LA County Ensures Formerly Incarcerated Get a “Fair Chance”

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis is committed to helping people who are ready to turn their lives around. Building upon her vision to ensure everyone has equal access to a good job, today the Board of Supervisors passed a Board letter approving the Fair Chance Employment Policy requiring businesses that contract with the County to provide fair chance employment. Fair chance policies lift barriers to employment for people with history of involvement in the criminal justice system, thereby boosting the economy, promoting public safety, and reducing dependence on public benefits.

“The best way to protect public safety is to help people who want a second chance get a job. This is not only the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do as well,” said Supervisor Solis. “Our new policy is another important step in giving our vulnerable populations a fair chance at getting back on their feet. We hope that other municipalities throughout the County will follow and adopt similar policies to help these men and women get a fair chance.”

Today’s action follows a motion authored by Supervisor Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas in July 2017. The implementation of the Fair Chance Employment Policy ensures that entities doing business with the County include standard language in County contracts and provide compliance with fair chance employment hiring standards. The Board of Supervisors has instructed the County’s Internal Services Department (ISD) to issue Fair Chance Employment Policy Implementation Guidelines to all departments within the next 30 days.

A 2011 study in Philadelphia found that securing employment for 100 formerly incarcerated people would increase their lifetime earnings by a combined $55 million, increase their income tax contributions by $1.9 million, boost sales tax revenue by $770,000, and save $2 million a year by keeping them out of the criminal justice system. A consistent regional fair chance policy will not only demonstrate that Los Angeles supports second chances, but will also contribute to aligning regional commerce requirements.