Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system at the state and federal level, praises Governor Matt Bevin for continuing his commitment to reforming Kentucky’s justice system by signing a “Fair Chance Hiring” executive order. This action delays questions about prior criminal convictions for state job applicants until after the initial application phase, ensuring those with records are not summarily dismissed without having the opportunity to show their qualifications and explain efforts at rehabilitation. Kentucky now joins half the states in this country that have eliminated prior-conviction questions as a screener for government agencies, including Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Ohio.
Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “We cannot solve our nation’s incarceration problem without tackling the issues facing individuals with records who struggle to find jobs. When they can’t find jobs, they often return to crime, return to prison, and again become the taxpayers’ burden. And that’s the cycle of failure Gov. Bevin seeks to break with today’s “Fair Chance Hiring” executive order. We continue to be encouraged by Gov. Bevin’s commitment to providing former offenders a second chance to lead productive, crime-free lives, and we look forward to further bipartisan initiatives that will improve public safety, make our system fairer and save significant taxpayer dollars.”