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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ban The Box Legislation

The most common complaint from formerly incarcerated people we've talked to is the difficulty finding a job. Too many people get out of prison and find themselves in 2nd class status, left with few opportunities to avoid criminal activity likely to land them back in prison.

Employer discrimination against formerly incarcerated people is a major cause of recidivism and contributor to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex.
Ban the Box is an initiative to outlaw the  "have you been convicted of a felony?" box from job applications. It is a well known phenomenon that employers often throw out applications with that box checked without otherwise considering the application. Banning the box gives formerly incarcerated people a chance to get an interview, tell their own story, and escape this discrimination.

The Justice Equality Liberty Organization (JEL, based out of Cincinnati) is organizing public pressure to get Ohio lawmakers to "Ban the Box" this summer. RedBird will be supporting these efforts, and we encourage all to participate.

JEL's call to action:

An initiative to eliminate criminal inquiries on employment applications will take place June 11-15, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio, beginning at 8:01am and ending 5:01pm.  This initiative will consist of tactical support from supporters who will be involved in massive communication operations while direct action supporters will peacefully assemble and demonstrate/protest the recidivism created by our representatives due to their failure to eliminate criminal inquiries from employment applications and set forth specific guidelines to assist employers in hiring those with criminal records.
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