City Council to Host Community Forum on Fair Chance Hiring

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Fair Chance Hiring is an employment practice policy adopted by more than 70 cities and nine states across the United States to remove barriers to employment for individuals with arrest or criminal conviction records.

According to a press release, in 2014, Mayor David Condon announced that the City of Spokane would join other cities in “banning the box” by no longer requiring applicants to disclose their criminal background on job applications. The Spokane City Council adopted a resolution in April 2015 supporting the City’s Fair Chance Hiring administrative policy and encouraging private employers to adopt similar hiring policies.

 

The community forum will be moderated by District Court Judge Richard Leland with presentations by experts from the Washington State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and the Center for Justice. The forum will also include a panel discussion by business owners, ex-offenders, and employment agencies.

Attendees can provide questions and comments regarding Fair Chance Hiring Policies which will be added to a final report published by the Spokane City Council.

Readers, do you think Spokane should “ban the box”? Why or why not? Leave your comments below.

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Journalism Instructor at Washington State University.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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