Prominent Business Group Endorses Second-Chance Programs

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East Hartford criminal defense attorneysThere is little question that 2020 has been difficult on all of us. However, certain segments of the population have been disproportionately affected, including communities of color, according to a prominent group of business professionals. With this in mind, the group—called the Business Roundtable—issued a series of recommendations earlier this week regarding both corporate and public policies, including many related to criminal justice, to improve racial justice and equity moving forward from the recession, COVID-19 pandemic, and police violence protests of 2020.

The Business Roundtable is an organization that consists solely of chief executive officers of major American companies. Together, the represented companies employ more than 15 million workers and report over $7 trillion in yearly revenues. The CEOs that comprise the Business Roundtable are from all 50 states, and they work with communities, policymakers, and workers “to build a better future for the nation and its people.”

A Multi-Faceted Agenda

The recommendations that were released this week addressed six main areas of concern: education, employment, finance, housing, health, and the U.S. justice system. The justice system recommendations are largely focused on offering second chances to individuals looking to improve their lives despite having a criminal record. Some highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Expanding access to education for those who are currently incarcerated. This includes adding educational and training programs and extending Pell Grant eligibility to inmates.
  • Increasing the use of deferred adjudication programs to help more defendants avoid convictions, which would also make expungement of their records easier in most cases.
  • Allowing for the automatic expungement of specific non-violent federal criminal records.
  • Placing a limit of seven years on the look-back period for criminal convictions by credit reporting agencies.
  • Helping states to create more reasonable fee structures for their justice systems, as well as discouraging the practice of suspending drivers’ licenses for failing to pay justice system fees.

Employment-Related Considerations

In addition to the recommendations regarding the reforms listed above, the Business Roundtable also expressed support for certain efforts related to the employment of those in need of a second chance. The group promises to remain involved in the creation of a coalition of businesses to develop second-chance hiring policies and programs. In addition, the group expressed support for the passing of “Ban the Box” laws in every state, which remove questions about a person’s criminal record on job applications. (Connecticut has had a Ban the Box law in effect since 2016.) Lastly, the Business Roundtable recognized the need for reforming state and federal laws that prevent the licensing or hiring of those with convictions or deferred adjudications for offenses that were not related to public safety.

Contact an East Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love has been charged with a state or federal crime, it is important to seek help so that you can avoid serious consequences that could affect the rest of your life. Call 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney today. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, protecting your rights and your future is always our top priority.

 

Sources:

https://ccresourcecenter.org/2020/10/16/business-community-endorses-second-chance-agenda/

https://www.businessroundtable.org/about-us

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