Fair Chance Business S.W.I.T. Encourages Second Chances

Justice System Reform

Success While In Transition (S.W.I.T.) has partnered with Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) to promote Fair Chance Business Certifications among North Carolina employers.

S.W.I.T. is a curriculum-based service addressing the barriers faced by justice-involved individuals while re-entering society. Co-founded by Henry Green and William Elmore, S.W.I.T gives returning community members the tools needed to land on their feet. 

SCSJ’s Fair Chance Business Certifications program incentivizes and celebrates businesses and nonprofits who hire people with criminal records. The Fair Chance Business Certifications program also serves as a crucial resource for justice-impacted people looking for good jobs. 

Businesses can become certified by removing all questions about criminal records from initial job application forms. Fair Chance Certifications signal to prospective employees that they will be considered for their work qualifications — not judged solely by their past.

“Justice-impacted people shouldn’t have to be overshadowed by the stigma of a conviction or arrest when it comes to looking for work,” said Marcus Pollard, counsel for Justice System Reform at SCSJ. “This program allows businesses to put in place inclusive hiring practices that look holistically at a prospective employee’s talent and skill rather than judge them first by the worst of their mistakes.”

Fair Chance hiring is an incredibly impactful practice to take on, especially considering that one-third of Americans live with a criminal record. 

“To be a second chance employer is an honorable thing, because I feel like I’m serving myself when I serve other people in that way,” said William Elmore, co-creator of S.W.I.T. 

In order to become Fair Chance Business Certified, businesses must:

  • Remove all questions about criminal records from the initial job application form.
  • Delay asking questions about criminal records until the applicant is given a conditional offer.
  • Give applicants a chance to review background checks.

The certification is free and open to any small business in the South.

For more information on Fair Chance Business Certification, please contact Marcus Pollard at marcus@scsj.org or apply through our Fair Chance Certification interest form.