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Are work barriers for those with criminal backgrounds loosening?

Being convicted of a crime can have many long-term implications. For one, it could cause a person to encounter employment barriers. A recent article suggests though that Illinois is seeing a lowering of some of these barriers.

Reductions in license barriers

One thing that could keep a person who has a criminal record from his or her desired career are professional license restrictions. Historically, there have been rules in place making it difficult for individuals with past convictions to get licensed for certain professions.

However, Illinois has seen a lifting of some of these restrictions in recent years. Reportedly, law changes have led to such an easing of license restrictions for over 100 occupations. So, the career fields open to those with criminal convictions has expanded in the state.

Expansion of record sealing

Another employment barrier individuals with prior convictions can encounter is a reluctance by employers to hire individuals with a criminal record.

There are a couple of things which could be weakening this barrier. For one, there are the changes Illinois has made to its rules related to record sealing. Generally, there has been an expansion of what convictions can be sealed. This could make it easier for individuals to keep convictions off of the records that most employers would have access to.

Changing employer views

Also, it appears there may be a trend occurring among some employers in the state of having a greater openness towards hiring individuals with a criminal record. Things that could be contributing to such a shift include changing societal views on the matter and the effects low unemployment rates are having on the job market.

Now, while there does appear to be a loosening of the employment barriers for individuals with criminal convictions here in Illinois, such barriers have certainly not completely disappeared. What happens in criminal cases can still have major employment implications for individuals. So, getting guidance on what measures they can take to protect their careers goals and other important goals can be important for individuals when they are facing criminal charges.

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