Collective Victory Declared as Obama Takes Small Step to ‘Ban the Box’ 

(COMMON DREAMS) Sarah Lazare, November 2, 2015 — Following years of organizing by formerly-incarcerated people and their families, President Barack Obama announced Monday that, henceforth, he will instruct some federal employers to “ban the box”—or delay inquiries into a job applicant’s incarceration history to curb discrimination and stigma.

The proclamation was embraced by rights campaigners as a meaningful step towards eroding system-wide prejudice against the formerly incarcerated, but short of the deep change that is needed.

Obama announced the initiative, as well as a number of other small actions to promote “reintegration for the formerly incarcerated,” at an address delivered late Monday afternoon in Newark, New Jersey.

According to a fact sheet from the White House, Obama is directing the Office of Personnel Management “to take action where it can by modifying its rules to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.” The president says the reform “will better ensure that applicants from all segments of society, including those with prior criminal histories, receive a fair opportunity to compete for Federal employment.”

Source: Collective Victory Declared as Obama Takes Small Step to ‘Ban the Box’ | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community