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.

(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

From our Partners

Letters to our ancestors

How the pandemic response has failed young people: Unemployment, caregiving and education

How the pandemic response has failed young people: Student debt

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Meet Kim Andrews, new executive director for The Fund for Women and Girls

Philadelphia, PA

Bread and Roses Community Fund

Program Coordinator

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Leeway Foundation

Communications Assistant

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA or Remote

Juvenile Law Center

CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER

Apply Now

New report calls for youth-centric approaches to policy

Dennis and Lee Horton say their own grief and trauma helped them to help others

Homelessness in reentry is a serious concern. Here’s what Philly is doing about it

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Be the leader to bring a 26-year mission into the future in Chester County

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania

Marketing Writer – Wharton External Affairs (Hybrid Eligible)

Apply Now
3645 Lancaster Ave Philadelphia PA

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Education Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Maternity Care Coalition

Director of Marketing, Communications & PR

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity