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Thread: Ban the box

  1. #1

    Default Ban the box

    The bit starting about 30 seconds is priceless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3a576vI8SE

    Discuss if you care to.

    The Freudian slip, the issue itself, or both.

  2. #2

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    *Snickers* Presidents, prisoners, what's the difference? Nobody gets to high political office without more than a few skeletons in the closet.

    The issue is more interesting. Imprisonment shouldn't necessarily have an impact on your job prospects. Breaking the law does not, in itself, make you an unreliable worker. A lot depends on the context of the crime. What would be the practical, fiscal and social impact of a state or federal programme that essentially guaranteed the reliability of (carefully selected) ex-convicts, and offered compensation to businesses if they turned out not to be? Would effectively subsiding businesses to employ criminals be more or less expensive than revolving-door prisons?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akastus View Post
    The issue is more interesting. Imprisonment shouldn't necessarily have an impact on your job prospects. Breaking the law does not, in itself, make you an unreliable worker. A lot depends on the context of the crime. What would be the practical, fiscal and social impact of a state or federal programme that essentially guaranteed the reliability of (carefully selected) ex-convicts, and offered compensation to businesses if they turned out not to be? Would effectively subsiding businesses to employ criminals be more or less expensive than revolving-door prisons?
    Creative thought. More to the point would be indemnifying employers from possible lawsuits: The drunk you hire to drive you truck or your school bus, the former embezzler you hire to work in your bank's Trust Department, assault and battery convict you hire as a police officer.

    My initial reaction was the obvious paradox. We go to great legislative lengths to prevent pedophiles from working in schools, day care, etc., yet here we're suggesting you can't ask the question up front. More hoops for employers to jump through to avoid liability under already existing feelgood laws.

    Beyond that, there's the practicality of it. Hiring managers are pressed for time like anybody else. Most applications have the box along with space for description and explanation. I don't have a problem giving somebody a second chance if the past sins aren't a high risk for the job at hand. Some people do manage to turn themselves around, even though the odds are against it. At the same time, I don't want to waste time interviewing somebody I can't hire regardless. Nor (if the box is banned) do I need to waste time grilling ALL interviewees about their past, or spend money on more background checks, or put myself and my other employees at risk due to things I can't ask about.

    A tax credit for hiring ex-cons would be a more straightforward way to do it. Of course, Dear Leader or heaven forbid, Mrs. Clinton in the future, can't do that by executive order, since things involving money have to go through Congress.

  4. #4

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    I had a lot to say but Maxx beat me to it.

    The obvious loophole would be to force everybody to get a TSA Security Clearance (or whatever it's called now). Talk about a hoop the employee would have to jump through. It could even be company paid so it's not a 'prerequisite' and therefore not a part of the hiring process.

    To the second point, the United States government doesn't work by paying people who get screwed by following the law. It works by charging people who refuse to get screwed by following the law.

  5. #5

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    I'm in favor of getting rid of the box. It's not really relevant to most jobs, imo, and it does make it a lot harder for people who have done something wrong and served their time to become productive members of society again. It's a tough line to walk because it seems unfair to favor people who have been in jail since that seems like long-term rewarding someone who commits crimes, but neither do we want to keep them out of jobs, since that pushes them straight back to crime in most cases. The ideal is to hit a balance point where they have exactly the same chance as anyone else, and to have systems in place both in jail and coming out to help with stuff like vocation and skills training so that people have something useful to do.



    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    A tax credit for hiring ex-cons would be a more straightforward way to do it. Of course, Dear Leader or heaven forbid, Mrs. Clinton in the future, can't do that by executive order, since things involving money have to go through Congress.
    Really, supporting a government subsidy to hire ex-cons? Interesting. Could work.

  6. #6

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    Working for the public school system, I had to submit to a security background check. I always get a little nervous with those because I was a person of interest by the FBI back in the '60s when I was a student because I was a member of UNDO. Apparently that sort of stuff doesn't matter because my wife was a member of the SDS while in college. Ironically, we were both very good at our jobs in school.

    A sex offender should be identified by the TSA, so I don't think it's necessary to have a criminal box. Employers have their own ways to safeguard the workplace, especially if it's a school.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Working for the public school system, I had to submit to a security background check. I always get a little nervous with those because I was a person of interest by the FBI back in the '60s when I was a student because I was a member of UNDO. Apparently that sort of stuff doesn't matter because my wife was a member of the SDS while in college. Ironically, we were both very good at our jobs in school.

    A sex offender should be identified by the TSA, so I don't think it's necessary to have a criminal box. Employers have their own ways to safeguard the workplace, especially if it's a school.
    All felonies are identified in one of those background checks, actually. The box is a screening device: they don't order the background checks unless they're already interested in a candidate and I believe (though I don't have a cite atm) that some studies have shown that once a candidate has been interviewed in person, having a felony come up in a background check is much less detrimental. The initial box lets people throw out a faceless piece of paper, which is the problem.

  8. #8

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    I really like the forward thinking Hillary Clinton showed in that video. She honestly would appreciate it if future Presidents do not have to reveal past criminal conduct after doing their time as President if she becomes President. It would protect her and her husband. Now, my question would be who would be trusted to host her email server?

    Oh, right, she meant prisoners instead of Presidents. I personally believe that this is an area that does need improving. The question is how to do it correctly. In every job, there is some level of trust required between employer and employee. The banking sector does not need to be hiring embezzlers and thieves. Jobs entrusted to care for and to teach children should not be hiring murderers and rapists. Pharmacy companies may want to hire convicted drug dealers to improve their profit margins. There are some convictions that should prevent people from working in some fields.

    I believe the correct method to handle this issue would be to have employers, convicts, and politicians come together and draft a comprehensive plan to correct the issue. There is more to this issue than just employers asking about criminal history. There is corporate liability, insurance, customer relations, and employers protecting their own interests. Employers have enough trouble preventing theft, handling employee relations, and pleasing customers. How much harder would it be if an employer hired convicted armed robbers and con artists. As a customer, could you imagine how you would feel if you asked to speak with the manager and and recognized the manager from an older assault and battery case?

  9. #9

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    I am very ignorant on this subject but does that mean that you can have a sex offender or pedophile working with you and you would not know it if they get rid of the box? Sorry but i refuse to work with someone who was done them 2 things and again i have heard of this but still ignorant on it

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by zackiepooh1992 View Post
    I am very ignorant on this subject but does that mean that you can have a sex offender or pedophile working with you and you would not know it if they get rid of the box? Sorry but i refuse to work with someone who was done them 2 things and again i have heard of this but still ignorant on it
    The talking point is fairly simple, as are most feelgoods: Most if not all employment applications have a check box with the text: "Have you ever been convicted?". The President said something about an executive order to "ban the box" for federal employees and contractors. Hilary intended to do a "me too" with her speech, but gave us something far more entertaining.

    Actual implementation and potential consequences are not so simple.

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