Resolutions on Fair Hiring Practices for People with a Record of Justice Systems contact
From: Guy Gambill (gambillgt1yahoo.com)
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 05:26:11 -0800 (PST)
Greetings,

   On December 6, 2006 the St. Paul City Council will be voting on the
Fair Hiring Practices Resolution that would seek to foster a closer adherence
to Chapter 364 of the Minnesota State Statutes. Chapter 364 provides
prohibitions against discriminatory practice for people with a record of
criminal justice contact who are seeking public employment. The Statute
stipulates that applicants must be accorded the opportunity to provide
evidence of rehabilitation and the opportunity to explain their circumstances.
The Statute does not apply to law enforcement or fire department personnel.
Council Member Debbie Montgomery will introduce the Resolution for a
vote at 3:30 on December 6th in Main Council Chambers at St. Paul
City Hall.

   The Ways & Means Committee of the Minneapolis City Council will
discuss the Minneapolis version of the Resolution on December 18th at
1:30 pm. In Minneapolis, Council Member Elizabeth Glidden is the
sponsor of this important action. The proposed Resolution will be
introduced by Council Member Glidden on December 18 in Main
Council Chambers, third floor of Minneapolis City Hall.

   These actions, stemming out of the Council on Crime and Justice's
5 year Racial Disparity Initiative, which culminated in the widely attended
day-long Forum (750 people attended) held at MCTC, are a much needed
correction to deepening racial disparities in the Minnesota criminal justice
system. In 2004 the MN Department of Corrections released its annual
statistical assessment of a growing problem. During the course of the
preceeding 5 years the number of those in prison increased by 45%. Over
24% of all inmates were incarcerated for drug offenses. A good chunk
of the total prison population are incarcerated for non-violent offenses.
While African-Americans constitute 3.5% of the State's population,
they represent over 34% of those incarcerated. For Native Americans
the numbers are, respectively, 1% and 7%. 

     A large body of national and local research points to the fact that
employment at a living wage is one of the singlemost effective deterrants
to recidivism. Therefore, giving ex-offenders a Second Chance is not
just an act of compassion, it is just plain a reasoned measure that will
serve to enhance public safety.

     We enjoin all concerned community members to attend both the
Minneapolis and St. Paul Council meetings to voice support for both
versions of the Fair Hiring Practices Resolutions. Please feel free to
contact me with any questions or concerns.

Guy Gambill
Council on Crime and Justice
gambillg [at] crimeandjustice.org


   

 
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