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Should Former Convicts Be Hired As Drivers?

Should Former Convicts be Hired as Drivers?

With the demand for drivers at an all time high, some carriers may find drivers from unexpected places, even prison.

At first glance, this seems to be a chance to meet multiple needs simultaneously. The driver shortage has pushed transportation fleets to maximum capacity, which will begin to cripple the industry in the coming years if the demand for truckers is not met. Meanwhile, there are millions of free and on-parole felons in the U.S. who are looking for a fresh start through meaningful work. There are some prisons that even allow inmates to begin earning their CDL while still behind bars. But is this a good idea? recently highlighted the complexity of this issue, noting that “More than three-quarters of released prisoners are rearrested within five years, according to the National Institute of Justice.” On the other hand, research has also shown that “gainful employment [is] an effective buffer for reducing recidivism.

The positive outcomes of employment (like not returning to a life of crime!) make it even more unfortunate that the “stigma associated with a criminal record can follow a person for years,” making getting a job nearly impossible at times for men and women who have already paid their debt to society.

In other words, a driving career can provide former convicts with a second chance at being productive citizens. But the idea of former inmates as truck drivers is not embraced by everyone. Critics fear that putting ex-cons behind the wheel may endanger others they share the road with, especially if the driver’s previous crimes were violent or otherwise related to acts of aggression.

Are ex-con truckers a danger to others on the road, or is it unfair to be suspicious of truck drivers who made mistakes in their past and now want a second chance? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith
is the Content Manager at Trader Interactive, managing marketing content development for ATV Trader, Commercial Truck Trader, Cycle Trader, Equipment Trader, RV Trader, and more. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to marketplace buyers and sellers.

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8 Responses

  1. We hired several convicts that had served time for various felonies. They came in excited that someone would give them a chance and they stayed until the company was dissolved. I understand each company has their own requirements, however I feel you are limiting your selves to have really good drivers by not thinking outside the box.

  2. Absolutely, Most go back to prison because they don’t have opportunity’s .They get offer crap work at below livable wage, because of their records, too exclude them “Just Because” is wrong . Have the system teach them CDL and give them hope . The system is and has been broken for a long time I see this as a joint venture to help people in need get good paying jobs ,feel worth while and reduce the prison return rate

  3. I was a convict, (non-violent, no drugs, only bad checks) released in 1986 after serving 5 years. I was allowed to go back driving when I was released. I worked hard to do “right”. There was many people who judged me and said I would always be a convict. But within 3 years I bought my first truck, in 5 years I had 2 trucks. By the year 2001 I owned a terminal with 53 trucks and 33 o/o. I have NEVER been in trouble since. If I had not gone back driving, I don’t know how I would have had a chance to support my family as well as I did! By the way I have had no accidents, 1 speeding ticket over 25 years. I have had many ex cons that have worked for me over the years, some worked out, some did not.

    1. Not sure why I didn’t see your reply earlier…good story, congratulations on your success despite your circumstances, you are a “poster child” of second chances and should be the model by which others look who don’t think they can change or do good! Nice to hear.

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