A growing number of chambers are championing Criminal Justice Reform efforts that reduce crime, improve public safety, develop the workforce pipeline, and build thriving and inclusive regional economies. Smart Justice addresses criminal justice issues holistically by examining the connections between crime and opportunities for education, employment, mental health and addiction support, housing and social inclusion. Chambers are uniquely positioned to build cross-sector coalitions that address key issues such as corrections reform, diversion and prevention, sentencing reform, justice reinvestment, education, and employment.
Fair Chance Hiring refers to policies that delay inquiries into a job applicant's criminal record until they have an opportunity to introduce themselves and their qualifications for the job. Employment has been shown to help reduce the likelihood that someone leaving jail or prison will reoffend, keeping communities safer and building a more inclusive regional economy.