NYS Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced that state officials will no longer ask job applicants about prior criminal convictions until after they have been interviewed. The new policy was among a dozen initiatives announced by Gov. Cuomo earlier this week to ease the path for ex-cons seeking to re-start their lives.
Glenn Martin, who is a member of the state’s panel and the founder of advocacy organization JustLeadership USA, said, “This is important because 83% of people who violate parole and probation are unemployed at the time of violation and there’s a close correlation between having a job and staying out of trouble.”
In addition to the change in state hiring practice, the executive actions will make it easier for felons to get occupational licenses, help newly released inmates get state IDs, give prisoners a chance to save money behind bars, and ban discrimination based on criminal records in New York-financed housing.
The new policy coincides with the City Council’s recent “Fair Chance Act,” which restricts private employers from asking about arrest and conviction records or conducting a background check until after they’ve made a conditional job offer.
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