“Ban the Box” is seeking for ex-felons to have the right to be employed. This is argued to be one of the most helpful ways to keep them from going back to prison. In fact, when authorities talk about unemployment among convicted ex-felons, they also allude to recidivism. Recidivism is the act of a person committing the same crime again. It is directly proportional to the unemployment cases among those who have been in prison.
Get A Job
The answer is clear: For those who were sentenced to jail, find yourself a job and contribute to the good of society. However, it is not as easy as it seems. An ex-felon has hurdles that other job applicants with no criminal records don’t have. This is where the “Ban The Box” cry comes in.
Whether Guilty or Not Guilty
In America, more than 70 million have landed on the list of people who have violated the law, but not every one of them has been convicted. Many in the list were just arrested for having been implicated in a criminal case one way or the other. The problem is that the very fact of being included in the list puts one in the same footing as ex-felons when it comes to finding a job. As soon as that person puts the check mark in that dreaded box, he or she becomes the last choice, or worse, his or her application quickly lands in the waste bin. Employers don’t even bother giving that person the chance to go through a proper job application in many situations.
Black and Hispanic Casualties
Black and Hispanic people in America are the ones who are suffering the most from this type of job employment discrimination. According to latest reports, 30% of Black Americans and 20% of Hispanic Americans have gone to prison at least once in their lifetime. On top of that, these minority communities are the most susceptible to unlawful arrest and unjust treatment by authorities. The negative impact of “boxing out” these people from having fair employment opportunities does not just affect them. It also extends to the communities to which they belong, and usually, these are the poorest communities that the United States has.
Limited Opportunities for Thousands
The government and the public are experiencing a precarious situation resulting from the problem. As of latest assessments, around 38,000 people, who have not been proven to have committed a crime or have served some probationary time in prison, cannot work in the field of education, receive food stamps, or be granted access to public housing. The government doesn’t have to breathe a sigh of relief for releasing these people. Not yet. They are faced with the possibility of housing these people back to incarceration. Such a waste of money!
The “Ban the Box” Movement
Several states are now expanding the “ban the box” legislation to include private companies within their authority. Heading the movement are the states of New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Hawaii. Target and Wal-Mart have started banning the box and employing ex-prisoners. According to the latest count, 17 states have started either moving toward a total ban or a partial ban. Sadly, nothing is that promising in the state of Florida.
The Florida Movement
Only around 70 cities in Florida have introduced the “ban the box” legislation into its local versions. Discussions have started in Tampa and St. Petersburg. None of these movements can be considered significant, as only local employers apply the ban. The local ban disregards the background checking as well.
Job applicants in Florida are happy to skip the box checking, but skipping it does not guarantee fair and equal treatment. At the later part of the screening, employers are allowed to ask questions related to imprisonment experiences. Ex-felons must then have to admit the truth.
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