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We Applaud the Obama Administration for Banning the Box

On Monday, President Obama ordered federal agencies to stop asking most prospective employees about their criminal histories at the beginning of the application process. 

For too long, Americans seeking to re-enter the workforce and make an honest living have had job opportunities taken away because of an honest answer on an application--an honest answer about a crime for which they have already paid the price.

We applaud the Obama Administration in taking this crucial step to make the employment process smoother for returning citizens. If we want a healthier America, one that does not have the largest incarcerated population in the world, we need a system that earnestly offers people a second chance.

Now, it is time for lawmakers to follow suit. One of the most important next steps is to ban the box for federal contractors, who Demos research has shown employ millions of workers in a variety of large and small industries. The Fair Chance Act introduced in Congress in September would do just that, banning both the federal government and federal contractors from requesting criminal history information until they reach the conditional offer stage.”