Lucas Co officials look at resume, not criminal record - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Lucas Co officials look at resume, not criminal record

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Some of the Lucas County commissioners. Some of the Lucas County commissioners.
LUCAS COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

On Tuesday, the Lucas County commissioners are expected to join the ‘ban the box' movement, aimed at increasing job opportunities for people with a criminal record and improving fair hiring practices.

The movement involves eliminating the practice of screening job applications by asking applicants to check a box if they've been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.

"We don't think at the very first blush as your application comes in that needs to be a qualifying box to be checked," said Commissioner Pete Gerken.

Rev. Donald Perryman says that will go a long way toward removing barriers for people with a criminal record to get a job and get back on their feet.

"By delaying that background check to the latter parts of the hiring process, we don't just throw applications away at the outset," Perryman said.

Gerken says the county will continue to conduct background checks, but he believes it will improve local government hiring practices.

"We want to look at your resume, your education, your life experience, and then as we go farther down the process, if that criminal record is an issue for the kind of job we're going to hire for, then we'll talk about it with the applicant," he said.

Those who are working to improve second-chance hiring point to studies which show a person is three times less likely to return to prison if they have a job. Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Goodwill Industries held a forum on Monday to highlight efforts to find work for people with criminal records, and are encouraged by Lucas County's three-year recidivism rate dropping from 33.8 percent to 23.4 percent from 2005-2009.    

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