Washington Post: Agency launches campaign to promote hiring of ex-offenders

This is a smart idea that Illinois should borrow.

The federal agency in charge of helping parolees re-enter society in Washington D.C. has launched an innovative media campaign that "asks area business leaders to articulate what it will take for them to hire offenders."

Here's a summary of the media campaign from the Washington Post:

During a taped segment, which is posted on the agency's Web site and YouTube channel and will air on local television stations, officials from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency discuss the incentives available to businesses that hire individuals who have spent time in the criminal justice system. The agency also asks for comment from employers. There are also six radio segments in the works that will include interviews with both employers and offenders.

"We don't know what the response is going to be; what we're trying to do is crowd source the issue of hiring offenders," said Leonard Sipes Jr., a public affairs specialist with the agency and host of the program. "This project is about tapping into the knowledge of the business community and finding out what their bottom line is ... they know better than anybody else what they need, what they want, who they'll hire and who they won't hire."

Check out the full story here.