Former felons want Richmond to "Ban the Box" - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Former felons want Richmond to "Ban the Box"

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Convicted felons have asked the City of Richmond to "ban the box" on job applications.

Currently, applicants must check a box on city job applications that indicate whether or not they've been convicted of a felony. A coalition wants that question to be eliminated.

The ordinance was proposed by Richmond City Councilwoman Michelle Mosby to the Government Operations Committee Thursday night.

The ordinance would get rid of the felony question on the initial city job application though applicants would still get a background check and would be asked if they are felon in the interview.

There were several former felons at Thursday night's meeting. They said the ordinance would at least get them in the door.

However, the committee said it wants to amend the ordinance so that it keeps the felon question for certain jobs, like those that deal with money or personal information.

"I was offended by that," said Felicia Griffin. Griffin has applied to forty city positions and hasn't been called back once. She said, with a college degree the only thing holding her back is a drug-related crime she committed three years ago.

"They say they want us to re-enter into society and become productive citizens but they're not giving us a chance to actually become that," said Griffin.

The committee didn't pass the ordinance Thursday so it will go to the Richmond City Council with the amendment, which council will discuss it at their next meeting.

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