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Let’s Discuss the “Ban the Box” Movement

App Elden

Ban the Box was established to remove the stigma of a job candidate’s conviction or arrest record so that employers can firstly consider their job qualifications. Fostered by All of Us or None, BNB eliminates the conviction history question from job applications and postpones background checks until later in the hiring process. Currently, 33 states and over 150 cities and counties have accepted this movement since it was formed in 2004 (

For the 70 million men and women that have criminal records in the United States, this movement has proven itself to be promising. However, studies have found that employers who would voluntarily hire someone with a criminal record is a measly 12% and the absence of the conviction history box has actually allowed for a situation where employers fault to a guessing game. With this, they pick and choose who they think has a criminal record and sadly, the people who get put into the no pile are usually black and Hispanic (

Moving Forward

Terry-Ann Craigie, who studies justice reform issues, is not going to let these recent findings halt the BTB movement whatsoever. Her research shows that theses specific studies were focused on the effect of BTB hiring policies in the private sector. In the public sector, where anti-discrimination policies are more firm, Craigie has found that BTB policies have actually created an overall positive effect for individuals with criminal records. Even though the public sector only makes up for 15% of all jobs, state and local BTB policies have increased the chance of public employment by 30% (  

In her efforts to further disprove these studies, Craigie conducted her own study. In short, Craigie was able to conclude that there is no evidence of discrimination in hiring as a result of BNB. She found this by comparing the public employment odds for people with and without criminal records, both before and after the implementation of BTB policies. With this, she was able to determine how the effects of the BNB policy played out on racial lines, why still respecting the fact that BNB policies have been implemented in different jurisdictions at different points over the past decade (

All in all, Craigie believes BTB is being used as a scapegoat for discriminatory hiring practices and she’s leaving employers with that to mull over (

Require an Experienced Attorney?

If you or a loved one with a criminal record are experiencing difficulties with achieving employment, contact Premier Federal Criminal Defenders today for free consultation. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and need legal representation, we’re the criminal defense attorneys that can help.

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