New Jersey topped the list of 43 states that passed legislation last year aimed at reducing barriers faced by people with criminal records in employment, voting, jury duty, and many other areas of daily life, according to the latest annual report of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center.
A University of California economics professors compared recidivism data in 25 states that have passed ‘Ban the Box’ policies and found that they might have had the opposite impact for African-American ex-offenders.
Tucked into the massive defense spending bill passed by Congress last week, the Fair Chance Act bars federal executive, legislative, and judicial agencies and their contractors from requesting criminal history information until a conditional job offer has been extended to an applicant.
The record-setting $1 million-plus judgment last week against a Queens, NY developer who refused to rent to individuals with criminal records was a wake-up call to landlords across the nation who practice such “blanket bans,” writes the CEO of the Fortune Society.
More than 150 cities and 35 states have created policies restricting when an employer can ask an applicant about his or her criminal history. But many jurisdictions lack clear enforcement mechanisms and report low numbers of complaints, a sign that the laws often miss their mark.
Finding a job — especially one that pays well —is key to keeping those with a criminal history from being rearrested. Removing criminal history questions on college applications will lead to better outcomes not only for people with records, but for society as a whole, argues an R Street researcher.