When people leave the criminal justice system, a combination of family support, community assistance, and economic opportunity is needed to help them stay out. Having access to employment opportunities is key, providing not just financial resources, but also connections to society that help those with criminal records reintegrate successfully. Read report.
Unfortunately, people with a criminal record are often turned away from jobs despite their skills and qualifications, with a criminal record acting as a barrier that cuts off employment opportunities before the hiring process even begins. This strains critical family supports and provides financial incentives to engage in illegal behaviors.
35 states and over 150 cities and counties have adopted what are widely known as “Ban the Box” policies. These policies provide applicants a fair chance at employment by removing the conviction history question from job applications and delaying background checks until later in the hiring process. This allows employers to judge applicants on their qualifications first, without the stigma of a record.
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