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A plea to Alabama residents to help "Ban the Box"


Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? I will with God's help.

These are lines from our Baptismal Covenant. We recite them at each Baptism, on Easter and other special occasions. Here is one way we can live into our vow and honor our Christian values.

The Commission on Prison Ministry has made "Ban the Box" a priority in the State of Alabama, where it has some past traction. We recently learned that, unexpectedly it has been introduced into this legislative session. The following describes how you can assist in passing this much needed legislation. When considering this request please remember that of the 24,000 + individuals currently incarcerated in the State of Alabama, 95% of them will come home at some point in time. We all would like them to be successful and not return to their former ways. Banning the Box will eliminate a major hurdle to their future success. Your action needed on SB 200 to “Ban the Box” The “criminal history checkbox” on many standardized job applications often keeps otherwise qualified employees from being considered for the jobs they need to rebuild their lives. A growing number of major corporations – including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Koch Industries, Starbucks, and Bed, Bath & Beyond – recognize that it makes good business sense to pick from the widest possible pool of employees. Twenty-five states, including Georgia and Tennessee, have removed the conviction history question from their applications for state jobs. SB 200, by Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, would add Alabama to that list. SB 200 would: • Apply only to the hiring process for state and local government jobs. • Create exceptions for convictions that relate directly to the responsibilities of a particular job. • Exempt certain jobs involving confidential information and law enforcement. Please email your state senator today and urge him or her to vote Yes on SB 200 and give job applicants with prior convictions a fair chance at re-entering the workforce and becoming productive members of society.

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