Americans for Tax Reform applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Fair Chance Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Fair Chance Act will be instrumental in helping previously-incarcerated individuals find employment. 

The bipartisan bill was introduced in the House by the late House Judiciary Chairman Elijah Cummings and Ranking Member Doug Collins and is sponsored in the Senate by Senators Cory Booker and Ron Johnson. It prevents federal agencies and contractors from asking applicants about their criminal backgrounds until after a conditional employment offer is made. The legislation was included in the NDAA and will now be considered by the Senate. 

More than 600,000 Americans are released from state and federal prisons each year. Research shows that criminal histories reduce the likelihood of receiving a follow-up interview or job offer by almost 50 percent. But helping previously incarcerated individuals find jobs is vital to reducing recidivism. This bill will remove barriers to entry, empowering formerly incarcerated individuals to find jobs more easily and reenter society more smoothly. 

This is just one step Congress has made in a bipartisan push for sweeping criminal justice reform. ATR urges the Senate to pass the Fair Chance Act to continue the progress the country has already made in this area.