Rights of offenders
'“Ban-the-Box” (BTB) policies restrict employers from asking about applicants’ criminal histories on job applications and are often presented as a means of reducing unemployment among black men, who disproportionately have criminal records. However, withholding information about criminal records could risk encouraging statistical discrimination: employers may make assumptions about criminality based on the applicant’s race … [This study's] results confirm that criminal records are a major barrier to employment, but they also support the concern that BTB policies encourage statistical discrimination on the basis of race" (p. x).
'At the same time that the numbers of workers with criminal records have risen, the background check industry has expanded and overall, more employers are now using background checks as an employment screen than ever before. This resource guide documents the cities and counties that have recognized the devastating impact of these trends and taken steps to remove barriers to employment for qualified workers with criminal records, specifically by removing conviction history questions from job applications a reform commonly known as 'ban the box' ' The guide [also] provides key information for local officials and advocates to initiate reforms in their communities, including contact information, media, and campaign material links' (p. 1-2). Municipalities are listed according to city hiring policies and county hiring policies. Additional resources you may find useful, such as reports, presentations, media coverage, campaign materials in video or print formats, and technical assistance, are likewise noted. There is also the 'Summary of Highlights of Local Ban the Box Policies'.
“Hiring new employees is a critically important function in any business, government agency, or non-profit organization. Every hiring decision represents a major investment that employers must make with limited information. Checking criminal history is just a small part of this process, which may also include verifying education, prior employment and other reference information. The Best Practice Standards will help employers properly weigh adverse personal history to find those applicants who will contribute most to the productivity of the organization.” Sections following an executive summary include: best practices: purpose; overview; as part of preparing the job announcement, develop a Relevance Screen for Criminal History; selecting a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA)—ensuring reliable information and a clear report format; “Ban the Box”—do not ask applicants to disclose criminal record history in application; the interview; criminal history records check; the final hiring decision; always follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); general human resource policies to create a positive environment; “Best Practice for Individualized Assessment of Rehabilitation; and “20 Best Practice Standards: On the Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions”.
“It is time to broaden the reentry discussion and take a comprehensive look at how criminal records are accessed, disseminated, and utilized in this digital age and to find ways to make the criminal justice system more effective at providing meaningful opportunities for successful and lasting reintegration into our communities” (p. 2). This report explains how access to criminal records can damage efforts for successful reentry and provides suggestions on how to solve this challenge. Eight sections follow an executive summary: introduction; the problem—criminal records and collateral consequences; an outdated system—open access to criminal records; why people care—public safety and liability reconsidered; how criminal records are accessed and used in Texas; examples of other states’ efforts to limit access to and use of criminal records; ten recommendations; and conclusion.
“Poor individuals of color disproportionately carry the weight of a criminal record. They confront an array of legal and non-legal barriers, the most prominent of which are housing and employment … To address these issues, this article proposes a redemption-focused approach to criminal records. This approach recognizes that individuals ultimately move past their interactions with the criminal justice system and, therefore, they should no longer be saddled by their criminal records. Thus, the article calls for greatly expanding laws that allow individuals to remove their criminal records from public access and, in the end, allow them to reach redemption” (p. 963). This article is divided into four parts. Part I—Race and Criminal Records. Part II—Criminal Records, Housing, and Employment. Part III—Federal, State, and Local Efforts to ameliorate the impact of criminal records—the Federal Interagency Reentry Council; Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Equal Employment Opportunity; and state and local efforts to “Ban the Box Movement”. And Part IV—the need for a redemptive-focused approach to criminal records”—the inadequacy of existing efforts to ameliorate; the impact of a criminal record; and the redemptive-focused approach.
This report provides a very good look at how criminal records, race, and gender impact chances for employment. Sections following an executive summary cover: prisoner reentry and employment; race and the criminal justice system; stereotyping racial minorities and the unemployed; crime and employment; finding work in an era of mass incarceration; women, criminal records, and finding employment after prison; focus and research methods using an on-line job application, in-person application, and an employer survey; results according to females, male, and employers; and critical policy considerations regarding the role of the internet in applying for a job, the job interview, job training, and preparation for work, and expanding social capital for former inmates. "Consistent with prior research, we find differences by race/ethnicity, with blacks and Hispanics generally faring more poorly than whites. The differences for the online application process were not as large as for the in person process, but, nonetheless, we did find that a prison record has a dampening effect on job prospects, particularly in the low-skill food service sector, where ex-prisoners are likely to seek employment during reentry. The employer survey revealed strong effects for criminal justice involvement, with employers expressing preferences for hiring individuals with no prior criminal justice contact" (p. 1-2).
The right of a male batterer to visit his child(ren) is discussed. Sections of this paper include: introduction; defining the issues; the problem of prison visitation determinations; rights versus interests; in search of a standard -- the court's choice, parent and child relations, and the nature of the crime; factors for considerations in prison visitation cases -- legal presumption, best interest, trauma to the child(ren), and supervision and transportation; the response of the community; and conclusion.
The Constitution protects inmates in jails and prisons, and this paper discusses the continuing challenge of deciding what those protections mean in practice and the struggle to assure that inmate rights are met. "Condition cases" have resulted in courts reducing jail populations and have a great impact on facility design and operation and the cost of operating a jail. Legal issues whose impact are primarily operational are also highlighted. The title: Jails and the Constitution: An Overview (#022570) supersedes this title.
This publication "reviews the history of correctional law and summarizes the results and effects of major court decisions" (p. 4). Sections comprising this document include: introduction; history of court involvement; corrections and the Constitution in a new century; the Constitution and the physical plant; understanding Section 1983 lawsuits; how courts evaluate claims -- the balancing test; the First Amendment; the Fourth Amendment; the Eighth Amendment -- overview; the 8th Amendment -- use of force; the 8th Amendment -- medical care; the 8th Amendment -- conditions of confinement; the Fourteenth Amendment; consent decrees; some final thoughts; glossary; and selected cases.
"This guide identifies laws, court decisions, advocacy tips, and other resources that may be helpful for adult transgender prisoners. Each transgender person’s experience in prison and jail is different, in part because the conditions vary a great deal from one prison to another and change over time. However, the safety and health of every transgender prisoner in the United States is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution no matter where the prisoner is held" (p. 2). Sections cover: the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); safety and protection from violence; medical care; housing and administrative segregation; searches and privacy; safely preserving and enforcing your rights; and additional resources—legal and advocacy organizations, and links to useful documents.