The Ducey administration is considering a “ban the box” policy for state agencies that would delay the process of asking prospective employees for arrest or conviction information until later in the hiring process.
Such a policy would tie into Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s efforts at reducing recidivism and providing second chances for criminals. Several initiatives in the past two years have focused on this goal, from employment centers at prisons to food stamps for former drug felons to inmate fire crews.
The policy in discussion at Ducey’s office would only apply to public sector jobs, not private companies, as a way to “model the behavior we want the private sector to follow,” according to a slide in a report put together by the Ducey administration.
Many job applications in both the public and private sector ask prospective employees for any criminal histories. For instance, on a state job application, candidates are asked if they’ve been convicted of any crime – felonies, misdemeanors or serious driving offenses – even if it was set aside or expunged, along with details of the offenses, dates, jurisdictions and dispositions.
The “ban the box” movement, also referred to as fair chance hiring, started more than a decade ago by advocating for eliminating questions about criminal records until later in the hiring process as a way to help ex-offenders get jobs.
More than half of states have some form of policy that delays the process of asking about criminal records. Some states remove the box from governmental job applications, while others also require private employers to remove it.
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