142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Ban the Box: An evaluation of hospital hiring practices for formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Jennifer Sanchez, MPH, CPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, Montefiore Medical CEnter, Bronx, NY
Matthew Anderson, MD, MS , Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Aaron Fox, MD , Department of General Internal Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY
Background:  Despite laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on a history of incarceration, nearly all job applications in the United States require applicants to disclose prior felony convictions by checking a box. Using “the box” to screen out potential employees with felony convictions limits the employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated persons; because the epidemic of incarceration predominately affects communities of color, the economic impact of this policy reinforces historic inequalities and propagates health disparities. In many communities, health systems are among the largest employers, and can serve as a model for other industries by removing “the box” from employment applications. Obtaining employment is key in helping formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into their community. There has been no systematic study of hospital policies regarding the formerly incarcerated. 

Study question(s):  How common are questions about felony convictions in NYC hospital online employment applications? What are the HR policies regarding hiring the formerly incarcerated in NYC hospitals?  What is the experience of hospitals which have “banned the box” or sought to facilitate hiring of the formerly incarcerated?

Methology:  We will review the websites of all 33 NYC hospitals for the presence of a felony history box, and interview HR personnel at hospitals with a record of hiring the formerly incarcerated (e.g. Johns Hopkins and California State Hospital systems).

Conclusions: Data derived from this study should help inform hospital hiring practices that benefit individuals who were formerly incarcerated, their families, their communities, and the hospitals which hire them.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the relationship between incarceration, employment, recidivism, and health. Describe the process and implications of banning box for both employers and applicants. Identify resources that will inform local laws surrounding hiring practices of formerly incarcerated individuals

Keyword(s): Organizational Change, Special Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in social services for several years, addressing homelessness among individuals with involvement in the criminal justice system. I have worked as a researcher/study coordinator on several federally funded grants focusing on special populations and access to health care, HIV prevention and health maintenance, and mental and drug use disorders. My research interests are addressing health inequities and access to health care/information in special populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.