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Thought Leadership

To Infinity and Beyond the Box: Requesting Criminal Histories on Campus



October 17, 2017

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Approximately 70 million Americans have been involved with the criminal justice system. Education and employment are seen as necessary for transitioning those Americans back into their communities. At the same time, pressures on colleges and universities to demonstrate safety measures are leading more of them to ask about the criminal history of student and employee applicants. These realities generate tension between institutional strategies for best serving their communities.

Interested in learning more about methods and tips for asking about criminal histories on applications? Join us Thursday, October 19, at 12:00 p.m. CDT for a complimentary continuing legal education webinar. Click here to register.

We will discuss current Department of Education, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Labor guidance – largely issued under the Obama administration but still active under current leadership. As to students, the overall recommendation from DOJ was to provide justice-involved youth with opportunities to earn a postsecondary degree or training certificate. Among other reasons, the DOJ cited recent neuroscience research showing young adults are developmentally distinct from older adults as the brain’s capacity for mature decision-making continues to evolve well beyond the teenage years. We will also touch on developing state legislation, which provides insight into best practices for addressing justice-involved employees in the workplace.

What This Means to You 

Colleges and universities that give justice-involved individuals opportunities to further their education or employment can help reduce unnecessary and overly broad collateral consequences of a criminal record, and contribute to more positive outcomes for individuals and their communities. This webinar can help you decide if collecting criminal justice information is necessary for your educational institution to make an informed admission or hiring decision and, if so, to determine the best practices for asking.


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