The Ban the Box concept is a nationwide movement that has grown to include over 100 cities and counties. The idea behind Ban the Box is to urge employers to consider a job candidate’s qualifications prior to their existing criminal history. By removing their conviction history, the job applications can be reviewed upon a ‘level playing field’. More than 24 states currently support the movement, and nine of these states have removed the conviction history question from job applications for private employers.

Last November, U.S. President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order to Ban the Box, declaring that government should not use criminal history to screen out applicants. The Executive Order allows federal hiring requiring that applicants are only asked about past convictions after they receive conditional job offers. But employment isn’t where it ends. The Ban the Box movement is growing. Recently, the Ban the Box concept has been expanded to include higher education.

The prevailing reasoning behind these movements: providing fair and equal policies for employment and education benefit everyone – families and communities alike.

With the Presidential election quickly upon us, we can be assured that the Ban the Box movement will be one of the topics of discussion