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For hard-to-fill jobs, some hospitals hiring ex-cons

May 10, 2017            

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

According to mid-April article in Stateline, a publication of the Pew Charitable Trusts non-profit, some hospital systems and other healthcare employers are compensating for the shortage of workers willing to take hard-to-fill jobs by accepting applicants with criminal backgrounds.

 

Michele Sedney, senior director for recruitment at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins medical center, told Stateline that there are “lots” of applicants with backgrounds.   “If we’re going to exclude all of them,” she asked, “how are we ever going to staff the hospital?”

 

According to Stateline, research has shown that ex-offenders will stay in their jobs longer and are not likelier to be fired than other employees, or commit on-the-job crimes. 

 

On the other hand, the article said, some states have gone in the opposite direction—with Colorado legislation requiring fingerprint-based background checks for healthcare professionals, and an Indiana bill expanding background checks for home health jobs (long required in New York).

 

Hospitals alone account for one in nine jobs in the U.S., and an aging population is expected to drive continued job growth in that sector.