Tuesday of next week, the city of New Haven Connecticut will take a vote on weather or not to “ban the box”. ( Ban the box in New Haven, Alan Cohn)
For those unfamiliar with the ban the box legislations which appear to be sweeping the country, heres a bit of background.
Ordinarily when someone applies for any job, there is a box which ask in some manner, “have you ever been convicted of a felony”. What the city of New Haven is putting on the table for vote next week is weather or not this probabitive box will be entirely scrapped for any city job. Which I think is a great idea.
This box merely serves as a defacto discrimmination tool for people who have already paid their debt to society and are seeking to re enter back into thier communities and support their families. Discrimmination towards convicted felons is rampant and contributes to a high re incarceration rate and also contributes to more social cost.
New Haven has taken this ban the box consideration to an entirely new level however by indicating that if the City of New Haven votes to actually ban the box, then all City Vendors must also do the same. This too is a good idea in my eyes, since it is a first step in banning the box entirely for ALL employers statewide. Hopefully it will catch on in such a way which encourages all states to follow suit, which will inevitably lead to a “federal like” ban the box result.
Certainly there are those who are against the ban the box ballot, and who will vote against the intended progress of the city. For some reason many people have this twisted notion that all felons should be stigmatised, alienated and tagged throughout their entire life. What this translates into is a literally a life sentence for beinga convicted felon.
Any convicted felon can emphatically tell you that a life sentence is exactly with the label of FELON brings into their world. This is not an easy situation to cope with, even with all of the family and community support that some may have. So imagine the difficulty in the experience of life that a convicted felon has to deal with absent any realy family or community support. It’s a devastating set of circumstances which must be confronted and many can’t cope properly and simply turn or return to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and crime.
I’m not exactly sure what types of jobs for convicted felons actually exist in New Haven, perhaps someone out there can provide a list of what these jobs will actually entail, that would be illuminating.
I’ve written about available jobs for convicted felons as traffic cops, but all I know about the jobs which may be available in the New Haven area are that they are “city jobs”, which is a bit broad and I’d like to narrow that down a bit if I could.
Anyway for those who think that this ban the box legislations may pose some kind of security risk, it’s important to understand that although the question of a having a conviction record will not be asked on the application, ALL potential job candidates do in fact undergo a background check. And when it is discovered that the applicant does in fact have a criminal record, a review is conducted to see if there is a RELATIONSHIP between the offense and the job opportunity. Which of course makes sense and is a right headed way of managing this delicate situation.
Until next time.