In March, we described a proposed federal rule that would expand the types of criminal records that must be disclosed by applicants seeking federal jobs and contracting work. Specifically, OPM proposes for the first time to require individuals applying for federal employment or contracts to disclose whether they have participated in pretrial diversion programs in the last 7 years. Our letter commenting on OPM’s proposal (reprinted below) points out that diversion is increasingly favored by states as a means of encouraging rehabilitation, and that this goal is advanced by the promise of avoiding the disabling collateral consequences and stigma that follow conviction. In treating diversions like convictions, the OPM proposal would subvert the many benefits of diversion that have encouraged their increased use by prosecutors in recent years, including allowing for positive community perceptions of the justice system.
**Update (5/29/19): The federal government has withdrawn this proposal, as reported by the Washington Post.