A local coalition in North Carolina has called on Forsyth County commissioners to strike job application questions pertaining to prior convictions, also known as 'Ban the Box.' So reports The Chronicle.
The All God's Children Ministry, a group of 100 people from churches, non-profits and civic organizations, delivered letters to the commissioners urging they make the county an example of a place that gives former convicts a second chance. The idea behind banning the box is to avoid applicants from being dismissed early in the interview process simply based on them having a criminal conviction.
County human resources manager Shontell Robinson noted in a March meeting that other local cities and counties have already adopted 'Ban the Box' or similar measures, as well as 30 states. Robinson noted that applicants being rejected due to their criminal record is very rare and that she is involved in every decision to reject a candidate due to a criminal record.
When asked by Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt if she thought the county's hiring policy was fair, Robinson said many employees who had past convictions have been hired. "I know we give folks a second chance," Robinson said.
Lisa Sykes, project leader of the All God's Children Ministry Team at Knollwood Baptist Church, said she saw 'Ban the Box' as an opportunity to influence the wider hiring market.
"We think it's important that the county...do the right thing, which it's obviously for the most part doing already except Ban the Box, but we'd like for the county to also set an example for private employers," Sykes said.
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