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Post date: January 26 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Op-Ed: Giving New Yorkers a Fair Chance After Incarceration

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman wrote an op-ed in City & State on ensuring equal access to employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers. Highlights from the op-ed are below:

ON THE NEED TO PUT EX-OFFENDERS ON A PATH TO EMPLOYMENTProviding formerly incarcerated New Yorkers a fair chance to build a new life is a proven way to reduce recidivism and stabilize families and communities…Yet tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been prevented from integrating back into society because merely acknowledging a prior conviction on a job application can automatically keep them from getting hired.

ON HIS OFFICE’S RECENT WORK ENFORCING “BAN THE BOX” LAWS ACROSS NEW YORKIn recent years, cities across the state [have] enacted “Ban the Box” legislation, which prohibits employers from inquiring about applicants’ criminal history on initial employment applications…This week, I announced settlements with two major national retailers, Big Lots Stores and Marshalls, who had been violating Buffalo’s “ban the box” law.

ON THE DISPROPORTIONATE RACIAL IMPACT OF CONVICTION-BASED JOB DISCRIMINATIONThe impact of conviction-based discrimination is not evenly felt across all communities. Black men are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men, and Hispanic men are 2.5 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men.

My office remains committed to ensuring equal access to employment opportunities, education, and public assistance for all New Yorkers. This week’s settlements put all employers on notice that they cannot slam the door on job seekers just because of their past conduct. Everyone deserves a fair shot and a second chance.

The full op-ed can be read here (Previous URL: http:// nyslant . com /article/opinion/giving-new-yorkers-a-fair-chance-after-incarceration.html).