Shelby County Commission to vote on Ban the Box measure

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A big step in criminal justice reform across Shelby County will be addressed on Monday.

The Ban the Box measure would help people who might have a criminal history be able to adjust to society following release from incarceration. It would eliminate county employers from inquiring about a potential job seeker’s criminal history.

The ordinance was approved by committee members last week. On Monday it will get a final vote from the full Shelby County Commission.

Many leaders are hoping it will give formerly incarcerated people a fresh start.

“We want to remove that box because we know that when people have to make that disclosure, they often are not interviewed,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “They do not make the job applicant pools and they don’t ultimately get those jobs. This is a community that needs a second chance, that needs a clean slate, that needs redemption and needs access to economic opportunities just like everyone else.”

At least 150 cities and counties across the nation have taken similiar measures including the city of Memphis.


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