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Metro councilmember hopes proposed ordinance will help convicted criminals get hired

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BATON ROUGE - Metro councilmember Chauna Banks proposed the 'Fair Chance Ordinance,' which she hopes will help convicted criminals get hired by city-parish contractors.

The ordinance was introduced two weeks ago and will be voted on during Wednesday's meeting. If approved, employers would have to wait until they ask a potential hire about their criminal history. 

"Until after an interview, a proper assessment of his skills and they are ready to make an offer," Banks said.

Banks says the hiring process can be unfair to convicted criminals.

"Government is spending millions and millions of dollars training prisoners to develop job skills during incarceration. But then we find that it's disappoint that after many trained prospective workers have received this, they are turned away at the first step of the application process," Banks said.

If this ordinance is approved, Banks says this will help the employers fill jobs. 

"The number one issue that we hear from those contractors and other private sectors is the lack of work force. If were going to set an example as a city parish government to encourage the hiring then we should also make that apart of the process as it relates to contractors."

And employers who hire people with past convictions may get other benefits. 

"They get access to tax credits, different bond options by hiring these skilled employees, they're basically contributing to our community, so there is a win, win as it relates to this."


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