Ban the Box Predicted to Save Ex-Cons in the Job Market

Ban the Box Predicted to Save Ex-Cons in the Job Market


As president Obama’s term is winding down there are some topics that he still has to share his opinion on. Focusing on changing whatever else is left. Jobs for old prisoners that have been released recently is a hot topic right now.


Ex-Cons in the Job Market

There is no bigger turn off for employers than seeing a criminal record on a resume. That is a red flag and usually means the interview is over right away before it even gets started. Employers won’t even give the person a chance to explain the reasoning for going to prison. Sometimes that is not fair considering the circumstances. On the contrary, it can be even harder to stay out of prison when you can’t obtain a job.

Some cities and states are way ahead of this problem by breaking up the cycle.

Obama is working on his “ban the box” policy for all federal agencies. The goal is to prevent employers from being able to ask about criminal record information. If they want to ask those types of questions then they must wait until the later stages of hiring. This guarantees that they can’t discriminate right away.


ban the box

Along with resisting temptations to incarcerate prisoners, Obama is teaching us how simple it is to get over discrimination. The “ban the box” proposition is currently accepted by nineteen states and one hundred cities. They also come in different shapes and sizes. Some just simply delay the point at which employers can ask about criminal history. Others say that you can’t see that information until you are ready to hire.

Several federal agencies have already put the wheels in motion.

Some agencies are using the delay feature for many of the HR departments. It has been recommended to wait until later on in the hiring process and actually take into consideration the circumstances of the prisoners sentencing. Obama is working to put the recommendations in writing and turn them into regulations.


federal agencies

It is also important to consider that his regulations are limited. After all we are a democracy with separate powers and not a dictatorship. His rulings aren’t going to cover federal contractors where many prisoners will turn to for low wage jobs. While the delay process can be beneficial, waiting for government to extend a conditional offer is practically not applicable. Obama’s propositions are simply to fix the obstacle that ex-offenders have to face preventing them from doing anything with their life outside of prison.

Having a criminal record for any reason is currently the biggest obstacle that ex-cons have to tackle.

Trying to fit back into society after living in a dark hole for years is tough. How does an ex-con know how to act? They have no idea how society has changed. That can’t support a family or friend let alone themselves without a stable job. Convicted men seem to have the worst odds in their favor. Roughly thirty-three percent of all convicted men between 25 and 54 are not employed. Some are claiming that mass incarnation is the main cause of labor force decline.

If for any reason ex-cons are able to get a job right out of prison. That is only half the problem. Next you have to be able to keep a job. That is a lot harder than you may think. There is a lot of competition and people with clean records that are going to try to work harder and out beat the ex-con.

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Serving Prison time

It turns out that being in prison is also going to lead to other factors that could prevent job hiring. You see being in prison is only one-third of the problem. When you are in prison you are doing everything, but getting a better education and valuable job experience. This is critical in the current market. With more individuals trying to enter the market there is more competition. It is all about having the right credentials.

All the civil rights acts we have passed don’t do anything to help protect those convicted. In fact there is pretty much nothing that is stopping employers from discriminating against them. Now it is easier than ever to check out a potential employee’s history with the internet.

“Ban the box” is definitely going to help those convicted get a job.

This legislation gives the employers a chance to actually meet the individual and get to know them. You can’t make judgments right off the bat. Maybe the individual is a really nice person that just got caught in a bad situation. You have to be somewhat forgiving for that. This basically allows for a fresh start for ex-cons.



Article provided by Neches FCU, with locations in Port Neches, Nederland, Beaumont, Lumberton and Bridge City.

Neches FCU is one of the top Texas credit unions and has a superior team of professionals ready to service our members. When its doors open at any of the 9 locations, our core mission of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the sole focus for every employee. They are respected for a personal, dynamic and enthusiastic work atmosphere, delivering a memorable service experience, and where all clients are known by name. Neches Federal Credit Union has about $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches FCU is recognized by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in Texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!