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AFP-Pennsylvania Responds to Introduction of Ban the Box Legislation

Oct 21, 2020 by AFP

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania (AFP-PA) commends the bipartisan effort to increase access to education for individuals with a criminal record by asking public universities that request this information to do so later in the admissions process. The bill would ask that colleges examine this information after the school has accepted the applicant based on their merit and abilities.

More specifically, the bill still allows schools to review criminal history to determine whether student housing and other campus life participation would need to be modified based on previous criminal history. It would be up to the school’s discretion whether to consider or deny admission for certain offenses.

Two-thirds of colleges request that applicants share this information, with almost 25 percent of these institutions having some automatic bar for students that carry a criminal record, according to the R Street Group.

AFP State Director Ashley Klingensmith issued the following statement:

“A criminal record should not serve as a barrier to postsecondary education. Applicants should be considered for acceptance based on their merits and abilities without their hard work and credentials being overshadowed by their past. Removing the box would be a step in the right direction towards a more equitable admissions process that provides every individual with the opportunity to experience the transformational benefits of education. We urge other representatives to provide these deserving individuals with the shot at a second chance by considering co-sponsorship of this legislation.” AFP-Pennsylvania Responds to Introduction of Ban the Box Legislation