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Guest Commentary: Give Colorado offenders a fighting chance for that job. Ban the box.

January 31, 2019

"Applying for a job can be a stressful process. There are a lot of questions on that application and you want to make sure that you answer all the questions truthfully."


"There are some questions that are simply harder to answer than others. Regardless, you cannot ignore them. One question in particular that appears on most, if not all, job applications is this: “have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime?” If you answer yes to this question, the likely result is your application will be disregarded. You won’t be interviewed. You simply won’t be considered for the job. And this is despite the fact that you may be perfectly qualified or your arrest or conviction has not one iota of a connection to the job for which you’re applying."


"Indeed, this question does not take into account whether you were exonerated for the crime and deemed innocent. Often times, this question alone discourages many from completing the application."


"Colorado Chance to Compete — House Bill-1025 — (sometimes referred to as “ban the box”) addresses this issue and does so in a moderate and measured way. This bill is an important criminal justice reform initiative and makes good economic sense. It simply says that businesses cannot ask this question on the application but can do so later in the interview process. The bill creates no private right of action and recognizes that in certain limited situations, this question may be relevant. This bill acknowledges that not every offender should be employed, but gives them the chance at full consideration for any job for which they are qualified."


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