Applauds Gov Brown’s Decision to “Ban the Box” on Public Sector Employment Applications

by October 21, 2013

Thousands of ColorOfChange members took action urging Gov. Brown to remove barriers to re-entry for millions of  qualified Californians with past convictions – Oakland, CA — After more than 5,500 California ColorOfChange members and allies across the state raised their voices, Gov. Jerry Brown signed “Ban the Box” (AB 218) legislation into law.

AB 218 removes the deeply prejudicial checkbox disclosure of prior convictions from government job applications, while still permitting a background check for qualified applicants later in the hiring process. These reforms are critical to addressing barriers to employment for Black Californians. Ten other states across the country have adopted similar legislation, including a recent decision by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to “Ban the Box”.

The following is a statement from Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange:
“Governor Brown’s decision is a positive step forward to reducing Black unemployment rates, strengthening the struggling economy, and significantly reducing recidivism and prison overcrowding. Stopping the practice of forcing applicants with a prior conviction to check a box alleviates the harmful impacts of mass incarceration that extend throughout a person’s life.

All of California benefits when people with past convictions are no longer shut out of the workforce, especially Black families and communities who are disproportionately impacted by over-incarceration, exploding recidivism rates, and sky-high unemployment. Banning “the box” in CA is long-overdue, and marks a critical step in opening up job opportunities for millions of qualified Black Californians.” •

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