For Immediate Release

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Steve Smith, 212-519-7811,

ACLU Comment on President Obama’s Actions to Promote Rehabilitation and Reintegration for the Formerly Incarcerated

NEW YORK - In response to President Obama’s actions meant to help Americans who have paid their debts to society, Jeffery Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union had the following reaction:

“This afternoon President Obama announced an important first step toward giving formerly incarcerated men and women who have served their time a fair shot at employment. We join him in his desire to make getting a job a real possibility for those with criminal records instead of the impossible dream it is today. The president is intervening in the cruel cycle of mass incarceration and poverty, and we hope that Congress will join the fight with ambitious action.

“While the president’s pledge to postpone the criminal record check in hiring processes for federal agency jobs to later in the process is an important beginning, we urge him to follow with an Executive Order applying this decision to federal contractors. With that order, the president will delay any consideration of a criminal record until later in the hiring process, thereby giving the recently freed men and women hope to get the jobs they need to provide for their families.”


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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