What’s in it for Employers?

The importance of reducing barriers facing people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system and are trying to put their lives back on track impacts every facet of a community’s health. It is for this reason President Obama became the first President to visit a federal prison where he sat down with individuals who would be returning to their communities. In November, he visited with formerly incarcerated individuals and emphasized that a smarter approach to reducing crime and enhancing public safety must begin with investing in all of our communities. He also announced new efforts by this Administration to help formerly incarcerated individuals to rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities, including an upcoming rule from the Office of Personnel Management that will “ban the box,” delaying inquiries into criminal history until later in the federal hiring process.

Building on these efforts, the White House issued a challenge to businesses to take on the Fair Chance Business Pledge. A broad array of businesses have come together to support the reforms needed to bring about this change.

By signing the Fair Chance Business Pledge, these companies are:

  • Voicing strong support for economic opportunity for all, including the approximately 70 million Americans who have some form of a criminal record.
  • Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to take action to reduce barriers to a fair shot at a second chance, including practices like “banning the box” by delaying criminal history questions until later in the hiring process; ensuring that information regarding an applicant’s criminal record is considered in proper context; and engaging in hiring practices that do not unnecessarily place jobs out of reach for those with criminal records.
  • Setting an example for their peers. Today’s announcement is only the beginning. Later this year, the Obama Administration will release a second round of pledges, with a goal of mobilizing more companies and organizations to join the Fair Chance Business Pledge.