In 2009, twelve IPS practitioners were selected to participate in a project to learn how to assist individuals with a criminal background and a mental health condition to gain competitive employment.  They conducted 128 surveys with diverse types of employers within eight states and found that 63% of employers had knowingly hired at least one person with a felony.  The most common reasons these employers reported that they hired these individuals is the person was qualified to do the job, presented well in their interview, someone in the job seeker’s network knew the employer, and the employer believed the person had changed their life.  Employers advised that job seekers be honest and up front about their past, take responsibility for their actions, explain how they’ve changed their lives, and speak directly to a hiring manager or decision maker at the business when applying.  Employers also recommended that the employment specialist think about the type of crime the person committed when helping the person identify a job goal.  For example, a person with a record for theft is less likely to be hired as a cashier.  You can find more information about this project at (list where on the site the report is posted).