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Response#15 LSJ 375 - African American non-offenders Pager...

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RESPONSE: The Mark of a Criminal Record Upon being released from prisons, ex-convicts oftentimes face adversarial conditions within the employment market due to the stigma of incarceration. In this research, Pager focuses on the consequences of incarceration in employment for black and white ex-convict job seekers. In a 2 X 2 study he uses of two teams of confederates (white and black) and records the effect criminal records have in the number of employment call backs. There was a main effect in that persons with criminal records were associated with lower number of employment call backs. In addition, there was also a main effect in that black persons were associated with a lower number of employment call backs. Pager concludes that contact with the criminal justice system in itself “leads to harmful consequences for employment”. He also maintains that lower employment opportunities for African Americans may be directly linked to their high incarceration rates. Thus, the stigma of incarceration follows not only African American ex-convicts, but also
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Unformatted text preview: African American non-offenders. Pager reinforces the notion that the stigma of incarceration follows ex-convicts outside the prison walls and into everyday life. However, while I agree with his assertions that ex-felons have a difficult time obtaining employment, I do not agree with the assertion that this situation be rectified. Criminal records are maintained as a scarlet letter to warn potential employers of the culpability of ex-convicts. Persons that have served time in prison have done so because they have committed a crime. Thus, when they leave prison and reenter society, it is important for employers to have knowledge of these actions prior to awarding them potential liability. To expunge records is to award an unwarranted trust in individuals that have committed unlawful actions. Consider re-offender statistics, would you want an ex-sexual predator working in your child’s daycare?...
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