What to Expect When Running Criminal Background Checks

With the rise of Ban the Box legislation in America, the legislation that prohibits employers from automatically eliminating candidates based solely on the existence of a criminal history, it is important to understand the basics of dealing with criminal background checks.

How Many People Actually Have Criminal Histories?

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults has a prior arrest or conviction on record. That’s about 70 million people. To put that number into some perspective, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of Millennials—people between the ages of 18 and 34—numbered around 75 million in 2015. The Baby Boomer population hovered around the same amount, give or take a million.

People with criminal records represent a massive chunk of the workforce. The odds of finding issues after running a criminal background check on an applicant is great and your policies should reflect a clear and measured procedure for handling that information.

Understanding Ban the Box and other Re-entry and Second Chance Programs

NELP reports that Ban the Box legislation has a presence in at least 27 states in the nation. This means that more and more employers will need to adapt their policies in order to protect themselves from the risk of discrimination allegations. But what is the sentiment behind Ban the Box?

Ban the Box and other Re-entry and Second Chance programs exist to assimilate ex-offenders back into society by allowing the opportunity for them to get gainful employment. Without a job, ex-offenders are crippled in their effort to rejoin society and thereby become more at risk of reoffending.

A study conducted by Northwestern University found that as employees, ex-offenders were no worse at their jobs than their non-offender counterparts. Are these findings applicable to your own experience?

Contact VICTIG with any questions or concerns about how Ban the Box may apply to your area.

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