NEW ORLEANS – A new policy by the Civil Service Commission won’t require applicants to initially say whether they’ve been convicted of a crime.
Called “ban the box,” the policy was put forth by the Landrieu administration “to remove obstacles that might prevent qualified ex-offenders from attaining or retaining quality jobs,” said a statement from the Mayor’s Office.
“It is crucial that our citizens have opportunities to be connected to jobs,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Past mistakes should not be a permanent barrier for people who want to earn an honest living and contribute positively to our city. This effort is another step in the right direction as we continue to rebuild New Orleans."
As a possible pathway to cut down on recidivism by ex-offenders, the Landrieu administration considers the policy change another important element to the city's murder reduction plan, NOLA FOR LIFE.
New Orleans joins more than 50 other municipalities -- including New York, Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. -- that have adopted “ban the box” policies
While the policy change won’t initially require applicants to disclose if they have criminal pasts, it doesn’t mean the end of background checks for applicants. According to the Mayor’s Office, “The City will conduct criminal history checks on all candidates and make final hiring decisions based on all relevant information, including the seriousness of any past conviction, when the incident took place and what has occurred in the applicant’s life since that time.”