What is Fair Chance Hiring?
Across North Carolina, 1.6 million residents have a criminal record of some kind. These individuals face significant challenges to find stable and meaningful employment. People with a criminal record are 50% less likely to have an employer call back, significantly increasing their risk for recidivism, or going back to jail or prison. Within three years, 68% of people who are released from prison or jail will be incarcerated again, resulting in an enormous economic burden to taxpayers to incarcerate these individuals, but also negative social impacts affecting families and children.
Fair Chance Hiring policies, otherwise known as Ban the Box, delay questions regarding a criminal record history until the interview process when the applicant has had a chance to show their qualifications and explain their criminal history to the employer. Employers can still conduct background checks under a Fair Chance Hiring policy, but will do so typically after the interview or once a conditional offer has been made to the applicant. Exceptions for jobs that involve law enforcement or childcare are normally made under Fair Chance Hiring policies.
Research shows that Fair Chance Hiring policies boost income and sales tax revenue and reduce court costs due to a lower recidivism rate. Fair Chance Hiring policies are a bi-partisan issue drawing support from both Republicans and Democrats who are committed to giving all Americans a fair chance at employment, reducing the number of people who go to jail/prison, increasing the tax base and ensuring a healthy economy.
Fair Chance Hiring and North Carolina
Eight jurisdictions in North Carolina already have Fair Chance Hiring policies in place including Fayetteville, Charlotte and Durham. Several large employers already have their own version of a Fair Chance hiring policy in place. These employers include Walmart, Koch Industries, Home Depot and Target. Eighteen states and more than 100 municipalities in the U.S. have Fair Chance hiring policies to ensure all people have an equal chance at attaining employment.
A Fair Chance Hiring policy in North Carolina would apply to state, county and municipal government jobs, excluding law enforcement and positions where the applicant would work with children.
Please refer to the resources on the left-hand tab for more information on Fair Chance hiring and how it can boost economic growth and reduce recidivism in North Carolina.