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NELP Briefing Paper

  • Statewide Ban the Box: Reducing Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records

    This is a great update on what is happening in the United States regarding Ban the Box initiatives. Correctional reformers, offender advocates, and probation officers should be aware of this movement. “Nationwide, over 50 cities and counties-including New York City-have now taken the critical step of removing unfair barriers to employment in their hiring policies. Widely known as “ban the box,” these initiatives typically remove the question on the job application about an individual’s conviction history and delay the background check inquiry until later in the hiring process ... In an era of extreme mass incarceration, ban-the-box campaigns provide a platform to educate the public about the stigma of a criminal record and the real consequences to our society of depriving millions of Americans with past convictions of economic stability” (p. 2). Sections of this brief cover: the ten states that have embraced statewide ban the box; current state policies; legislation introduced in 2013; and related fair hiring standards-laws prohibiting discrimination based on a criminal record.