St. Louis County ‘Bans the Box’ to Help Ex-Offenders Find County Jobs

By on June 11, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  St. Louis County will no longer ask job applicants for criminal histories in their initial employment applications.

With the action, St. Louis County joins other area governments that have implemented what are known as “ban the box” policies, which backers say remove a barrier to ex-offenders searching for jobs and reduce recidivism. St. Louis implemented a similar policy in 2014, and former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon implemented a ban-the-box policy for state government job applicants in 2016.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger announced his executive order Monday at the Urban League’s new Ferguson headquarters.

“A parolee’s failure to find full-time employment becomes, quite frankly, a serious public safety issue for every county resident,” Stenger, who is facing challenger Mark Mantovani in the August Democratic Party primary, said in a statement. “Without a decent job, ex-prisoners are far more likely to struggle with substance abuse. They are at high risk for homelessness. And they are far more likely to engage in criminal activity.”

The executive order asks the county director of administration and director of personnel to remove criminal history questions from employment applications.

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