Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Academics / Global Campus / Professional Development / Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Hiring people who were once incarcerated is a positive practice for many organizations, resulting in employees who are well-trained, loyal, and eager to work. Yet some employers do not consider hiring people with a criminal record due to fear or bias. The cost to individuals and our communities for not hiring from this population is severe, since with unemployment comes increased recidivism and failure to thrive. 

In collaboration with TalentFirst and the Michigan Department of Corrections, Calvin University offers a set of professional development opportunities to explore best practices in second chance hiring. Focused on resources in Michigan, this short, online course taken alongside a cohort will equip HR leaders, managers, and business owners with the knowledge and skills to implement second chance hiring.

To enrich the learning, those who complete the online microcredential course may also register for a collaborative workshop on-campus as well as a tour of Handlon's Vocational Village.

Microcredential ($25.00) 

You'll have two weeks to complete the course, which launched on May 6, 2024. This online course will take 2-3 hours to complete on your own time. It covers the following topics:

  • Understanding the Criminal Justice System
  • Hiring Considerations
  • Employability
  • Accessing Supports and Services
  • Creating a Flourishing Culture

Those who complete the course will receive both a digital badge and, if desired, 2.5 SHRM continuing education credits. Completing the course also makes you eligible to participate in the optional workshop and Handlon Vocational Village tour.

Workshop ($50.00)

June 12, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m. at Calvin University
Online course completers are invited to attend an in-person workshop to interact with other employers, brainstorm ideas, refine plans, and network. Breakfast provided. 3 SHRM continuing education credits available.

Tour of Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility (Free tour; $50.00 to cover transportation & lunch)

June 12, 11:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Employers may participate in a field trip to the Vocational Village at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility to learn about one of the top vocational training prison programs in the nation, observing the vocational training program in action and meeting both leaders and trainees. Boxed lunch and transportation via charter bus provided. 4 SHRM continuing education credits available.

Want to participate with your colleagues? We offer discounts for groups of five or more: 10% off for-profit, 20% off non-profit. Contact our team at globalcampus@calvin.edu for information on group registration.

Contact Abbie Lipsker, director of continuing studies, with questions, abbie.lipsker@calvin.edu.

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Did you know?

Calvin offers a Christian liberal arts education to inmates at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, MI. This five-year program, called the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI), results in a bachelor of arts degree from Calvin University. CPI brings hope, dignity, and the opportunity for real accomplishment. Learn more about CPI.

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