The week in silly studies: Criminal record reduces job prospects

Jordan Chittley
Geekquinox
February 5, 2013

Employers are less likely to hire people who have a criminal record probably doesn't seem like breaking news to most people and hence why we found this study so ridiculous.

And it wasn't just a university or a think tank conducting the study, but rather the U.S. Department of Justice. We don't even want to think about the kind of taxpayer money that was spent. At least it's not Canadian taxpayer money.

The study shows one third of American adults have been arrested by age 23 and those who have a criminal record are significantly less likely to get a job, according to Collegiate Times. But what's even worse than having a criminal record is trying to cover it up.

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"I really want to emphasize that the student has to be completely honest," said Him Henderson, associate director of employer relations at Virginia Tech, to the outlet. "What gets the students in trouble more often than the actual offense is trying to hide the offense."

So getting arrested is bad for your job prospects, but lying about it will do even more damage.

Henderson said employers will conduct background checks and they will find out about the offense(s). Even if the applicant initially gets the job, he or she may be fired at a later date if the employer learns about the incident through a different channel.

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The good news for many university students is employers can overlook some drinking offenses such as being drunk in public or underage drinking as long as the offender explains the situation.

"Students should expect questions about the offenses in an interview, and they need to make sure they have a good explanation of what took place, and what they learned from the experience," Henderson said to the Times. Multiple offenses are much harder to overlook.

The study looked at misdemeanor offenses, which is anything that carries a jail term of less than one year.

The Collegiate Times reports a U.S. network that helps people with criminal records find jobs shows employers sometimes view people in that position as more of a liability instead of an asset, regardless of the seriousness of the crime.

Again, probably not breaking news.

(Reuters photo)

The week in silly studies is a feature that appears each Tuesday.
It is not intended to mock real science.

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