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October 11 2016

"Racial Profiling in Hiring: A Critique of New ""Ban the Box"" Studies"

"Two recent studies claim that ""ban the box"" policies enacted around the country detrimentally affect the employment of young men of color who do not have a conviction record. The nation cannot afford to turn back the clock on a decade of reform that has created significant job opportunities for people with records. Review of the studies leads to these top-line conclusions: (1) The core problem raised by the studies is not ban-the-box but entrenched racism in the hiring process, which manifests as racial profiling of African Americans as ""criminals."" (2) Ban-the-box is working, both by increasing employment opportunities for people with records and by changing employer attitudes toward hiring people with records. (3) When closely scrutinized, the new studies do not support the conclusion that ban-the-box policies are responsible for the depressed hiring of African Americans. (4) The studies highlight the need for a more robust policy response to both boost job opportunities for people with records and tackle race discrimination in the hiring process�not a repeal of ban-the-box laws."