The Business Roundtable, which represents the CEOs of major U.S. companies, yesterday issued corporate and public policy recommendations to advance racial equity and justice in the wake of 2020’s triple crises disproportionately impacting communities of color: pandemic, recession, and protests in response to police violence. The policy recommendations have six themes: employment, finance, education, health, housing, and the justice system. The justice system policy report was developed with the assistance of CCRC’s Margaret Love and David Schlussel, who provided general advice in connection with the Roundtable’s consideration of second-chance policies.
The second-chance recommendations are extremely encouraging, signaling the business community’s embrace of a broad agenda for alleviating barriers to economic and social opportunities for people with a criminal record.
The Roundtable endorsed specific pending federal legislation dealing with automatic expungement, judicial certificates of relief, fines and fees reforms, and prison education and training programs. The Roundtable also expressed support for expanding federal and state deferred adjudication (judicial diversion) policies, limiting the dissemination of dated conviction records in background checks, “banning the box” in hiring in all states, and relaxing state and federal hiring and occupational licensing bans.
As part of its action agenda, the Roundtable has committed to partnering on the creation of a business coalition to advance second-chance hiring by employers. Coalition members will exchange best practices, learn from subject matter experts, and develop and deploy tools to improve second-chance hiring, as part of a workforce diversity strategy.
Our recent national report, “The Many Roads to Reintegration,” which surveys the current state of the law on many of the issues addressed by the Roundtable recommendations–including employment, licensing, expungement, judicial certificates, deferred adjudication, and other forms of record relief–is available here.
The Roundtable’s full set of justice system recommendations are listed below.