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Ban The Box Laws in Low Employment Economy: Are They Helping Ex-Cons Find Employment?

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September 14, 2018 Return to News & Events

Ban The Box Laws in Low Employment Economy: Are They Helping Ex-Cons Find Employment?

As the employment rates remain low, the question of whether or not Ban-the-Box policies have helped lessen unemployment of recently released inmates is still uncertain. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of opines: “Hiring managers should be aware of existing and potential “Ban-the-Box” legislation and the effect they may have on hiring, especially with formerly incarcerated individuals.”

Whether or not Ban-the-Box legislation has assisted in reducing unemployment of formerly incarcerated individuals remains an important question. Adam Almeida opines: “As employers continue to search for employees in times of very low unemployment rates, hiring managers should be very conscious of Ban-the-Box related laws and related hiring of individuals with a criminal history.”

Currently the United States is experiencing a sustained period of very low unemployment rates. Across the country employers are desperately seeking employees and often times struggle to fill positions.

Concurrently, Ban-the-Box laws have become increasingly popular in order to assist formerly incarcerated individuals in finding gainful employment.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: “Employers should remain fully aware of all laws pertaining to the hiring process, especially Ban-the-Box laws. These laws can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and a best practice continues to be to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency.”

However, with all the low unemployment in the US there is a segment of the population that continues to struggle.

From (Aug 10, 18):

With the largest prison population in the world, the United States has a generally unacknowledged unemployment crisis that is not only devastating individuals and their families but taking a toll on the economy.

In the last quarter, the U.S. economy grew at a pace of 4.1 percent. July marked the 94th month of continuous job growth and saw more people returning to the labor force after dropping out. But for the millions of prime working-age adults who have a criminal conviction, the economic picture has been anything but rosy. (1)

Almeida adds: “Ultimately hiring managers should continue to be stringent in background screening all perspective employees and must do so in a fair and equal standing, as well as in full compliance with existing law. Ban-the-Box laws continue to appear across the country and hiring managers should be very aware of all changes in laws that govern hiring.”

In New Jersey a potential turnaround in unemployment for ex-cons may be occurring.

According to a recent article posted to (Aug 10, 18) programs designed to assist in gaining employment for former offenders are finding recent success.

Most of the jobs are low wage, entry level positions. But those who have studied post-prison unemployment for years says there is a turnaround in the state.

“I don’t know if its attributable to the Ban the Box legislation. I’ve seen it very recently because the unemployment rate is so low,” said Reentry Coalition of New Jersey Executive Director Kevin McHugh. “I’ve been getting calls from human resources departments, employers asking me for help in connecting them with our program people to get them offenders for jobs. That’s just amazing.” (2)

Almeida states: “Ban-the-Box appears to be assisting formerly incarcerated individuals in finding gainful employment and that progress may have been greatly assisted by low unemployment. However, it should be noted that as employers struggle to find new employees and fill positions they should retain a fully legal and compliant background screening policy. Working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency remains a best practice.” is a third-party background screening company with highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with




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