Ex-felons hope KCMO leaders approve ‘Ban the Box’

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The full city council is expected to vote to approve a controversial measure Thursday known as ‘Ban the Box.’

Ex-felons, pastors and criminal justice experts have urged the City Council to ban  questions about criminal histories from the city’s employment application.

The measure goes to the full council for consideration on Thursday, after passing by a 5-1 vote in committee.

Jermaine Reed, 3rd District City Councilman, is sponsoring the legislation. He says after paying their debt to society an ex-offender should be able to get work.

“People with records face discrimination stigma and barriers every single day not just in employment but in housing education services and other areas of well,” said Councilman Reed.

But, Reed says banning the box won’t guarantee an offender a job. He says ban a box does not get rid of, but simply defers background checks until the final phase of the hiring process.

Currently, 42 cities in seven states have passed similar ‘ban the box’ measures.

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