Houston Matters

How the ‘Ban the Box’ Movement Hopes to Improve Job Prospects for Ex-Convicts

It has long been common practice in hiring to ask prospective employees if they have been convicted of a crime. In fact, it’s a question you’ll typically find on many job applications. But some would like to see that change, to “ban the box” applicants must check if they have a criminal conviction. The hope […]

Houston Matters microphonesIt has long been common practice in hiring to ask prospective employees if they have been convicted of a crime. In fact, it’s a question you’ll typically find on many job applications. But some would like to see that change, to “ban the box” applicants must check if they have a criminal conviction. The hope is that if private businesses delay such questions or background checks until a provisional job offer is made, it will improve the chances for ex-convicts to get jobs.

And that “ban the box” effort is happening in some cities. This year, Austin became the first one in Texas to prohibit most private employers from considering criminal history until a conditional job offer’s made. Houston has not made such a move.

We learn more about the “ban the box” movement and consider whether the city of Houston may take it up at some point.

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