The Convicted Job Applicant: Examining the Effect of Reentry Programs on Employers' Perceptions of Ex-Offenders

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Fall 2013


The purpose of the present study was to examine how differing types of reentry programs effect individuals' willingness to hire and attitudes toward ex-offenders. Participants were asked to imagine that they are employers examining potential job applicants. Participants were randomly assigned to read about an ex-offender who, while incarcerated, completed a (1) global citizen program, (2) job skills development program, (3) religious faith program, or (4) no program (control condition). I predicted that participants in the global citizenship condition would rate the ex-offender more favorably, and be more likely to hire them than those in the job skills, religion, and control conditions. The results indicate that participants in the global citizen program rated the ex-offender as more honest and likeable, reported less desire to distance themselves socially from the ex-offender, and demonstrated a greater willingness to hire the ex- offender than those in the control condition. However, participants' ratings in the global citizen program condition and control condition did not differ significantly from the job skills and religious program conditions.


Stephen Reysen

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences