Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 11.45.09 AMPresident Obama is set to announce a series of measures designed to make the process of reintegrating into society easier for former prisoners, including an executive order directing federal employers to delay inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal past until later in the application process. Currently, the question is at the end of the initial application.

Many states, cities and private employers have already taken steps to ban the checkbox asking if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. However, some federal employers and contractors still ask. Obama’s executive order will apply to federal employers, but not to contractors.

Civil rights activists have urged Obama to propose the measure, noting that those questions can limit the ability for people with a criminal record to gain employment and get their lives back on track after prison. Advocates argue that former prisoners should be allowed to prove their qualifications for a job instead of being eliminated early on in the process due to their criminal history.

The issue has come up on the campaign trail, with all three Democratic presidential candidates pledging support for “banning the box”.

Obama will also announce other initiatives designed to improve rehabilitation and re-entry for former inmates, including education and housing grants, as well as partnerships between local municipalities and private companies that would provide jobs and training in technology.

Do you support banning the box?


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  • _a_

    I actually would like to know if I’m working next to a rapist, theif, or murderer.

    • Mico

      I agree, but as it stands now, if they disclose and have the right connections, an employer may choose to still hire them. I don’t think there are any laws that says employees need to know these things just the employers. If that was the case, many domestic abusers (with arrest records), would be known and identified as such in their communities. Teachers who were convicted of sex crimes in other cities/states would also not be able to hide their crimes from their fellow coworkers.

    • _a_

      That’s the exact problem.

    • Joe

      That’s why this is for non-violent offenders, not for murderers or rapists.

    • _a_

      A thief is technically,”non-violent”. & tbh drug dealers are exactly known for being peaceful and civil.

  • Taz

    If I was a buisness owner I’d like to know what type of person I’m hiring.

  • Ang

    It might be better to limit employers to asking if the person has been convicted of certain felonies.

  • Mico

    I think this should definitely apply to nonviolent offenders who weren’t convicted of any sex crimes.

  • I support this policy 100 percent. The only exception should be that murderers, rapists, domestic abusers, pedophiles, and criminals of that nature ought to be transparently known to job hiring individuals (Criminals of that nature be totally known to employers). Other than that, the box should be banned. The prison industrial complex has ruined laws. The law and order reactionary nonsense has not worked to build communities plus it has been economically disadvantageous. That is why human beings from across the political spectrum want the War on Drugs to end, want the system of mass incarceration to end, and desire real alternatives to help people who are allowed to leave prison. That is why I reject austerity. I believe in investments in rehabilitation, drug treatment programs, and getting rid of mandatory minimum sentencing laws, so the recidivism rate can decline and society can be improved. Nixon advanced the tough on crime rhetoric and he appealed to white racists after the rebellion of the 1960’s to form the Southern Strategy. Reagan expanded on that retrograde viewpoint. Today, we have seen an expansion of people in prison. America has more people in prison as a percentage of its population than any nation on Earth. This reality must change. Therefore, giving people second chances who deserve second chances is the right thing to do. Altruism is part of righteousness.