Returning Citizens

Returning Citizens There are many Michigan employers who provide employment opportunities for ex-offenders who are willing to work hard and commit themselves to a new employment opportunity. With a statewide network of Service Centers, the Michigan Works! system serves nearly four million customers each year and is a great place to start.

Some misconceptions about formerly incarcerated individuals and their families:

  • People with criminal records are automatically barred from employment.
    An arrest or conviction record will NOT automatically bar individuals from employment.
  • An employer can get a copy of your criminal history from companies that do background checks without your permission.
    According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must get one’s permission, usually in writing, before asking a background screening company for a criminal history report. If one does not give permission or authorization, the application for employment may not get reviewed. If a person does give permission but does not get hired because of information in the report, the potential employer must follow several legal obligations.
  • Eligibility for Social Security benefits cannot be reinstated when an individual is released from incarceration.
    Social Security benefits are not payable if an individual is convicted of a criminal offense and confined. However, monthly benefits usually can be reinstated after a period of incarceration by contacting Social Security and providing proof of release.
  • A person with a criminal record is not eligible to receive federal student financial aid.
    Individuals who are currently incarcerated in a federal, state, or local correctional institution have some limited eligibility for federal student aid. In general, restrictions on federal student aid eligibility are removed for formerly incarcerated individuals, including those on probation, on parole, or residing in a halfway house.

Helpful Resources for Returning Citizens

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs


Community Specific Services

Job Search Tips

Creating a Positive First Impression

Michigan Jobs for Returning Citizens

Search your Criminal Record

Job Seeker Resources on Pure Michigan Talent Connect

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Federal Bonding Program

Michigan Department of Corrections

Get more with Michigan Works!

Get connected to more resources through your local Michigan Works! Service Center, a proud partner of the American Job Center network.

Visit Michigan Works! →

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Planning a Job Search

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