For Immediate Release

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Responds to Administration’s Re-entry and Rehabilitation Actions

WASHINGTON - Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the administration’s announcement of new measures aimed at helping formerly incarcerated Americans rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities. As part of these measures, President Obama is directing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to explore modifying its rules to delay criminal history inquiries until later in the hiring process:

“We applaud the President for his continued leadership in reforming our nation’s broken criminal justice system. The actions announced today are additional important steps toward helping millions of Americans reintegrate into back into their communities.

We agree with the President that Congress must pass bipartisan legislation that would ban the box for federal hiring and contractors. Absent that, the President must issue a strong, comprehensive executive order that will ban the box and give millions of Americans a fair chance at employment with the federal government.

As part of a broad coalition of organizations, formerly incarcerated individuals, businesses, and politicians, we have been vocal in calling on President Obama to issue an executive order to ban the box for federal workers and contractors and to implement fair chance hiring practices that make the EEOC’s guidance on the use of background checks mandatory for federal agencies.

Today’s announcement shows that, while the President is with us in spirit, his administration is not yet ready to make an executive order a reality. Congress must act, and if it fails to do so, we urge the administration to issue an executive order.”

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The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

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