Employment barriers - SB 413

Employment barriers - SB 413

New Futures strongly supports SB 413, which helps promote rehabilitation by easing barriers to employment for individuals with criminal histories.

National data indicates that more than 70% of individuals currently incarcerated in New Hampshire are struggling with Substance Use Disorders. Of the 600+ newly incarcerated individuals last year, two-thirds were sentenced to prison for committing non-violent, property or drug offences. Many of these offenses can be directly attributed to an underlying, untreated, Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Today there is ample evidence that addiction is a treatable disease and recovery is an achievable reality. There are approximately 23.5 million people in the United States living in long-term recovery from misuse of drugs and alcohol.1 Despite the fact that SUD treatment is effective, many people with SUD experience repeated cycles of deteriorating health, dysfunctional behaviors, and relapse. It should therefore come as no surprise that many individuals in recovery have criminal histories as a result of their addiction.
Similar to recovery from other chronic diseases, recovery from a SUD is best understood as a process that responds effectively to treatment in combination with environmental supports. Environmental supports include stable and sober housing, access to child care and employment opportunities.

While steady employment is important to sustaining long-term recovery, criminal records prevent many individuals with SUD from even getting their foot in the door. In New Hampshire, most job applications require applicants to indicate whether they have ever been convicted of a crime. Answering this question truthfully disqualifies countless individuals in recovery from being considered for employment, even if they may be the most qualified applicant for the job.

SB 413 recognizes that a criminal record should not disqualify an individual from being a full participant and valuable member of our society. SB 413 does not require an employer to ignore a criminal record. Rather, SB 413 asks employers to consider an applicant based on job skills and qualifications first; preserving the employer’s right to inquire and conduct a criminal background check later in the interview process. This change in current practice would afford qualified individuals in recovery the opportunity to sit down with employers, explain their criminal records and demonstrate their rehabilitation.

For the reasons cited above, New Futures strongly supports SB 413. Thank you for your work addressing the barriers to employment for individuals in recovery from Substance Use Disorder.

70%
of individuals currently incarcerated in New Hampshire are struggling with Substance Use Disorders.
2/3
newly incarcerated individuals were sentenced to prison for committing non-violent, property or drug offences.
23.5 million
people in the United States living in long-term recovery from misuse of drugs and alcohol.

on march 17th the Senate Committee Voted to 'lay on the table' (delay for now).

Bill Status
  • Committee
  • Public Hearing
  • Executive Session
  • Full Body Vote
  • Committee
  • Public Hearing
  • Executive Session
  • Full Body Vote