City of Lakeland Implements Ban the Box

The city manager in Lakeland, Fla., has put into place a “Ban the Box” process that removes the questions about prior criminal convictions for job applicants. Effective February 1, Shawn Sherrouse said his goal as city manager is to have “a more diverse pool of applicants” so the workforce mirrors the community’s demographics, stating that a matrix is used to determine if a candidate is the most qualified and that measures “risk factors that include the time elapsed since conviction, rehabilitation efforts, employment history, character and the factors surround the criminal offense.” A benefit of the Ban the Box initiative, he said, is that it will increase the pool of applicants and “provide a second chance for qualified individuals and open the job market for those that made a mistake but paid their dues to society.”

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