WASHINGTON, D.C. November 2, 2015 – President Obama announced yesterday a new executive order to reduce potential discrimination against former convicts in the hiring process for federal government employees. The White House said the president’s order would take immediate action, mandating that the federal government’s HR department “delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.”
This executive order is what many criminal justice reformers call “ban the box” – an effort to eliminate requirements that job applicants check a box on their applications if they have a criminal record. This rule has come under recent scrutiny as an obstacle that advances employment discrimination against former inmates, regardless of the severity of their offense or how long ago it occurred. Banning the box delays when employers learn of an applicant’s record.
“I strongly support the President’s effort on the Federal levels for former convicts. This executive order is an important step for former felons and their transition back into society.” American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform spokesman, Bernard Kerik said. “However, it’s time for Congress and the President to consider full rights restoration and the expungement of a felon’s record once they are out of the criminal justice system and are done with their probation or parole. No one should be denied their civil and constitutional rights, and punished for life once they’ve paid their debt to society, Until that happens, we will continue to create a permanent underclass of American citizen, denying them a successful transition back into society and the American workforce.” Kerik concluded.
All three Democratic candidates for president have supported “ban the box” policies on the campaign trail, as has Republican candidate Rand Paul, who has introduced legislation in the Senate with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker to seal criminal records for non-violent offenders. The executive order includes other proposals to prevent discrimination based on criminal history, like helping former prisoners apply for public housing and better funding for legal aid programs.
The American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform 501 c4 is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations established to advocate for common sense, science and statistic based initiatives that will transform our outdated judicial sentencing guidelines by addressing over-criminalization and other aspects of criminal justice badly in need of reform. ACCJR works to create sensible change to state and federal laws and regulations that will improve the social and economic lives of American families.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with ACCJR Spokesman Bernie Kerik, contact Chad Proudlock at 202-341-9171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.