On Tuesday, the Senate passed the Fair Chance Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill will be instrumental to opening up job opportunities to previously-incarcerated individuals.
The Fair Chance Act prevents federal agencies and contractors from asking potential employees about their criminal histories until after a conditional offer of employment is made. Criminal records are often a barrier to entry, reducing the likelihood of receiving follow-up interviews and job offers. But helping the formerly incarcerated find employment is instrumental to reducing reincarceration rates, which not only improves their lives but society as a whole.
The bipartisan bill was introduced in the House by the late House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins and was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Cory Booker and Ron Johnson. ATR applauds the Senate for promoting smart criminal justice reform that will benefit families across the nation.