Ban the Box Campaign

Our Ban the Box campaign calls for removing the question and check box, “Have you been convicted by a court?” from applications for employment, housing, public benefits, insurance, loans and other services. These questions mean lifelong discrimination and exclusion because of a past arrest or conviction record.

All of Us or None is recognized nationwide as the core of a Ban the Box movement that is sweeping the country. As of May 2013, 50 cities or counties, and 9 states have removed questions about conviction history from their public employment applications. Several of these cities or counties also require that their vendors adopt the same hiring practices as for public employment, which increases job opportunities even more. You can see a map of the campaigns success here. The short video, Enough is Enough also describes the campaign.

Campaigns to Ban the Box around the U.S. have been started by a wide variety of people: formerly-incarcerated people, neighborhood legal services agencies, City Council members, Mayors, other elected officials.  For any of our campaigns to win, it’s crucial that we build broad coalitions that recognize the grassroots voice of people who have been directly affected by this discrimination. To start a campaign in your area, check out our Ban the Box Campaign Tools.  Contact Jesse Stout, jesse@prisonerswithchildren.org or banthebox@prisonerswithchildren.org for a hard copy of our Ban the Box Organizers’ Toolkit and more information.

In San Francisco, we helped pass legislation that has expanded access to housing and jobs for people with conviction records. This legislation sets standards for how and when employers and housing providers may consider conviction records; learn more here about this model legislation.

Nationally, we are promoting the Fair Chance Pledge: banning the box at nonprofits and foundations. Click here to find out more.