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One of the key contributors to criminal recidivism—the likelihood of a person to commit a crime upon their release from jail or prison—is the lack of employment opportunities upon his or her release.

Getting a job with a criminal record is a very daunting prospect. The City of Los Angeles, however, is considering the possibility of implementing a policy that could help change this fact.

Yesterday, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity that is designed to encourage and promote new policies to help those with a criminal record get a job. The panel consists of community activists and leaders from the business community.

While gainful employment is one of the proven means to reduce the likelihood of criminal recidivism, getting a job is far easier said than done for most with a criminal record. In addition to the efforts of the mayor’s committee, the Los Angeles City Council is considering passing a new law that would prohibit employers from asking potential employees on job applications whether they have ever been convicted on a crime.

This type of “Ban the Box” legislation has gained momentum and even passed in other states around the country. Allowing people who have served their punishment and often taken vocational training classes in prison to gain employment is a proven means to make a safer community. It remains to be seen whether Los Angeles will join those jurisdictions from around the country that have realized this fact.

Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Southern California. With over three decades of experience, Attorney Brower has represented individuals in state and federal court and charged with a range of crimes.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or at 714-997-4400.

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