Hiring Applicants with Criminal Histories

Rules were established in 1987 governing the hiring of applicants with criminal records. These guidelines, set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were designed to help control how employers looked at such applicants and in what scenarios they could deny employment based on a criminal record. [Read more…]

Should Criminal Histories Be Given an Expiration Date?

An op-ed in the New York Times this week makes an interesting proposal—that criminal histories should only be used against job applicants for a certain period of time. Alfred Blumstein, professor of urban systems and operations research at Carnegie Mellon University, and Kiminori Nakamura, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland, wrote that people are paying for their crimes for much too long and that no one benefits from excluding those with criminal histories from employment and housing when they have remained crime-free for a number of years. [Read more…]

Kentucky Makes Major Misdemeanor Changes—Will Other States Follow Suit?

This week there are major changes afoot in Kentucky. Many misdemeanors will be handled with a citation rather than an arrest and some felony drug offenses will be reduced to misdemeanor classification. So, in this time that seems ripe for criminal justice reform, will other states follow Kentucky’s lead? [Read more…]

Crime and the Mentally Ill

While many people are discussing the direct effects of a struggling economy on crime rates, some are missing a big contributing factor to this equation—the mentally ill. Mental illness, ranging from depression to schizophrenia, can increase someone’s propensity to break the law. And with community treatment options being cut across the country with strapped budgets, more and more people who would benefit from these community resources are instead being funneled into the criminal justice system. [Read more…]