The President's Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform

"Because change at the federal level is not nearly enough, Presidents should also serve as conveners, helping to foster change in the private and educational sectors. That is why the White House launched its 'Fair Chance Business Pledge' and 'Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge.' The business pledge calls on employers to commit to reduce barriers to a second chance by taking actions such as “banning the box,” ensuring information regarding an applicant’s criminal record is considered in the proper context, and engaging in hiring practices that do not unnecessarily place jobs out of reach for those with criminal records. Over 300 companies and organizations that employ well over five million people have taken this pledge, including Walmart, Intel, PepsiCo, Google, American Airlines, CVS Health, Koch Industries, Starbucks, the Hershey Company, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, and the University of Pennsylvania. The education pledge encourages colleges and universities to commit to taking action to reduce barriers to a fair shot at a second chance, especially through expanding educational opportunity. To date, sixty-one higher education institutions representing 172 individual campuses serving over 1.8 million students have signed on. Our hope is that this kind of public-private effort will be a model not only for future administrations, but also for state and local leaders who are trying to address these issues."

View the Article