On Monday, the General Assembly approved legislation on a 92-46 vote that would prohibit private and public colleges from requesting prospective students to disclose their criminal records on initial applications.
The “ban the box” bill will remove the barrier for students with a criminal record. According to a survey, students with criminal violations on their record are intimidated by college applications, because they request information about arrest records.
Under the proposed legislation, colleges will be permitted to utilize third-party companies that ask such questions in the application process. They will also be permitted to reject applicants, but the decision should not be exclusively based on criminal history.
However, students with criminal records can be restricted from certain academic programs and student housing.
Lawmakers from several states are advocating to have the box removed from job applications. Supporters said it would give applicants an opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with the potential employer, improving their chances of getting hired.