PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — The city of Pine Bluff has removed a question from its city job applications that asks about an applicant’s criminal history in an effort to allow people with past criminal convictions to more easily enter the workforce.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Tuesday that the City Council wanted to remove the stigma of a criminal background from otherwise-qualified applicants.
City Alderman Lloyd Holcomb Jr. says background checks will still be completed. But he says the new ordinance will give applicants a chance at a “fresh start” and allow them to demonstrate their qualifications before their record is checked.
Mayor Shirley Washington says the ordinance will take effect in 30 days.
The city of Little Rock and officials in Pulaski County have also removed criminal history disclosures on their job applications.