With America being the land of opportunity, the U. S has presented quite a few disadvantaged Americans’ with not so many opportunities. Especially those people of who have been arrested for a criminal crime. This also includes freshly released from prison, probation and/or parole. A study in 2012 shows with one in four Americans in the United States today, have been arrested. (Solomon). That same study shows most Americans being arrested at the age of twenty three. This poses dilemmas as for employment breaks. Another disadvantage that comes to play is the initiative filling out the form of employment (The application).
On that application for employment; reads a box that states criminal history, arrests previous to applying, also asks you to report any form convictions and the natures of the crimes. That little box tends to be not only discouraging to an applicant trying to better ones selves, but it also prevents reestablishing, and rehabilitating. From whatever it is they undergo. From whatever might lead up to that background. Whether it is drugs addictions or reasons they performed those crimes, such as a way of survival.
Thank fully enough that’s where Ban the Box Act comes into play. This is an act, which removes those horrible anxieties and pressures when applying for employment opportunities. Ban the box should be a federal law because it enables people to find recovery in the job market and not return to crime, and it also puts income back into America that could be used for more imperative issues to this country; also disables employers from discriminating against the job seeker; by seeing that box checked on a form of application for employment.
Originally originated in California; Ban the box yet is involved in over 43 cities in America as of 2012 reports NELP (National Employment Law Project)(see NELP). Minnesota was the first state to apply this bill. It also narrows employers’ liability for criminal records (NELP). Incentives are now being offered, and insurances to prevent as much liability for employers taking the risk of employing offenders, such as a tax break/credit.
Delaware for example is trying to allow a grace period of time hired, and if performance is not acceptable then they may use the criminal history as a termination of employment. Although recently denied by congress in July 2012(BJS. Gov), it should be a federal law nationwide. With prison and or jails being the most highly funded besides Medicare in the country (Katel), it’d definitely lead to less recidivism to institutions which would put the funds to more imperative things; such as children’s education amongst many more federally applicable prospects.
With incarceration rates in the United States higher than any other country in the world, and it’s one of those most funded as well (Katel). Besides Medicare the prison system alone in 2008 showed that it sucks up the most state funded money. An astonishing state coverage of $22,000 yearly (Katel). With the United States almost exceeding count of 22 million of Americans’ institutionalized in some kind of jail and/or prison system. As of 2011, (Solomon) each year over 12 million people are admitted to local jails, and more than 700,000 are admitted to state and federal facilities.
The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but almost a quarter of its population is prisoners! (Solomon) About three fourths of a million of those prisoners or inmates will be released from the institution that they are in. Within a three year period, almost more than half of them will return to jail or prison due to committing either new or relevant crimes (Kamel) for ways of survival or violating the community corrections program they were obligated to.
These include not just parole, also probation or drug court. The easiest way of violating one of the community programs above is employment. It is not just a suggestion; it’s a requirement to remain to one’s freedom. Which is uncovered challenging, and in this day and time nearly unrealistic! Not only due to today’s economy; also due to that bad choice(s) or a criminal history can make finding employment difficult. NIJ (National Institute of Justice) found that a criminal record reduces the likelihood of a job or offer by over 50%! Solomon) With another study showing that 92% of employers use some sort of background check. With any kind of simple arrest or criminal history (even if it didn’t lead to a conviction. ) that shows quite a problem. So being on a community corrections program and the conditions of the job employment is very discouraging to more than half of those sentenced to these programs. Recidivism is bound to occur for most unfortunately.
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