In the course of this year, President Barack Obama has been working on reforming the criminal justice system. He’s spoken to prisoners, police officers and families that have lost loved once in the line of duty and to gun violence to get a first hand grasp of what’s going on in the system.
On Monday, Nov. 2, President Obama announced an executive order which bans federal employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until later on in the application process. He revealed this when he went to speak at a treatment center in New Jersey and when he spoke to federal prisoners about the order in July, when he became the first president ever to visit a prison.
The order is known as “ban the box” which describes the checkbox on applications that asks applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime, is intended to help former convicts successfully re-enter into society. Obama also revealed further plans to help former convicts come back into society such as education, housing grants and technology training.
Many employers are oppose to this because they believe that they should know about a persons history even before bringing them in for an interview. But this is why it’s so hard for convicts to get a fresh start in society. Obama believes,
If the disclosure of a criminal record happens later in a job application process, you’re more likely to be hired. If they have a chance to at least meet you, you’re able to talk to them about your life, what you’ve done, maybe they give you a chance.
Watch his entire speech below!