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Showing posts from January, 2009

Major Cities Moving Toward “Banning the Box” (Employment Questions Regarding Criminal History)

Some major cities across the U.S. are eliminating questions regarding criminal history from their job applications in order to prevent convicts from being shut out of the workforce. This policy has been termed “banning the box,” in reference to the box that applicants are forced to check when they initially apply for a position. Such changes in hiring procedures are aimed at helping ex-convicts to make a successful transition into society. Cities are coming to realize that one of the most significant barriers to successful reintegration is the inability of these individuals to gain employment. Disclosure of a past offense, regardless of its age or relevance to the position being sought, often functions to automatically shut out an individual from a job they are otherwise qualified for.

These “ban the box” policies came about as a result of the national grassroots campaigning of an organization of formerly incarcerated people and their families called All of Us or None. These …