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‘Banning the Box’ Helps Prisoners Become People

‘Banning the Box’ Helps Prisoners Become People

In Virginia, former inmates will no longer have to check a box on employment applications saying whether or not they have been convicted of a felony. Should this be the standard nationwide?

For too many people, that question is the difference between living a life of dignity and living a life of shame and bitterness. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe made a bold move with this statewide initiative which will prohibit state agencies and public employers from disqualifying job seekers if they have a criminal record. This makes it easier for the formerly incarcerated to find employment and rebuild their lives. It also, most importantly, brings us, as a nation, one step closer to humanity.

Before naysayers start crying about sex offenders and murderers working in public places and McAuliffe letting so-called crazy people run free and wreak havoc on our lives, “banning the box” does not stop employers from doing background checks on applicants. It simply keeps employers from dismissing a person based solely on the knowledge that he or she spent time in jail for any reason.

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Posted Under: EBI

Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at