment outcomes through reentry, community supervision, and employer-driven programs – What are some best practices for second chance hiring?

  • Panelists: Earl, Lewis, Miller, Morton
  • Moderators: Barnes-Proby, Cunningham

2 - 2:15 p.m.

Afternoon Refreshment Break

2:15 - 3 p.m.

Share Lessons Learned from Lunch Discussions

  • Moderators: Barnes-Proby, Hunt

3 - 3:45 p.m.

Closing Plenary

Now what? How can policy makers, practitioners, government officials, and employers take the Next Step to improve career prospects for people with a criminal record?

  • Speaker: Jarrett
  • Moderator: Barnes-Proby

3:45 - 4 p.m.

Closing & Thank You

Please note that the program is subject to change without notice.

Who Should Attend?

  • Probation/Parole professionals
  • Criminal justice reform advocates/advisers
  • Corrections professionals (e.g. prison educators, jail officers)
  • Legal and judicial service professionals (e.g. judges, prosecutors, public defenders)
  • Law enforcement (e.g. sheriffs)
  • Re-entry specialists (e.g. social workers, jail/prison transition managers, outreach and job placement specialists, Rehabilitation professionals)
  • Workforce development professionals
  • Employment professionals (e.g. HR associates, temp agency specialists)
  • Congressional staff
  • Researchers and academics