Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) has tried for years to remove criminal background pre-screening questions on state employment applications, and on April 17, a letter from Gov. Pat Quinn’s office indicated that is happening.
Gary Hannig, Quinn’s director of legislative affairs, informs the Austin lawmaker in the letter that Quinn will issue an executive order removing these type of questions.
“People who have made mistakes in the past still deserve an opportunity to have gainful employment and to lead successful lives,” Ford said in a press release. “I also firmly believe that this measure is a real way to prevent crime in the long run.”
In the letter, Hannig said that removing the prior criminal convictions question from the application would allow managers to consider an applicant’s skills instead of their past history.
At later background checks in the hiring process, managers will still be able to request an applicant’s prior criminal convictions.
“Under the current system, qualified job seekers may have their applications tossed in the trash once they indicate that they have been convicted of non-violent crimes,” Ford said in the release. “People should not have to pay for a lifetime after they have served their sentences.”