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Collective Victory Declared as Obama Takes Small Step to 'Ban the Box'


Collective Victory Declared as Obama Takes Small Step to 'Ban the Box'

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Following years of organizing by formerly-incarcerated people and their families, President Barack Obama announced Monday that, henceforth, he will instruct some federal employers to "ban the box"—or delay inquiries into a job applicant's incarceration history to curb discrimination and stigma.

The proclamation was embraced by rights campaigners as a meaningful step towards eroding system-wide prejudice against the formerly incarcerated, but short of the deep change that is needed.


I certainly would hope Obama would have the good sense to do this-
As far as I am concerned, most people who have done their time have repaid their debt to society and should be able to just move on- Put them out of the work force and they become desperate, and we all know what that leads to-
I'm sure there is no "box" on Bankster employment criminal histories- Did the OSS to CIA transition applications have A box asking if you are now or were A "former member of the Nazi Party"????


Thank you President Obama for dealing with this issue. It just gets me when people smugly talk about recidivism. Well, what are people who do their time and get out supposed to do? No one will hire them. How are people to re-enter society when they are not able work, not able to vote? I worked in a state prison. Many are mentally ill and even if never incarcerated, would never be able to care for themselves or work. The whole issue of millions of Americans tossed away makes me weep.


When every citizen enjoys the fruits of countless "good work" of generations of humans through universal guaranteed minimum income and/or employment, affordable and livable housing, universal healthcare including comprehensive substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling/therapy, free education via college, trade school, etc. for those willing to study, then poverty, desperation, and sickness will likely be virtually eliminated. Until that time, humans will continue to senselessly fight with each other for what's left on Earth.


I look at the pointed request that CD write la fontaine's name in lower case to reflect the collective nature of the effort and I can only cheer.
Awakening to 'rugged individualism' riding an insidious fulcrum that that gets spun into a double edged weapon aimed to slice through democratic organizing is no small point of attention. Like a hijacked social compass, usurpacious powers have instead been banking, literally, on its being weilded as hyper razor where the mortal wound is made before the cognitive system even register it.

This is what the folks in Ferguson realized in gathering the data, the records, analyses and articulation of the specific ways in which the local government was/is institutionalizing dysfunctionality.

All the diversity of the tools are available to us if we respect and look to our neighbors - whether next door or across the planet.


This "ban the box" initiative does nothing but perhaps give an applicant false hope until Round 2 of interviews and investigations. It does not prohibit an organization, company, or agency from basing a hiring decision entirely or partially on criminal history. There are many reasons for rejecting people with certain criminal histories from some jobs: bonding insurance is more expensive for employees with felony theft/fraud convictions, employers may be subject to lawsuits if an employee with violent criminal past causes injury or hostile workplace in a new job, certain offenses prevent the granting of security clearances needed for many defense and government jobs. Is it better to tell these folks up front that they need not even apply? Or to let them get through a couple of rounds of pro forma "interviews" before being told that there was never really any intention of hiring them?