WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Monday will announce a series of measures designed to reduce obstacles facing former prisoners reintegrating into society, including an executive action directing federal employers to delay asking questions about a job applicant's criminal history until later in the application process.
Many states, cities and private employers have already taken steps to "ban the box," which refers to the checkbox on employment applications asking if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime.
Civil rights activists have urged Obama to propose the measure, noting that such questions can limit the ability for people with a criminal record to gain employment and get their lives back on track after prison. Advocates argue that those formerly in prison should be allowed to prove their qualifications for a job instead of being eliminated early in the process due to their criminal background.
Another liberal good idea that won't work and, in reality, will make matters worse - worse for the very people they want to help - convicted felons.
Here's the real deal:
A convicted felon applies for a decent job in the private sector. According to the ban the box federal executive action (Obama's pen and phone) the job candidate will not asked or will not have to reveal whether they have been convicted of a crime. The applicant is therefore not eliminated for being a convict and perhaps proceeds to the next stage of the employment process. Assuming the ex-convict is qualified for the job, he/she continues through the employment hiring process.
Well into the hiring process, the private sector employer THEN does a background check (yes, they will do that) and finds out that the candidate has a criminal record. At that stage the candidate is then disqualified and will not be hired, will not get the job.
The real-world effect of "ban the box" is that the convicted-felon-job-applicant is given false hope, will not get the job anyway because their criminal record will come to light anyway, and both the ex-felon and the prospective employer have wasted their time by extending the employment process. In fact, thanks to ban the box, the ex-con is likely to become even MORE frustrated and upset when trying to get a job in the private sector. Ban the box is, once again, another good idea from liberals, another good idea from liberals that doesn't work in the private sector, in the real world, where most of the jobs are.
The scariest words in the English language: "Hi, we're from the government and we're here to help."