“Fair Chance” or “Ban the Box” are policies that prevent employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on job applications or delays when employers can run background checks for job applicants. These policies seek to ensure that justice-involved individuals (those who have had interaction with the criminal justice system via juvenile detention, incarceration, arrests, etc.) are hired based on their merit and qualifications, rather than their past. As shown in Figure 1, Ban the Box policies have been adopted by 35 states, the District of Columbia, and approximately 150 cities and counties (Avery, 2019). Thirteen of these states and eighteen cities apply these laws to private employers (Avery, 2019).
Policy Brief: U.S. Fair Chance Legislation
USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation