Time behind bars can be a life sentence when it comes to job opportunities. But these tech entrepreneurs are finding that hiring former prisoners can provide a social good and make great business sense.

RICHARD BRONSON MADE MILLIONS ON WALL STREET in the 1990s, but by 2005 he found himself destitute with no home and no money—and only his sister’s couch on which to sleep. No one would give him a job or even entertain the idea. “I tried to put the past behind me, but doors were slamming in my face,” says Bronson.

The event that turned him into a pariah? A two-year stint in federal prison for securities fraud that followed Bronson’s time as a partner at the infamous

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