Statistics Support College After Incarceration: The national recidivism rate1 drops from 76% to 5.6% if an individual obtains a bachelor’s degree and below 1% with a Masters degree2,3. Most crimes on campus are committed by people with no prior convictions4.
Thus, as a public safety strategy, universities and colleges should be doing everything they can to promote access to higher education – not create more barriers.
Support this Petition: Job Opportunities Task Force in partnership with From Prison Cells to Phd and other organizations insist that you support “Ban the Box on College Applications.” Sign the petition here.
People make mistakes, and people deserve second chances. Unfortunately, people who have made poor decisions in the past and are trying to better themselves by pursuing higher education face a major barrier: a box that they must check disclosing their criminal history on college applications. By requiring applicants to disclose their criminal history, universities impose an unnecessary and discriminatory barrier to education. This process reduces the applicant to the mere moment when they incurred a criminal record rather than seeing the full person with all of their interests, skills, and experiences. Asking about criminal history on college applications is not a practice grounded in empirical evidence and does not promote public safety. Studies show that college education during or after prison helps individuals reintegrate into society and reduces the chance they will end up back in prison.
Maryland Fair Access to Education Act of 2017: Fast FactsSenate Bill 543 & House Bill 694 seeks to remove the arrest/conviction question from the initial college applications. The question would still be asked later. By moving it, the applicant can be assessed on merit alone.