Helping ex-offenders find jobs at a living wage is just smart public policy. Over 70 million Americans have some record of interaction with our criminal justice system. In today’s digital world that means that prospective employers may easily access records of arrest and conviction and simply reject applications without according an applicant an opportunity to have an interview. In short, it removes the human element from the hiring process. Ban-the-Box reserves questions around history of arrest and conviction until the last phase of hiring process. This sort of policy is all about second chances. We all make mistakes in our lives and we all deserve an opportunity to overcome them. We are all about justice and giving people a second chance in life.
Endless Punishment for Youthful Mistakes: Mindless
There are millions of Americans today who, often at a young age, were arrested and convicted for non-violent drug offenses. Many went to jail or prison for their errors and the behaviors deriving out of use and addiction. When they get out finding employment is the first thing they need to accomplish; however, the barriers to employment for ex-offenders are often very hard to overcome. How long is long enough to suffer for a mistake? Should it be 5 years, 10 years, 30 years…for life? If people undertake sincere efforts toward over-coming their past mistakes they should be allowed to do so.
Public Safety through Wise Public Policy
By making it all but impossible for ex-offenders to find gainful employment at a living wage what we do is enhance the likelihood of failure. It’s only common sense to help people get jobs. A large body of research and experience demonstrates that Ban-the-Box style policy will enhance public safety, not harm it. We all make mistakes in our lives and we all deserve second chances. It’s simply wise public policy. The United States incarcerates more of its citizens, per capita, than any nation on the planet. There are collateral consequences to mass incarceration.
Justice Reform, in Keeping with our Mission
We support Justice Reform efforts, including Ban-the-Box style policies and legislation. CueOps’ member Guy Gambill, during his tenure at the Council on Crime and Justice, succeeded in making Minneapolis-St. Paul the second and third cities in the US to pass Ban-the-Box and became a national leader in the realm of work around second chances for a number of years. We support those progressive organizations and efforts which undertake such efforts. We are about justice and second chances. In order for our society to remain viable we must allow those who have made mistakes in life to overcome their past.