Mayor Tony Yarber Announces “Ban the Box” Initiative
Mayor Tony Yarber was joined by Jackson City Council President De’Keither Stamps and Councilman Charles Tillman on Tuesday, Nov. 4, to announce an initiative to “Ban the Box” on job applications in the City of Jackson.
“Ban the Box” refers to the policy of removing from job applications the check-box that asks about criminal history. If employers must ask about convictions, they can ask later in the hiring process. The initiative is an effort to give citizens who have a criminal record and have paid their debt to society a “fair chance” to be judged on their qualifications when applying for a job. Currently, 13 states and more than 70 cities and counties have adopted “fair chance” policies.
Yarber said the initiative will begin as a city policy change, which will be implemented by early 2015. The Mayor has urged the City Council to support the effort, through a resolution or possibly an ordinance, to ensure that the policy remains in effect beyond the current administration. The Mayor also called on businesses in the city and other municipalities to “Ban the Box.”
“Research shows that supporting the employment opportunities of people with records creates safe communities, reduces childhood poverty, and strengthens families,” Yarber said.