Written Testimony of Mr. Jason Adkins, Esq., Giám đốc điều hành, on “Ban the Box” H.F. 690/S.F. 523

(PHIÊN BẢN PDF of House testimony)

(PHIÊN BẢN PDF of Senate testimony)

House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee
Tháng ba 7, 2013

“Ban the Box” H.F. 690/S.F. 523

Mr. Chủ tịch và các thành viên của Ủy ban:

My name is Jason Adkins, and I am executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), nói về chính sách công cộng của giáo hội công giáo tại tiểu bang Minnesota. MCC wishes to express its support for H.F. 690 (Mahoney), which includes a ban on inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal history prior to selecting that applicant for an interview.

MCC actively supports enacting and enforcing laws that create safe communities and promote the common good. Our faith teaches us that civil laws should always respect the dignity of each person and the whole person. A criminal offender still has dignity even when he or she violates the laws of society and fails to recognize the dignity of others. When an individual violates the law, Tuy nhiên, he or she should be punished.

Punishment should always serve the purpose of rendering justice to the victim and society. But when punishment is sought only for retribution, it becomes vengeful and violates human dignity. As the United States bishops have said:

Cũng giống như Thiên Chúa không bao giờ từ bỏ chúng tôi, Vì vậy, quá, chúng tôi phải trong giao ước với nhau. Chúng tôi là tất cả các tội nhân, và chúng tôi đáp ứng với tội lỗi và sự thất bại không phải là bị bỏ rơi và tuyệt vọng, nhưng thay vì công lý, năn, chữa, và trở lại hoặc tái tích hợp tất cả vào trong cộng đồng.(tôi)

Our criminal justice system should seek to rehabilitate the offender and facilitate his or her re-entry into society. After an offender has paid his or her debt, he or she should not be further punished by additional “collateral consequences,” such as being denied access to work. Thật không may, some employers disqualify applicants based on a job application’s criminal-history inquiry without asking any further questions about reform, capability or fitness.

H.F. 690 prevents prospective employers from weeding out candidates in the initial stage of the application process solely on the presence of criminal history. The bill recognizes the dignity of workers because it provides a greater protection for job applicants as they seek re-entry into society after criminal conduct. It is unreasonable for society to expect individuals to re-enter the community as productive citizens if their job application is dismissed without an opportunity to meet face-to-face and explain why they would benefit the company as an employee.

Xem thêm, if offenders do not have access to gainful employment, they are more likely to fall back into criminal behavior. Recidivism is detrimental to the offender, to the victims of crimes, and to the community. H.F. 690 does not prohibit employers from asking about criminal history, but it requires that applicants be given a fair shot at being selected for an interview.

MCC recognizes the concerns that employers have hiring applicants with a criminal background. Employees who have a criminal background and commit a further offense during the course of employment can be the source of costly litigation for employers. Tuy nhiên, this bill specifically protects employers from some liability that can arise from hiring an applicant with a criminal history.

We ask that you pass this bill and help put “justice” back into the criminal justice system in Minnesota.

Cảm ơn bạn.

_____________________________

(tôi) Hoa Kỳ hội nghị giám mục công giáo, Trách nhiệm, Phục hồi chức năng, và phục hồi: Một viễn cảnh công giáo về tội phạm và tư pháp hình sự (2000).