If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’ve probably seen the box. Applications often require you to check if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. That box effectively bars nearly 70 million people with an incarceration record from finding a job. An estimated 60 to 75 percent of Americans released from prison cannot find work throughout their first year back home.
The nationwide movement to Ban the Box is simply an effort to allow applicants to be judged on their current skills and qualifications while not being immediately screened out because of a past mistake.
9to5 is unique in this growing movement because we focus on women – the fastest growing segment of the prison population. 9to5 leader Daphine Lay of Atlanta (on the left in the group photo) spoke out at the rally in front of the White House in July. Twenty years after her conviction, Daphine’s record still traps her in low-pay, temporary jobs despite an impressive set of skills and certifications.
Our Ban the Box successes include:
- City ordinances in Atlanta, Albany, Columbus, Macon, Savannah and East Point, GA.
- A Governor’s Executive Order removing the box from all job applications for the state of Georgia
- Leading new local campaigns in Denver and Milwaukee
- Being the voice of women in the national campaign for President Obama to sign a Ban the Box Executive Order for federal contractors.
But we can do more! 9to5 also works to change perceptions of people with criminal records, and the skills and self-esteem of these women.
Support our Ban the Box campaign today!