Over 77 million people have a criminal record in the United States. In New York City alone, nearly 750,000 New York City residents – almost 11 percent of adults — have a criminal conviction, according to a recent report by another center at John Jay College – the Data Collaborative for Justice. The use of background checks to bar access to employment, licensure, housing, and education creates a system of perpetual punishment for the millions of Americans with conviction records.
The guide is designed to help employers, educators, education and employment program operators, licensing bodies, and housing providers better understand the individual, institutional, and systemic barriers erected by background checks.
Please note: The guidance about city and state laws are specific to New York and may not be true elsewhere, but the general tips and guidance apply universally.