What's at Stake

In Idaho, an estimated 95% of people in our state prisons and jails will re-enter our communities at some point upon the completion of their sentence. Across the nation, it has been demonstrated that true meaningful employment is one of the keys to reducing the likelihood of recidivism, yet people with a previous criminal record continue to face numerous barriers to employment.

To move Idaho towards reducing barriers for formerly incarcerated Idahoans, the ACLU of Idaho and Smart Justice for Idaho are supporting HB 196-- Fair Chance Employment Policy, also formerly known as “ban the box”

What does the fair chance employment policy do?

Simply put, HB 196 would remove the box on a job application that unfairly restricts job opportunities for people with a record and it encourages employers to eliminate blanket exclusions of people with criminal records. Fair chance employment policy would delay criminal history inquiries until after an application has been considered to advance in the the process. An employer would be able to ask an applicant about their criminal history after they make a decision about whether their qualifications merit an interview or conditional offer of employment.

By implementing this policy, it provides an opportunity for employers to learn how to consider information about an applicant’s criminal record within the context of the specific job or position. More importantly, it gives all job applicants returning to their communities a fair chance at a fresh start while ensuring stability and success, post-incarceration.

Stories from the Community

“I’m still looking for a part time job. I want a job to keep my hands busy. Keep my mind busy. But with having to check that box, it closes so many doors for me.” - Eric

Read blog posts from our Smart Justice Idaho Story Project

Learn more about what individuals living with criminal records face when seeking employment and the barriers they continue to face during their journey.

“I probably had 30 to 40 applications put in. I never heard a single word back from any of these places…That’s really hindering to getting a job because nobody wants to give a person like that a chance because of the stigma.” – Delbert

Interested in tracking Fair Chance in the Idaho legislative session?  

Check our Fast Democracy bill tracker

Get involved in the Fair Chance Hiring campaign

Have you experienced difficulties gaining employment post-incarceration? 

We want to hear your story!  

Your voice is critical for lawmakers and employers to understand the need for this legislation. Join the efforts to elevate the need for to pass this legislation.

Are you an employer that hires people with previous convictions? 

Sign our endorsement letter and add your business to a
growing list of employers who support passing this legislation

What are other states doing in terms of fair chance hiring? 

Learn more about how fair chance hiring has significantly supported formerly
incarcerated individuals while continuing to boost local economies

Are you interested in getting involved with other criminal legal reform initiatives? Click the image below to receive monthly emails on how you can advocate for reform in Idaho.