New Bill Seeks to Give Ex-Cons in New York City a Fair...
Brian Pearson from Brooklyn says he knows all too well the stigma of the box job applicants have to check if they've got a criminal record.
He was released from a 3-year prison sentence in 2009. And he says it was so hard for him to get his foot in the door he considered returning to a life of crime.
"The feeling is, 'I'm not good enough for society,'" he said. "Let me go back to what I do know."
Pearson says he eventually got a job as a union laborer. It's because of people like Pearson that Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer introduced the Fair Chance Act. It would ban the box on applications asking whether someone's been convicted of a crime.
"This is about fairness," she said. "This is about fairness, and people who have served their time do not deserve to be discriminated against."
Bruwer says studies show people with criminal records are half as likely to get call backs for interviews. And And City Councilman Ritchie Torres says that leaves many who are formerly incarcerated to feel alienated and hopeless.
"Stop disconnecting them from our economy," he said. "Stop disconnecting them from the labor market; and stop depriving them of a fair chance at employment."
Torres says the bill was first introduced last year. New York City's already banned inquiring about criminal records on government job applications.