MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County is launching a new website aimed at helping those with criminal pasts in the Greater Memphis area get back into the workforce.
The ‘Work to Break the Cycle’ website is an online jobs site providing available Shelby County Government jobs for people with arrests or convictions in their histories.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’s office worked with the Shelby County ReEntry and Human Resources offices to create the data base. They said providing these second chance opportunities helps to decrease the chances that someone will reoffend. They said it also helps the local economy by saving taxpayer money by lowering the number of people incarcerated.
“Meaningful, stable, and sustainable employment can help ensure individuals do not reoffend and create new victims of crime. Our jobs on the Work to Break the Cycle website come with the promise of benefits like a living wage, paid parental leave, and healthcare coverage,” said Mayor Harris in a news release. “I believe expanding these second chance opportunities benefits our whole community, reduces recidivism, and makes a real impact on public safety.”
“Nearly everyone who is incarcerated will return to their communities. It’s important there are opportunities for justice-impacted individuals when they return home,” said DeAndre Brown, Director of the Shelby County Office of ReEntry. “Through programs like Work to Break the Cycle, justice-impacted individuals can have confidence in applying for jobs they know they are qualified for and contribute to their community.”
“Since the passage of the Ban the Box Ordinance, nearly 80 people with adverse backgrounds have been hired at Shelby County Government. Now, with the Work to Break the Cycle website, applicants are more confident they qualify for jobs and their criminal history will not impede them from County employment,” said Gerald Thornton, Shelby County Director of Human Resources.
During an announcement about the website Friday, Shelby County also celebrated those ‘justice-impacted’ people who have sought employment with the government. Lunch was provided by Fabulous Flavors and Friends, owned by Precious Thompson Jones, who has her own inspirational story of incarceration to employment.
Find out more at worktobreakthecycle.com.