Justice for Work is a coalition of organizations spanning the political spectrum. Our mission is to lower the barriers created by laws and regulations that unfairly restrict economic participation for those caught up in the justice system. We believe work is an intrinsic source of worth, earned success and well-being. For ex-offenders who have served their time, access to work is a key factor in cutting recidivism and promoting rehabilitation. Overly-precautionary restrictions on hiring ex-offenders unnecessarily burdens taxpayers, incites crime, and negatively impact the lives of thousands of citizens. Additionally, we believe due process matters. Those who were arrested but never convicted should never be unfairly denied access to employment.

We therefore hold that private firms and market forces, rather than governments, are best suited to determine what kinds of risks should accrue in hiring ex-offenders. Prescriptive mandates should be reserved for a small subset of situations where there is a demonstrated public safety risk that cannot effectively be addressed otherwise.

Want to learn more? See our Statement of Principles for our comprehensive policy views and plans for action.


Justice for Work is a diverse, transpartisan coalition of think tanks, advocacy groups and other civil society organizations. See below for a list of current member organizations (drop us a note if you're interested in joining).