Albany commission bans the box - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany commission bans the box

Shannon Reaze, 9 to 5 Atlanta Shannon Reaze, 9 to 5 Atlanta
Dr. Charles Ochie Dr. Charles Ochie
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany city commissioners approved the ban on boxes that ask job applicants if they have been convicted of a felony.

Commissioner Jon Howard was in full support saying it should have been implemented decades ago.

Dr. Charles O. Ochie, President Albany Second Chance, spear-headed the proposal and said after a year of working diligently on the project, he is overjoyed with today's success.

Pro box ban organizers say they drive policy to ensure people can be economically sustainable. They believe administrative change is positive but they want it to be solidified with a full ordinance.

"These policies do make Georgia families even stronger, this is an opportunity for people to actually access employment where they can take care of their own families and they're not burdens on the state," Shannon Reaze of 9 to 5 Atlanta said. "That's why this move is an important move for criminal justice and public safety but just also the economy and families in Georgia."

"[They] have the same opportunity as everyone else they can apply for job and they go for interview."

Reaze says 56% of those who get out of jail without a job go back to prison, while only 16% that have employment return. Employers will still be able to conduct background checks.

Dr. Ochie hopes to have the ban in effect later this week.

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