Faculty Publications

A Critical Look At Ban-The-Box Policies And Their Unintended Consequences

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Implications of Marginalization and Critical Race Theory on Social Justice

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Ban-the-box policies were passed to help people with criminal backgrounds get jobs. These policies were developed after it became clear that large swaths of the population, primarily men of color, were being systematically disadvantaged and unable to obtain work. While initial research showed that these policies were successful, subsequent, more critical studies indicate that while ban-the-box policies help ex-felons obtain work generally, they may actually do more to hurt minority populations than they do to help. This happens because employers, lacking the information from "the box," may be using other information, including statistical discrimination to determine who to hire. This chapter discusses this unintended consequence including its link with the race-neutrality of the policy and suggestions to fix it.


Department of Political Science

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DOI of published version