Colleges shouldn't ask about applicants' criminal histories, but most in Philly do - Generocity Philly

Results

Aug. 30, 2017 11:27 am

Colleges shouldn’t ask about applicants’ criminal histories, but most in Philly do

Community Legal Services just dropped a report on college admissions and students with criminal records.

University of Pennsylvania's admissions application asks about both convictions and adjudications.

(Photo by Julie Zeglen)

Ban the box and Clean Slate initiatives have gained statewide traction in recent months as means to eliminate barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated folks.

But what about those folks facing barriers to education?

This morning, Community Legal Services (CLS) released its report “Opening Doors: How Philadelphia Area Colleges Can Promote Access & Equity by ‘Banning the Box,’” arguing that local colleges shouldn’t ask its prospective students about their criminal histories in their applications.

Why? The practice disproportionately affects youth of color, who are criminalized at higher rates, and doesn’t improve campus safety.

The report came out of the Youth Justice Project, a program co-led by CLS and Philadelphia Legal AssistanceCLS employment attorney Jamie Gullen was the lead on the report.

“Removing questions about juvenile and criminal records from their applications,” Gullen said in a statement, “will encourage young people to access higher education, and will send an important message about the value of racial equity and diversity on campus.”

Read the report

The report even features a report card for area colleges.

Community College of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, for instance, earn an A for asking no question about applicants’ criminal histories, whereas the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University earn Ds for asking about both convictions and adjudications.

From our Partners

-30-
VIEW COMMENTS
  • Ron Bockman

    How stupid, of course the school needs to know who they are admitting, if for no other reason, the school is responsible for safety of the campus and the other students.

From our Partners

ChickTech Philadelphia is bringing free tech education to local girls

A filmmaker made a movie about 4 North Philly kids’ lives. Five years later, she checked back in

Young people should be partners in the fight to end youth homelessness in Philly

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

For immigrants, civic engagement is essential to success

1330 N. 5th Street,Philadelphia, PA 19122

http://www.bicycletransit.com/

Brand Ambassador

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Knight Foundation

Summer of 2018 Paid Internship at Knight Foundation

Apply Now
4355 Orchard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Development Director

Apply Now

Here’s our 2018 editorial calendar

These were Generocity’s 10 most popular stories of 2017

How Challah for Hunger mobilizes volunteers on 40+ college campuses

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

This Philly Venezuelan wants to encourage ‘participation, not isolation’ among immigrants

Philadelphia

William Penn Foundation

Program Associate, Creative Communities

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Fairmount Ventures Inc

Project Manager

Apply Now
Center City Philadelphia

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

Coordinator, Member Engagement

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Generocity