Justice-Impacted Students

Your identities can be an important part of your career, and may influence how you explore your options, prepare your story, decide on opportunities, or approach your career goals. TC NEXT is dedicated to providing information and resources that can support your career development as a justice-impacted student. The below resources can help you answer questions regarding identity disclosure, evaluating potential employers, the job search, understanding your legal rights, and more.

Students who are justice-impacted may identify themselves using a variety of terms. Language is ever-changing, and we have selected justice-impacted for this community page as the one we feel best reflects this community at this time. Here is some information on the different terms people may use:

  1. Returning citizens – a technical term, meant to replace the stigmatized words “ex-con,” “ex-felon,” etc., is an individual who is returning home after being in prison.

  2. Justice-impacted people / Justice-involved – SOOP (The State Opioid Oversight Project) defines justice-involved populations as individuals who have contact or interaction with courts, jails, or prisons including drug-courts, child protection cases, probation, jail, prison, and workhouse.

  3. System-impacted people – a person who is legally, economically, or familially affected in a negative way by the incarceration of a close relative. System-impacted also includes people who have been arrested and/or convicted without incarceration.
  1. Exodus Transitional Community “delivers innovative programming tailored to adults and youth affected by the justice system, and advocates for a society in which all can achieve social, economic, and spiritual well –being.”

  2. National Reentry Resource Center: developed to help individuals who have been incarcerated, and their families, find local reentry services. The NRRC has compiled a list of organizations and service providers who can address different reentry needs, including housing, employment, and family reunification.

  3. ICAN – Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network – is the first of its kind in the nation, made up entirely of individuals who were incarcerated as children, and are now home and are leaders in their communities and in our movement.  Contact Eddie Ellis at eellis@cfsy.org or Catherine Jones at cjones@cfsy.org for more information if this is an experience you identify with, and you would like to become a Hire ICAN member.   

  4. The Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative's (CJEI) “research and practice-based effort provides criminal records and employment law training to job seekers who have been involved in the criminal legal system” with a major focus on providing resources on criminal records, how to access and understand them, and how to seek fixes to ones record through the Criminal Record Online Toolkit.

  5. This guide from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains the legal rights of job applicants and employees regarding background checks. It discusses when and how employers are legally allowed to inquire about a job applicant or employee’s background, including information regarding their criminal record and other public records, medical history, credit or financial information, and their race, national origin, sex, religion, or age.  The guide also provides helpful tips for employees and job applicants on how to prepare and protect themselves during the hiring process, as well as steps to take if a job applicant suspects an employer has violated their rights.

  6. Getting Ready: Employment and Applying for a Job with an Arrest or Conviction Record: This training walks through some of the steps New Yorkers with conviction records can take before applying to jobs in order to improve their chances of finding employment.

  7. Jails to Jobs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to equipping previously incarcerated and soon-to-be released men and women with the tools and resources needed to find employment and successfully re-enter the workforce.

The mission of Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network FICGN is to promote the education and empowerment of formerly incarcerated people through a collective community of over 1600 members across the globe.

  1. Diversity Employers is a print and digital publication offering a job board with career opportunities that specifically target new college graduates of diverse backgrounds in every industry nationwide.

  2. Established by the Legal Action Center in 2001, the National Helping Individuals with criminal records Re-enter through Employment (H.I.R.E.) Network is both a national clearinghouse for information and an advocate for policy change. 

  3. Getting Talent Back to Work is focused on “building better opportunities for people with criminal records”, including providing a list of companies which have pledged to give employment opportunities to applicants with a record.  

  4. “Reentering your community can be more manageable when you’re aware of services and resources available to help.
    • The Re-entry Handbook contains 3 checklists:
      • for before your release,
      • just after you return home,
      • and later, when you’re a bit more settled in.

    • It also includes additional information in specific areas where you may have questions or be looking for tools available to you. Be sure to review these lists, and discuss them and questions you may have with your Case Manager, Bureau Social Worker, or Reentry Affairs Coordinator.

    • Reentry can be a complicated process – others have felt the same way. But many of them were able to overcome this and have succeeded in finding work, supporting themselves and their families, and more. We want you to achieve the same. You are a member of your community, and we want to help you transition home and succeed.”
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