Ban the Box Movement Takes Aim at College Applications

The Ban the Box movement, which prohibits public- and private-sector employers from asking prospective hires about past criminal histories, is no longer just about employment. A bill, which is pending in the Colorado legislature, could remove the requirement that higher education institution applicants reveal their arrest or conviction histories. Introduced in the Senate by Denver Democrat Robert Rodriguez and his Republican co-sponsor, Jack Tate, the bill would prohibit colleges and universities from asking about criminal histories prior to admission. Republicans generally have opposed the ban on job applications, stating that the government shouldn’t be able to tell employers how to screen applicants, but, with Democrats in control of the state legislature and the governorship, the bill has a shot at being passed. The educational bill, however, features bipartisan sponsorship.

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