Governor Nathan Deal issued an Executive Order
banning the box in Georgia. As you well know, the NAACP has long championed this common sense criminal justice reform measure.
The Ban the Box campaign was initiated to end structural discrimination against people with conviction and incarceration histories, primarily in the areas of hiring and housing policy. We are hopeful that as the State of Georgia changes the way it does business, private employers will also remove questions regarding conviction histories from their employment applications and to adopt hiring practices that give applicants a fair chance.
As you know all too well, the question about past convictions appears on applications for employment, housing, public benefits, college admissions, loans, and opportunities for volunteer service. Because people of color are disproportionately arrested, convicted, and incarcerated, employers’ use of arrest or conviction history has a disparate impact on those communities.
The Georgia NAACP encourages its Units throughout the State to move forward in highlighting the pros that makes this victory good for all our communities:
- Most businesses want the best qualified people working on their staff. Eliminating a conviction history check unless required by law or because of job responsibilities, broadens the pool of highly skilled candidates for any job.
- Most past convictions are not directly related to jobs sought, and people deserve the chance to be judged based on their qualifications, not their past convictions.
- Discrimination stops many people with conviction records from securing jobs; once they find a job, most are exceptionally hard workers, determined to keep their employment.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has had an unbroken presence in Georgia since 1917. The Georgia NAACP, the State’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, maintains a network of branches throughout Georgia, from cities to small rural counties.