As Malloy Pushes Second Chance Society, His Internship Application Asks About Arrest History

Governor Dan Malloy has been moving around the state advancing a second chance society for offenders, but his office internship application seems to be at odds with the spirit of his policy and with state law. From Alison Leigh Cowan, New Haven Independent:

A form asks applicants for internships with Gov. Malloy’s Hartford office the question straight away: “Have you ever been arrested or convicted” of breaking the law? (Click here to view the application.)

Either way, the question has no business being on the form, according to advocacy groups that helped get the law changed in Connecticut five years ago to block state officials from including it and similar showstoppers on initial job applications.

“It’s a violation of the law, because you’re not supposed to ask those questions” until the person has been deemed qualified for the job, said LaResse Harvey, former director of strategic relations for A Better Way Foundation. Her Connecticut-based, criminal justice group lobbied hard for the 2010 bill and did not let up until lawmakers overrode a veto that June by outgoing Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

The law, entitled “An Act Concerning Criminal Background Checks for Prospective State Employees,” made Connecticut one of the first half-dozen states to enact a “Ban the box”  rule. It barred much of state government from asking potential hires or licensees about their criminal history at the outset, when detrimental information might quash an applicant’s ability to be judged first on skills and qualifications. “Ban the box” laws are part of a broader effort to help reintegrate ex-cons into society–a pressing issue in cities like New Haven, where an estimated 25 percent of inmates return to the streets each week.

Full story here.


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