Thursday, 9 March 2017

An exception to the rule: Belief in redeemability, desistance signals, and the employer’s decision to hire a job applicant with a criminal record

an article by Suzanne E. Reich (University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia) published in Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume 56 Issue 2 (February-March 2017)


This article examines whether employment outcomes for ex-offenders are associated with employers’ subjective belief in redeemability, mediated through ex-offenders’ objective desistance signals. An online factorial vignette survey was completed by 367 employers, which examined their hiring decisions in the context of ex-offender job applicants.

OLS regression and serial multiple mediation analyses revealed that both belief in redeemability and desistance signals positively and significantly predicted employers’ hiring decisions.

As well, ex-offenders’ objective desistance signals mediated the association between belief in redeemability and employment outcomes. These findings highlight the importance for ex-offenders to effectively communicate their desistance from crime to employers in their endeavours to obtain employment.

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