Coconino County will no longer require disclosure of prior criminal history on initial job applications. It's part of a national effort called "Ban the Box."
The county will also determine which positions will continue to require background checks due to their work with vulnerable populations, or the safety-sensitive nature of the positions.
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the “Ban the Box” resolution in a special session this week.
“This resolution is a significant step in criminal justice reform,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “It demonstrates Coconino County is an organization that values the talents and skills all potential employees bring, including those who have made mistakes in the past and completed their sentences.
"We are proud to be part of a national effort with other government agencies and high profile businesses that have taken similar action to the board today. I hope this sets the tone for other counties and organizations in Arizona and in the country to follow suit.” she says.
The national campaign to Ban the Box started in 2004. County leaders insist it's estimated that nearly 70 million, or 1 in 3 adult Americans have a criminal history and struggle finding employment after incarceration. Per the Ban the Box campaign, more than 45 cities and counties have removed the question regarding conviction history from their employment applications.
The county will also actively encourage rehabilitated individuals with criminal records to apply for employment by engaging community partners such as treatment providers, correctional facilities reentry specialists and organizations assisting individuals in obtaining employment.