One of the few positive pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly this year was “Ban the Box.” Employment is a pivotal factor in preventing recidivism, but well-qualified applicants with criminal records – even those from the long-distant past and irrelevant to the job for which they are applying – are often excluded from consideration before even having an interview, solely because they honestly answer the question, “Have you been convicted of a crime?” This legislation generally prohibits employers from asking that question at the initial application process, giving applicants a chance to be interviewed and an opportunity for employers to see an applicant’s qualifications and not solely their mistakes.  The ACLU of RI assisted in the initial drafting of the bill, which was watered down significantly as it made its way through both chambers. 


Representative Scott Slater and Senator Harold Metts





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