Criminal justice reform is vital, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said today, as he urged employers to ‘ban the box’ that bars many ex-offenders from finding employment after prison.
Nichols was speaking at a press conference following the Autumn 2016 meeting of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales.
Most job application forms will feature a ‘tick box’ inviting applicants to indicate whether they have committed any criminal offences. However, ticking this box almost always results in an applicant not being considered further for the post.
Challenging this practice, the Rt Rev Richard Moth, lead bishop for prisons, said in a video message: “We as bishops call for the removal of such tick boxes. Such action would not make work places unsafe. It would, however, make possible a conversation for all job applicants, a conversation that for the ex-offender, could lead to employment, and the road away from a life of potential re-offending.”