Open hiring means getting a job despite having criminal record


No skills tests, no background checks, just a life-saving job at a bakery

When former drug dealer Dion Drew got out of prison, no one would hire him. Then he learned about a bakery that didn’t do background checks, didn’t test skills, didn’t require references. As much as Greyston’s “open hiring” practice helped Drew, it’s also making a difference to the bottom line, says CEO Mike Brady.


This piece was produced by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and WHYY/NewsWorks for The Reentry Project, a citywide collaborative news initiative. It is part of an occasional series — across the city and across platforms — on the challenges facing people returning from prison and what can be done about them.

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Hope behind bars. How ban-the-box rules help ex-offenders, hurt women, & young people. Employment status is key predictor of recidivism. Ex-drug dealers turn their lives around at ShopRite, but what about the misery they caused on the street?

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Supermarket hires former inmates; finds business skills

Now he slings ice cream, instead of cocaine; ShopRite finds talent in former drug dealers

One in an occasional series, part of a collaborative news project about the challenges – and solutions – of prison reentry in Philadelphia. When Jeffrey Brown looks to promote employees within his 13-store supermarket chain, he looks for people with hustle, ability, commitment, all that.

Attorney in Kensington helping to expunge criminal records and protect victims of wage theft

This young lawyer is expunging records and fighting wage theft in Kensington – Generocity Philly

The United States was founded on the restoration of rights, and Americans have historically taken pride in the civil liberties and individual freedoms we offer the people who live here. But the country hasn’t always done a great job of making sure people know how their rights can protect them.

Community Legal Services’ Sharon Dietrich assists those with criminal records with expungement

Legal advocate helps workers under shadow of criminal records

When it comes to how poor people are treated at work, Sharon Dietrich gets mad. “I’m mad on a daily basis,” said Dietrich, 55, litigation director and managing attorney of the employment law practice at Community Legal Services. – Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer