May 9, 2016 (New York, NY) – Glenn E. Martin, founder and President of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) and Co-founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, supports today’s announcement by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. to “ban the box” on college admissions.
Higher education is an essential tool that our society promotes as a way to get ahead and to improve ones socioeconomic status and quality of life. For the over 70 million citizens with criminal records who have been discriminated from jobs, housing, and educational opportunities; we have failed to provide them real options for successful re-entry. The U.S. Department of Education took an important step today in urging our country’s colleges and universities to remove barriers for individuals with criminal convictions to education. A major suggestion is to remove inquiries early in the application process whether prospective students have ever been arrested.
“As someone who earned a two year college degree in prison, I know firsthand the value of providing educational access to those who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. We must encourage an easier pathway to a college and do away with harmful practices that have created cycles of incarceration lasting decades. I hope to see more of our educational institutions take heed to the Department of Education’s urging to “ban the box” on college admissions.”
“I have fought for our government to promote fair chance hiring practices for job seekers with records by “banning the box” on job applications that ask about criminal history. It is now time that we “ban the box” in our postsecondary institutions and do away with yet another discriminatory practice. The Department of Education shared a 2015 Center for Community Alternatives study showing, “that requesting criminal justice information may deter potentially well-qualified applicants from enrolling in postsecondary education and training.”
– Glenn E. Martin, Founder and President, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA)
Read the U.S. Department Of Education’s resource guide released today here: Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals
GLENN E. MARTIN is the Founder of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. Glenn is a national leader and criminal justice reform advocate who spent six years in NYS prisons. Glenn is Co-Founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition.