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NCJ Number: 220750 Find in a Library
Title: Ban the Box To Promote Ex-Offender Employment
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:755-762
Author(s): Jessica S. Henry; James B. Jacobs
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 8
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper argues for "banning the box" on initial employment applications that ask about an applicant's criminal record.
Abstract: Criminological research has long concluded that holding a legitimate job diminishes criminal conduct. Consequently, many criminologists and social reformers have advocated programs that expand employment opportunities for ex-offenders, particularly for those who have served prison time. Strategies for improving the employability of ex-offenders have been a focus for reducing reoffending. Recognizing that society as well as ex-offenders lose by excluding them from legitimate employment opportunities, several cities, such as Boston, San Francisco, and Minneapolis have agreed to "ban the box" on initial job applications that require applicants to indicate any past criminal convictions, unless it is clearly related to the requirements of a particular position. In voluntarily ignoring past criminal convictions for most public-sector jobs, local governments can lead the way in reducing job discrimination against ex-offenders. If cities show that ex-offenders can be safely hired for most public-sector jobs, this constitutes a strong argument for repealing many broad restrictions on ex-offender licensing and employment. The cities that have initiated "ban the box" campaigns have not argued that a criminal record is irrelevant in employers' hiring decisions, but rather that a criminal record will only be considered after the applicant passes initial competency screening. Issues remain as to whether and how the ultimate hiring decision will be based on the nature of the offenses committed and how the behavior involved may relate to the tasks of the job for which the ex-offender is being considered. 12 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Barriers to ex-offender employment; Employment discrimination; Ex-offender employment; Ex-offenders; Ex-offenders rights; Research uses in policymaking
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