Fair Chance Employment

Fair Chance Employment is a new so-called “ban the box” policy that asks employers to gather information about an applicant’s qualifications before their criminal history.

The premise behind this is that those who are coming out of prison will still have an opportunity to get hired for jobs they’re qualified for without undue discrimination before they’ve even been given a chance to show their qualifications.

“Ban the box” refers to the removal of what’s usually a box on an application that asks whether the applicant has ever had a felony conviction or been arrested (or other similar language).

With Fair Chance Employment policies, these questions are becoming less and less common, as employers are now giving more people the opportunity to go through the hiring process and then giving offers that are conditioned upon the results of background screenings and more.

It’s important to note that ban the box policies do not mean that employers cannot take past criminal history into account. Rather, they mean it should not be an automatic disqualifier, and circumstances should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the applicant’s history is relevant to the job and recent enough to be applicable.

This is why these policies seek to remove such questions early in the process; when they’re present too soon, they’re more likely to be used as a data point for disqualification.

If the question is only asked after an applicant's qualifications have been determined, or after a conditional offer of employment, it encourages case-by-case review.

An estimated 631,000 adult Idahoans (21%) have a previous criminal conviction on their permanent record In Idaho there are currently more than 12,000 people incarcerated in county jails and state prisons There are more than 16,000 Idahoans on probation and parole

Write to your Legislator to express your support for Fair Chance Hiring practices

Writing a Letter

Be courteous and informative in your communication. Personalize the letter by including examples of how the legislation might impact you and your family. Keep the letter brief-not more than one page.

Sending E-mail Communication to a Legislator

The same guidelines apply to e-mail as to written letters. If you do send an e-mail, send it to the representative. Do not copy other representatives or send a mass e-mail.

Phone Calls to a Legislator

State your name and address and identify yourself as the legislator's constituent. You will often be speaking with a secretary or aide. Briefly make known your position as they keep track of the issues that people call about to report to the legislator. Have your thoughts organized in advance, which will help you to keep the call brief and to the point. It is also very helpful to share how the issue affects you personally. Thank them for their support.

Sample letter to Legislator


Fair Chance Fact Sheet


Fair Chance Handout



Post Office Box 3581
Coeur d'Alene, ID, 83816, US

About us

BarNone, Inc. is an Idaho-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose purpose is threefold:

Awareness: Holding Idaho Reentry Summit events, conducting social media campaigns and speaking to Idahoans to encourage communication, collaboration and education of the criminal legal system, statistics, and of the people who are impacted by incarceration.

Advocacy: Working with members of the Legislature, municipalities and various agencies to impact public policy.

Resources: Connecting people with community resources and support when they are returning to their community after a period of incarceration and centralizing the information for those resources.

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