In his latest push for criminal justice reform, President Barack Obama on Monday will introduce new efforts to rehabilitate the formerly incarcerated, one of which includes banning the check box on employment applications that asks if a potential employee has ever been convicted of a crime.
The effort to “Ban The Box” includes an executive order that will require federal employees to eliminate the box from applications, The Huffington Post reports. While many states and private employers have already banned the box, contractors and federal employers are currently not required to do so. The newest measure to ban the box, the Post points out, will exclude contractors.
Activists for criminal justice reform and the rehabilitation of former inmates have long pushed for the measure, arguing that the box inhibits many from starting anew, a necessity to keep the formerly incarcerated out of the system.
In addition to banning the box, the White House announced that Obama plans to introduce the following measures during an appearance in Newark, New Jersey Monday afternoon: adult reentry education grants, arrests guidance for public and other HUD-assisted housing, expanding tech training and jobs for individuals with criminal records, establishing a national clean slate clearinghouse, juvenile reentry assistance program awards to support public housing residents, and permanent supportive housing.
From The White House:
These announcements mark a continuation of the Obama Administration’s commitment to mitigating unnecessary collateral impacts of incarceration. In particular, the Administration has advanced numerous effective reintegration strategies through the work of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, whose mission is to reduce recidivism and victimization; assist those returning from prison, jail or juvenile facilities to become productive citizens; and save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
While in Newark, the president also plans to visit a facility for those recovering from substance abuse. Obama’s latest effort follows his historic visit to El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, where he discussed criminal justice reform with a group of non-violent drug offenders.
For more information on Obama’s newest measures, visit the rehabilitation and reintegration fact sheet here.
Watch Roland Martin, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Manuel La Fontaine from the National Ban the Box Campaign and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Pres. Barack Obama’s order to federal agencies to “Ban the Box” on federal job applications in the video clip below.
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