"Ban The Box"

Most job applications have a box to check whether one has ever been convicted of a crime. When checked that more often than not automatically means the application will go to the bottom of the pile or be rejected. People who have served time or been convicted of a felony have the right to rebuild their lives, and the necessity for that is a job. An L.A. Times editorial puts it this way,” The most telling predictor of whether an ex-offender will reenter the community as a law-abiding and productive member, or whether instead he or she will return to jail or prison, is employment.” Being rejected just on the basis of checking this box is equivalent to a double punishment. We owe it to those individuals, to the welfare of the community in which they live, as well as to the society as a whole, to make it easier for those who have been convicted and served their time to be able to better find a job. There is a movement throughout the country to “ban the box”. In California, that effort takes the shape of AB 218. Let’s hope it passes and becomes an example other states can follow.