An important step forward has been taken in the realm of helping prison inmates to avoid going to back to prison when they get released. That step? The federal government will no longer ask about felony convictions on job applications. They only get to ask about it after considering all the applicant’s actual qualifications.
This only affects potentially about 600,000 jobs, but it’s an important step. It’s good that the federal government is paving the way for this, because really, employers shouldn’t be able to ask about felony backgrounds unless it’s in regard to something related to the job. Did someone steal from their employer and are now looking to apply at a bank? The bank should know. But if that person stole from their employer and isn’t looking for a job that involves handling money, maybe the prospective new employer doesn’t need to know.
It’s been shown time and again that one of the best ways to keep people from reoffending and going back to prison is through good, stable jobs. Those, along with stable housing and education, will generally keep people out of the legal system much more effectively than any “tough on crime” bullshit. So I’m very, very pleased that this step is being taken.