Criminal background check questions normally discourage convicted felonies from filling out job applications, due to the fear of not getting the job because of their past behaviors. The criminal record has prevented the newly reformed or former criminal the opportunity of getting places to stay or to even earn an honest living.
The rehabilitation of the former criminal continues as they are released into the society. Sometimes that rehabilitation is halted by society’s limitations and confinement of the reformed criminal to a box of rejection, belittlement, and despair. The disparity of the former criminals has inspired them to fight for equal treatment and opportunity.
Good news has arrived for San Francisco residents if the proposed ordinance is passed. The ordinance would prohibit private employers, publicly funded housing providers, and city contractors from using the job application to view the applicants’ criminal history. The criminal history still can be obtained once the live interview has been conducted.
According to the policy director at Legal Services for prisoners with children, he stated that “Incarceration is bad enough.’ Once people are released from prison, they deserve the basic right to the housing and employment that many of us take for granted.”
Even though this is not a blank check for the former criminals, this is a step towards the right direction for society forgiveness. The “Fair Chance” ordinance is the first step to the nationwide “Ban the Box” movement that includes Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana. This reform measure that is being considered by Ohio, North Carolinas, Michigan, New Jersey, and Delaware has been introduced to their legislature.
There are several cities that currently have “Ban the Box” guidelines for job applications. This effort will allow the previously convicted to have an opportunity to get a job, and live a life without crime and constant disappointments.