In New York’s primary, former New York Sen. Clinton scored a decisive victory over Vermont’s Sen. Sanders. During her victory speech last night, Hillary again voiced the urgent need for criminal justice reform. She called again for “Ban the Box” from job applications.
One of the major contributing causes of our high recidivism rate is the lack of jobs for released inmates. In 2015, the Manhattan Institute released a study showing that immediate employment for released inmates reduces recidivism. Employment applications have always requested information about an applicant’s criminal record by having a box to check (if you had a criminal record). A disclosure of a criminal record on the job application eliminated almost any chance for a job interview.
“Banning the box” is an important step in reforming our broken system of criminal justice. The United States has almost 25% of the world’s inmates, but only 5% of the world’s population. On April 11, major companies including Facebook, Uber, Starbucks, The Hershey Company and Coca-Cola have pledged to help released inmates find jobs by changing their approach to job applications. The pledged companies will eliminate from their job applications, the box requiring information about an applicant’s criminal record.
The White House has stated, companies joining “The Fair Chance Business Pledge,” have agreed to delay questions about a job applicant’s criminal record until it can be “considered in context.”
By banning the box, an individual with a criminal record will have a chance of having a job interview where the applicant can discuss his or her past, present, and future.
On the other hand, Trump’s victory speech as usual never mentioned criminal justice reform.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com