As Broward County, Florida joins the legions of other jurisdictions that have banned the box, or considered banning the box, we return to take a look at this growing trend that is affecting more and more employers across the country.
Research has shown that people of color represent over 40% of the United States' prison population, but only comprise about 14% of the US population in total. The movement to ban the box means to remove the box from employment applications inquiring about criminal convictions. The movement has been making headway across the country, bolstered by research showing the box has a disparate impact on people of color who are more likely to be convicted of crimes than their white counter parts.
Pastor Rhonda Thomas of Miramar, Florida has been fighting to get the legislation passed for years. "Restoring the dignity and humanity of people with records gives them a real chance to succeed for the sake of their families and communities," she said. "That's why we're urging Broward County to pass Ban the Box and give everybody a fair chance at a good job."
Ban the Box seeks to remove the questions regarding conviction history from employment applications requiring employers to honestly review the application without the stigma of knowing they have committed a crime. Employers are often allowed to complete a background check after a formal offer of employment has been extended to the applicant.