"Ban the Box" efforts to give convicted felons fair chance when - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

"Ban the Box" efforts to give convicted felons fair chance when applying for jobs

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Convicted felons who want a job in the city of Jackson, might not have to reveal information about their criminal record. 

Ban the Box is an initiative Mayor Tony Yarber is pushing and he held a press conference on Tuesday morning giving more details on how the measure works. 

Ban the box is an effort to give citizens, who have a criminal record and have paid their debt to society, a "fair chance" to be judged on their qualifications when applying for a job.

Yarber says if employers must ask about convictions, they can ask later in the hiring process.

He says the initiative will begin as a city policy change, which will be implemented by early 2015. 

Yarber urges the City Council to support the effort, through a resolution or possibly an ordinance, to ensure that the policy remains in effect beyond the current administration. He has also called on businesses in the city and other municipalities to “Ban the Box.”

“Research shows that supporting the employment opportunities of people with records creates safe communities, reduces childhood poverty, and strengthens families,” Yarber says.

The policy wouldn't prohibit background checks. Yarber says the goal is to keep applicants from being disqualified at the beginning of the hiring process.

Currently, 13 states and more than 70 cities and counties have adopted "fair chance" policies.

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