New Executive Order Requires Agencies to Ensure Fair Hiring Practices for Arizonans with Criminal Backgrounds
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today issued an Executive Order instructing all state agencies to adopt new hiring procedures intended to provide a second chance and increased employment opportunities to Arizonans who have served their time and been released. Under the new policy, known as the “Second Chance Box,” state agencies will delay questions related to an applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing, ensuring all individuals receive full and fair consideration for job openings.
An Executive Order issued today by the governor states that an estimated 1.5 million Arizona adults have arrests or convictions on their records. The order also points out that offenders who find employment following their release are less likely to end up back in prison, saving taxpayer resources and boosting Arizona’s economy.
“All Arizonans—no matter their background or past mistakes—deserve the chance to make a living and a better life for themselves and their families,” said Governor Ducey. “If you served your time and paid your debt to society, you should have the opportunity at a real second chance. This is not only right, it will mean more people with jobs, and less people returning to prison. I’m proud to make this change in state government and set an example that will lead to more employment opportunity for individuals throughout Arizona.”
Arizonans with past criminal records face significant hurdles to getting a job. Research shows that having a criminal conviction reduces the likelihood of receiving a call-back for a job interview by nearly fifty percent.
Today’s Executive Order directs the Department of Administration to establish hiring procedures that will be used by all state agencies. Under the new policy, state agencies will not inquire about an applicant’s criminal record until an applicant has submitted an application and received an initial interview.
Governor Ducey has made expanding second chance opportunities a top focus of his administration. Under the governor’s direction, the Arizona Department of Corrections and Arizona Department of Economic Security have expanded “employment centers” to corrections facilities throughout the state. The centers provide inmates with post-release employment services, including job-seeking skills and assistance transitioning back into society.
The governor also launched a pilot program this year that allows inmates to be treated with the opioid-blocking drug Vivitrol before and after their release, helping increase their chances of a successful reentry.
In his State of the State speech in January, the governor called for $1.5 million to establish a post-release fire crew. Those funds were included in the fiscal year 2018 budget signed in May.
In addition, the governor signed legislation earlier this year expanding a program that allows non-violent felony criminals to undergo treatment programs as an alternative to prosecution.