DATE: April 2016 - National Reentry Week
National Reentry Week, April 24 – 30, 2016 - Per the US Department of Justice
Many job applications contain a checkbox that asks about criminal history. Often, qualified applicants are rejected at this step prior to obtaining an interview. The stigma of a record negatively contributes to recidivism, and unproductive reentry of citizens into society. President Obama met with members of the business community to encourage them to participate in “The Fair Chance Business Pledge”. In this voluntary initiative, the Department of Justice has spelled out measures that will ultimately reduce recidivism and help formerly incarcerated individuals meaningfully integrate back into their communities.
Hawaii was the first state to adopt “Ban the Box” legislation in 1998. To date, there are 23 states and over 100 cities and counties nationwide that have adopted “fair chance” policies to help limit hiring hurdles. Seven states, and many cities and counties including the District of Columbia, have removed the box from private employers’ job applications, which advocates hail as an important step in policy reform. Removing the checkbox that asks about an applicant's criminal history on a job application, and requesting this information later in the process, after the applicant has had a chance to get through the door, is one of several actions “The Fair Chance Business Pledge” outlines.
Suggested ways to promote fair hiring practices include:
“Ban the Box” from job applications and ask questions about criminal history later in the process.
Train human resources staff how to make fair decisions for applicants with a criminal history
Ensure internships and job training programs are available to people with criminal records
Ensure accuracy by utilizing the services of reliable background investigation providers
Host a Fair Chance Job Fair
As an international background investigations company, Commercial Investigations assists its clients with compliance and helps them enhance their procedural processes in relation to this legislation.