'Ban the Box' aimed at promoting equality

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 18, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 19 at 7:13 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Louisville Metro Council will be reviewing a “Ban the Box” proposal to give all job applicants, even those with a criminal history, a fair shot at gainful employment by removing questions from city job applications concerning past convictions.

The proposed legislations, introduced by Metro Council members, will postpone questions of criminal history until the interview process begins.

Some citizens believe this will give everyone the opportunity to have an honest interview process.

Honey Dozier was in jail for several months after forging a credit card and said that although the debt to society has been paid, she still feels incarcerated.

“It has taken me almost 20 years to get myself out of that hole,” she said.  “Even though I’ve been free within the population, I’m still serving time for that offense.”

Dozier said the proposal, if passed, will promote fairness in the employment system.

“This will allow many people the opportunity to break that cycle of poverty that they can’t break if theyre immediately discriminated against because of a box,” she said.

Bonifacio Aleman was convicted of a felony when he was 18 years old and said it changed the course of his life.  He finished college once he was out of prison, but he still faced challenges when trying to get a job.

“After spending 11 years in prison, I faced a lot of job applications that asked that question, ‘have you been convicted of a crime?’” he said.

The proposal is aimed at giving those with previous convictions a chance to get into the interview room and explain what happened, how long ago it happened and how they have changed since.   The proposal is still in its beginning stages and only applies to city jobs.

Thursday’s committee meeting has been cancelled, but plans to vote on the ban by the beginning of October are being discussed.
 

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