CDL Trucking Industry Helps Felons Start Fresh and Also Fill Driver Shortage

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Hiring ex-convicts to drive trucks and valuable cargo might seem like a bad business decision on the surface, but some trucking companies are giving such candidates a second look.

With estimates pointing to a shortfall of as many as 175,000 drivers by 2024, some in the trucking industry are looking to an unlikely source for workers — convicted felons who have served time in prison.

The U.S. is home to millions of nonviolent felons seeking meaningful employment.

The Sentencing Project reports that more than 70 million U.S. adults have some sort of criminal record. An estimated 600,000 people are released from federal and state prisons annually, according to the National Employment Law Project.

The stigma associated with a criminal record can follow a person for years, making many jobs and careers almost unattainable. More than three-quarters of released prisoners are rearrested within five years, according to the National Institute of Justice. A five-year study by the Indiana Department of Corrections found that regardless of an offender’s classification, gainful employment was an “effective buffer for reducing recidivism.”

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