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States try to remove barriers for ex-offenders

About 70 million people are trying to navigate the world with a criminal record. Some states, concerned with the high costs of keeping people locked up, are removing some roadblocks that ex-offenders face. The goal: to increase the chances they’ll succeed in society and lessen the chances they’ll return to prison. Tucson joined the "Ban the Box" movement last year.
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Jun 26, 2015, 2:58 pm
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Concerning the sidebar first, the City of Tucson is hardly an example for other HR departments to follow. I’ve given up on those people long ago, but the most recent attempt I made at getting hired there I was sent TWO letters of rejection, not just one. And, I know the guy who ended up getting the spot…over a decade less experienced than me, and with a lot more to learn than I do.

The time before that, a few MONTHS after I applied for a spot, they sent me an email asking if I was still interested. I answered in the affirmative. After a few more MONTHS goes by, I’m finally given the rejection letter.

So, again, CoT HR not exactly a model for anyone to follow.

All of that said, I absolutely hate how many employers handle past criminal convictions. As a society, we whine and moan and bitch about recidivism while simultaneously painting ex-cons with a Scarlet letter and putting as many barriers as we can between them and rebuilding their lives. It makes no sense whatsoever.

One place I worked, I liked their system. They didn’t ask you about if you had a conviction. They gave you a four-page list of crimes and you just check yes or no as to whether or not you’ve ever been convicted of that particular crime. So, those who have a conviction that this particular employer didn’t care about didn’t have to disclose it.

Another employer I worked for only asked you to disclose misdemeanors going back five years, and felonies going back 10. I liked that system much better, too. It allows someone who has stayed out of trouble to finally have an opportunity to get back to normalcy.

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