To help ex-cons, ban the box

The most telling predictor of whether an ex-offender will reenter the community as a law-abiding and productive member, or whether instead he or she will return to jail or prison, is employment. Former inmates with steady jobs have fairly high success rates. For those who can’t find work, prospects are dismal. Full Article

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How about this…make it a law that employees can’t know about a person’s criminal past unless it directly relates to the job in some way. If a person is a registered sex offender and his crime involved a teenage girl, why should that ever have any bearing on him getting a job where he’s not around teenage girls??? If a person’s crime is stealing cars, that should not matter if he’s trying to get a job in an office. Bottom line, if people can get jobs, they aren’t as likely to commit new crimes. If someone is concerned about recividism of any crime, then only make that person’s past crimes that are relevant available to employers! Oh wait, perhaps this is too much logic for politicians, their heads might explode…

This is almost something. But far too little. Its government employers only. And even they still get to consider the conviction before hiring you. And they’re not sitting around looking to be social workers, they’re in personnel and they are acting on written black-and-white policies, they don’t care what your story is. This proposal is decidedly useless if they are following black-and-white policies.

Better would be something more like the policy that employers like Bloomberg use. At Bloomberg, they specifically explain that you need reveal only felonies, and only felonies that are less than five years old. Once that five year mark passes, they don’t care any more, figure you have passed the test of time. (May I once again mention the 10-year minimum mark we pushing for with the tiers, even for the lowest of misdemeanors? Even private employer Bloomberg is more enlightened than that, so why aren’t we. We should at least substantially reduce the time for offenses not on the federal list, of which Calif. has many, if not outright drop SOR for those).

This proposed law must apply to ALL employers, and it should not allow even asking about a misdemeanor, and no felonies older than five years. What’s proposed here is window dressing, not some real relief. It sounds like a lot more ethan it is — just how politicians like it.

This is a really great article! I was convicted of a wobble and I can’t tell you how hard I worked at getting it expunged. I eventually went into banking. I mean, this is a no brainer. When people are working, starting families, married and have mortgages, people are typically more responsible. Its common sense. Truly.. I remember as a young man getting hair cut at a barber shop. Well, the barber was a bigot. I still to this day recall him telling me how he hired a great guy and somehow an ex con came in and he found out about it/he fired him? Everyone makes mistakes. Seriously. To this day, I still recall the story. The idea behind incarceration is to allow people to reflect on their misgivings and be punished. IF we continue to hold their past against them, how will they ever move forward? A miracle? Well, miracles are far and between. More people need to realize the need to help those who help themselves.

Couple months back I applied with a Walmart distribution center in AZ. I was called for an interview, then got to the point of the drug and background check. Drug was clean. I was denied employment but my report does not state why. Can someone comment? Is it because I am a felon..a sex offender? I’ve read since they only go back 7 years, wait until then.

This Walmart distribution center, like most, is in the middle of nowhere with no children in sight at all. If I can’t get a job there, where can I?