Linn County Takes a Lead on Criminal Justice Reform

When I kicked off my campaign for Iowa House as an Independent, I made a pledge to support policies which lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind. One way to do that is to find opportunities to ensure Iowans have a fair shot at a good job. 

Our state has done a good job to focusing on STEM education and Future Ready Iowa, but one area we continue to fall behind is job opportunities for those Iowans who have served time. 

That is where "Ban the Box" legislation comes into play. The proposed law is simple: It delays when a hiring manager can ask about a criminal past. Studies show that when this question is delayed, the likelihood of hiring goes up despite their past. 

Last week, Linn County has agreed to implement "Ban the Box" rules for county job seekers. 

County leaders say criminal background checks will still apply for some job categories -- such as law enforcement or workers who are around vulnerable populations. That includes the county's day care facility.

But it won't be the first question applicants see on a form and it will let job seekers who've moved on from legal problems earlier in life get a foot in the door for employment.

Read the full story on KCCI.