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Why Target Stopped Asking Job Applicants If They'Ve Been Convicted of a Crime

Society & Culture  (tags: ethics, law, crime, americans, activists, lowering the residivism of ex-cons, employment, discrimination, background checks, fairness, fairness, society, news, freedoms, politics )

- 1426 days ago -
More than 60 counties, cities, and states - and some corporations - are reducing discrimination against former offenders by 'banning the box' from job applications.

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Past Member (0)
Friday July 25, 2014, 5:14 am
I'm not certain it will do anything, as most companies will simply eliminate the preliminary job offer until after checking an applicant's criminal record.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday July 25, 2014, 9:12 am
“Sometimes people bar you from jobs forever because of one incident, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Mason said. “People should be given another chance. It shouldn’t be one time and you’re out.”

I couldn't agree more with this, however, as John S. has brought out, perhaps this only "looks" good and really all they need to know has been gathered anyways.

We say in society, pay for your crime, whatever that may be, then the people must pay again and again with all the roadblocks set up in society. We wonder why people steal again, or go back to selling drugs, they can not get work to do things in the proper way. We all pay when these people are not giving a chance to provide for themselves.

I can see background checks for people working with children and the Elders who are as dependent as the young, but beyond that, people need opportunities to work and repair their lives.

Friday July 25, 2014, 11:02 am
Thanks Cal. GREAT comment Dandelion! You make an excellent point.

Past Member (0)
Friday July 25, 2014, 12:34 pm
It should depend on what job you're applying for, not a routine question on a job application.

Sue L (63)
Friday July 25, 2014, 1:37 pm
It is a complicated issue but it certainly is unfair to refuse to even consider an applicant with a record. How are these people supposed to find jobs and support themselves? This is only a first step, but perhaps it will lead to more programs to help those released from prison become contributing members of society.

Birgit W (160)
Friday July 25, 2014, 3:14 pm
It seem that nowadays everybody could be easily end up in jail. People change and grow over the years so they should get a chance for starting over again.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Friday July 25, 2014, 4:06 pm
As Dandelion says, the nature of the work should be considered, but I would also add the nature of the offense. White collar crime is probably not germane if someone is applying for work in a sawmill or as a construction worker, for instance. I always think of Jean Valjean, who turned out to be perfectly trustworthy with children. Yes, I realize that is fiction, but it has been and is so popular in so many re-tellings because it is psychologically sound.

Kathleen Mireault (211)
Friday July 25, 2014, 5:52 pm
Noted. Thanks, Cal. Complicated issue, for sure, but if formerly incarcerated people aren't allowed meaningful integration into society, what's the point in letting them go?

Bonnie Lynn M (1)
Friday July 25, 2014, 6:56 pm
It only makes sense to allow a person who has been incarcerated to get a job. Otherwise how are they going to be able to get their lives back together and stay out of jail.

Amy W (7)
Friday July 25, 2014, 8:07 pm
I have a previous co-worker who was incarcerated for a second time (odd circumstance) and was released only to spend almost two years looking for a job. The job was never found due to that awful "box" and even though I would drive him around the city and make sure he had freshly pressed and dry cleaned garments... it was always a no-go.
Eventually, he gave up on the situation and started trying to make money working "under the table" at a liquor store, a clear violation of his parole. But it wash't the measly $3.00 (cash) he was paid per hour, rather the new friends that he associated with due to working a job completely beneath him at a dangerous liquor store in the ghetto that sent him back for a third time.
An intelligent, sweet, warm-hearted soul wasn't even given a chance! He applied for two to three jobs per day and was also volunteering at a few non-profits to have computer access while completing receptionist responsibilities. If I was a business owner I would have hired him in a heart-beat.
Just my experience and I wanted to share.

Gloria H (88)
Friday July 25, 2014, 8:54 pm
well, i guess it depends on the job. Probably a good idea to have a drug test too if you are working with a lot of money. Not all employers are willing to take a risk because so many others are looking for work.
It would depend on the conviction and circumstance. We have to keep in mind that there are offenders that we don't want around our children and helpless elderly. I would rather protect them than be politically correct.

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 12:58 am
Would you give a Pedophile a second chance working with young children or a serial killer a job working in a hospital or with other vulnerable people ?.I certainly would not it all depends on the job applied for. I know a woman who applied for a job in an old persons home and was turned down when it was discovered she had no less than nine convictions for violence. I had no sympathy for her in this case she made herself unemployable and should have known better than to apply for a job she was unsuitable for.

Jordan G (37)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 2:45 am
As an attorney I can tell you this is the single greatest cause of non-violent recidivism, even ahead of life circumstances, environment and addiction.

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 4:43 am
Allow everyone their second chance

Katherine May Williams (0)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 5:06 am

Stephen D (58)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 8:09 am
One in four US citizens are burdened by the box for life even after paying their debt to society.. Banning the box is the right thing to do. Specialty jobs can be checked further if deemed necessary.

Patsy Olive (0)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 12:54 pm

Jane H (139)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 1:43 pm
wow--ban the box would make a huge difference in many lives.

Phyllis P (237)
Saturday July 26, 2014, 3:13 pm
I was hired by a Target back in 2006. I passed the interview and the drug test with flying colors. I was honest on my application about 1 felony charge on my record. Being aware of this the HR person offered me employment and said she was contact me for orientation. I never heard another word from her. When I called about a week later, she told me she was told by corporate that she could not extend an offer of employment to me. No explanation. I was notified about a year and a half later about a class action lawsuit filed against Target and Walmart. I was awarded a check of $52.00 for unfair hiring practices.

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 12:52 am
Noted. Thanks Cal.

Danuta W (1250)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 3:42 am

Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 4:57 am
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