2022Ban the Box

Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

On June 9, 2022, the Delaware Senate passed Senate Bill 13 (SB 13) that would amend Title 14 of the Delaware Code relating to Education to create a “Ban the Box” policy for postsecondary institutions in the state and remove questions about criminal conviction history on college or job applications.

Delaware’s “Ban the Box” proposal would permit colleges to ask about the criminal backgrounds of students once they are admitted so they can offer counseling or restrict participation in campus life. The bill also makes an exception for such offenses as stalking and sexual assault.

This Act promotes diversity by prohibiting academic institutions from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal conviction history. If the institution elects to deny an applicant because of a conviction for such an offense, it must disclose that fact to the applicant, according to a synopsis of SB 13.

Research shows that questions about criminal conviction history deter individuals from applying to an institution and increase the likelihood of rejection, with a disproportionate effect on people of color. In addition, the Act requires the U.S. Department of Education to compile and complete an annual report on admissions.

A survey cited in a 2019 report titled “Criminal and Disciplinary History in College Admissions” found that 70 percent of four-year colleges included questions on criminal history in admissions forms. Of those colleges, more than 80 percent were private institutions and 55 percent were public institutions. 

“Ban the Box” is a fast-growing nationwide movement that seeks to advance opportunities for job applicants with criminal records. As of June 2022, 37 states and more than 150 cities and counties have adopted some type of “Ban the Box” legislation, according to statistics from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – offers a white paper titled “Ban the Box Now More the Rule than Exception for Employers when Screening,” a “Ban the Box Resource Guide for States, Counties, and Cities,” and a Ban the Box Resource Page. To learn more, contact ESR today.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2022 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – A Service Offering of ClearStar – Making copies of or using any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

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