One of the biggest challenges for previously incarcerated people is trying to find gainful employment after reentry.
Statistics have shown that when employers are allowed to ask about a candidate’s criminal history, applicants with a criminal record are usually the first to be discarded — regardless of their skills or relevant qualifications. That means that no matter how far in the past their run-in with the law was or how much education or experience they have, they may never get a chance at employment because employers simply won’t give them the opportunity.
Such discrimination goes against our sense of fairness. If someone has done their time, then employers should only consider their relevant skills, not a prior conviction or arrest record. Yet, some employers are still allowed to include a checkbox on their applications asking about a candidate’s criminal past.
The good news is that, in many parts of the country, the checkbox or “box” is no longer allowed. The federal government, 37 states, and dozens of municipalities have passed laws banning the dreaded checkbox. In fact, nearly 270 million Americans live in states where the “box” is banned. Unfortunately, Arkansas is not one of them.
It’s time to end this discriminatory hiring practice in the state of Arkansas. Fight for a fairer hiring process in Arkansas. Sign Dream Corps JUSTICE’s petition urging lawmakers in Arkansas to “Ban the Box.”