Information for employers engaging in second chance hiring.

georgia barriers to employment for people with criminal records

Georgia Justice Project (GJP) reduces barriers to employment and housing for people with criminal records through direct representation and policy change.

This not only helps individuals who are seeking good jobs and economic opportunity, but it helps employers who are looking to find and retain qualified workers amidst growing labor shortages.

More than a decade ago, when GJP started our criminal records work, we engaged with employers as a way to learn and understand their concerns about—as well as their interests in—hiring people who have a criminal record. We held numerous employer roundtable events aimed at this goal. GJP continues to host employer events and is frequently invited by Chambers of Commerce, HR professionals, workforce groups and others to articulate the business case for second chance hiring, explain what Georgia’s new expungement law means for employers, and give guidance on how companies can remove unnecessary barriers in their recruitment, screening, and hiring policies and practices. (See below for recordings and resources from those events.)

We are grateful to partner with businesses and chambers across the state, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, in both public education and, often, in our policy work. In 2023, both Chambers advocated for HB 334, which would increase access to expungement and SB 157, which would provide a fair chance at careers in licensed fields. We will continue to work together to strengthen Georgia’s workforce and enhance public safety through these initiatives.

In 2022, both Chambers supported the passage of SB 10, a bill to reduce driver’s license suspensions, because suspended licenses impede people’s ability to obtain and retain employment.

In 2021, both Chambers supported SB 105 that reduced Georgia’s long probation sentences. In 2020, the Metro Chamber and 6 companies publicly supported SB 288, which for the first time allowed Georgians to restrict and seal old convictions from their record. More about these two efforts is here.

Our partnerships with employers and chambers are rooted in the understanding that the changes we advocate for help not just those with criminal records, but they also benefit the business community through a stronger workforce and public safety through reduced recidivism.

Second Chance Hiring Resources & Fact Sheets

Employer Event Recordings and Materials

  • LABOR DAY: Celebrating Talents & Contributions of Employees who have a Criminal Record, hosted in partnership with Small Business Majority. September 7th, 2023. View the presentation or watch the recording
  • Second Chance Hiring & the Labor Shortage. Presentation to Athens Clark County Economic Development Department & Resilient Northeast Georgia, March 11, 2022. Recording and slides available HERE
  • Getting Georgians Back to Work: Addressing the Labor Shortage Through Second Chance Hiring
    Co-sponsored by GJP and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, December 2021. Click to view the webinar presentation (Powerpoint, 2MB) or video recording (YouTube).  
  • Economic Opportunity, Racial Equity & the Criminal Justice System: A Private Sector Perspective on Second Chance Hiring and More
    Co-sponsored by GJP and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, August 2021. Click to download the webinar presentation (Powerpoint, 4.7 MB), view the video recording (Zoom) and access the written summary (PDF, 237 KB). 
  • Employer to Employer: Georgia’s Business Leaders Support Second Chances for Rehabilitated Individuals
    Hosted by Georgia Justice Project, January 2019. Click to download the written summary (PDF, 248 KB). 
  • Georgia Roundtable on Employment & Individuals with Criminal Records
    Hosted by Georgia Justice Project, September 2017. Click to download the written summary (PDF, 458 KB). 
  • Reducing the Risk of a Criminal Record: The Employer’s Perspective
    Hosted by Georgia Justice Project, November 2014. Click to download the policy forum report (PDF, 1 MB). 

Additional Information

If you are a member of the private sector and have interest in participating in upcoming events or serving as a resource for our policy efforts, please contact:

Wade Askew, Policy Manager

Phone: 404-827-0027, ext. 214
Email: Wade@GJP.org

To learn how your company can become a financial supporter of GJP, please visit our Justice in Action Corporate Partnership Program online, download our 2022 Corporate Partnership Packet or contact:

Development Director Ermis Zayas
Phone: 404-827-0027, ext. 217
Email: Ermis@GJP.org