Criminal Justice

| February 23, 2016

Statement on Gov. Fallin's Executive Order 2016-03

Statement on Gov. Fallin's Executive Order 2016-03

Today Gov. Mary Fallin issued Executive Order 2016-03 directing state agencies to remove the criminal history question from all applications for state jobs. The order does not prohibit state agencies from performing background checks or inquiring about criminal history during the application process, it simply removes the question from the application and affords rehabilitated individuals an opportunity to explain how they have repaid their debt to society as well as how they are qualified for the position to which they are applying.

A 2006 study estimated that 1 in 12 Oklahomans has spent time on probation or in prison for a felony conviction. This staggering statistic shows the need for reforms to address barriers to successful reentry, of which employment is often the most difficult. Gov. Fallin brings Oklahoma alongside 20 other states, well over 100 cities and municipalities, and major corporations like Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, and Hobby Lobby that have removed criminal history questions from job applications.

“We at Right on Crime are excited to see Governor Fallin yet again emphasize the need for strong action and bold solutions to break the cycle of incarceration in Oklahoma,” said Adam Luck of Right on Crime. “We applaud her for leading on this issue.”

“An Oklahoman is a terrible thing to waste,” said OCPA president Jonathan Small. “In Oklahoma, we know the importance of hard work for individuals, families, and communities. Getting a job is often absolutely critical to a person successfully reentering society after probation, jail or prison. Gov. Fallin is doing the right thing to make it easier for qualified, rehabilitated Oklahomans to get beyond their past mistakes and get back to work.”

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