Mistakes... We all make them and yet, not all mistakes are the same. Many Americans have been judged too harshly by our criminal justice system for the mistakes they’ve made.

Most former prisoners who’ve returned to their communities with hopes and dreams of living a better and brighter future will tell you that going to prison was not the difficult part—it was returning home and rebuilding their lives.


Because of the stigma of being a criminal. Not to mention the personal shame many of us with a criminal record carries for a bad decision. Maybe we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or didn’t exercise integrity in a business dealing, or harmed another being.

Most prisoners correct their behavior while in prison and develop a plan for their future. However, the reality is: America’s criminal justice system has made prisoner reentry difficult, even when our former prisoners have paid the price and want to move on. Even worse, all punishment is not the same.

The rich often get probation and poor people get long sentences. In prison, people with mental health issues or drug dependency often don’t get the necessary care they need, or prison might not be the right environment for them to become more productive.

Some people of color are judged harsher than their peers for similar mistakes. Regardless of your socio-economic status, if you’ve made a mistake and feel remorse, you deserve a path forward.

R3 Score Can Help People Move Forward. Let Us Explain How

If your mistake brings you in contact with the criminal justice system, consequences can include physical incarceration, home detention, probation, or some other long-lasting ding that ends up as a data point in our court systems or at the FBI. This data is then captured, locked in place, and then weaponized against you for the rest of your life. Not to mention your arrest and trial being forever memorialized online.

In other words, your past actions keep you frozen in time—frozen in the worst possible time in your life and labeling you forever as a criminal. It’s possible you’ll be judged by static data or incorrect data for the rest of your life.

This process denies other information pertinent to understanding the events locked out of the data pools. If accepted without other relevant data points, we discriminate and establish a societal norm that says, “Hey, this person messed up. Let’s never let them forget it.”

"For 70+ million Americans, we face this level of judgment and discrimination no matter how hard we’ve worked to better our lives." Teresa Hodge

The truth is, it’s not fair and it goes against our values as Americans. R3 Score is not just a tech company with a desire to do good. We’re a tech company proximate to the criminal justice system with a deep understanding of how certain events turn into data that can be used forever to determine where you work, live, go to school, or bank.

Our founders and team are proximate to the problem, and our solutions are born out of our lived experiences and deep understanding of how and why the traditional criminal background screening industry is ripe for disruption.

For decades, corporations have considered criminal justice reform by updating their outdated policies. Every time there is a change in the federal, state, or local governments, such reforms that could give fair chances to former prisoners are halted. Meanwhile, people with records who have done the hard work of rebuilding their reputation and who pose no risk to society remain locked out of "opportunity."

We believe, bankers, employers, landlords, and universities are open to new risk models that don’t hide the fact that a person has a criminal history. They want the benefit of context to criminal history. They want data to provide a current assessment of not only risk but readiness for the opportunity they are seeking.

That’s Why We Created R3 Score

We knew a better product could be offered to our community, and we understood the issues in the criminal justice system. R3 Score is elevating the standard by bringing artificial intelligence, machine learning and empathy to classify the data and delivering a new mathematical equation to consumers and opportunity seekers with a criminal history.

The result is more people working and being productive. Our reports increase accuracy and provide a current snapshot of risk, readiness, and reputation all while reducing bias and compliance risk.

The criminal background system is broken and captures static data that leaves certain people locked in their past and their worst possible mistakes. R3 Score’s artificial intelligence and machine learning coupled with our deep understanding of humans who have made mistakes allows us to build bridges to new opportunities and create a future that works for all of us.

Our game-changing technology puts control of your data in your hands and allows you to pursue opportunities with greater confidence. Because leaving one-third of the U.S. population behind is no longer an option and is fiscally irresponsible.

About the Author:
Laurin Leonard
Laurin Leonard

Chief Executive Officer

Laurin is R3 Score's CEO. R3 Score is a...

Laurin is R3 Score's CEO. R3 Score is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business solution tailored for the 1-in-3 Americans living with a...