Mass incarceration in the United States has been an issue that has lingered having lasting effects leaving large amounts of individuals targeted, jobless, and homeless. To put this in perspective, the United States accounts for about 4 percent of the worlds population. However, our prison population accounts for approximately 22% of the world's prison population. These numbers do not add up. It is also important to point out that this seems to be a system that targets certain groups of people. Consider that 33% of the US population has a criminal record of some type. Of these individuals, 25% of them are blacks with felony charges compared to the 6% of non-African Americans. In Detroit, (15%) 101,668 black Detroiters have felony records. Equally as detrimental, Michigan umemployment among blacks is 15.8%.
This denotes a system where incarceration already disqualifies those incarcerated for many opportunities, and more so being a minority who has been incarcerated makes it even more difficult to gain employment, making a reasonable wage, and acquire housing. This is what the Fair Chance Ordinance is about. This is an ordinance that will regulate private employers and housing providers that apply to recieve development incentives from the city as to when and how they may consider an individual's criminal record in making hiring or tenancy determinations.
I am curious to see what you all think about this ordinance specifically toward employment opportunities and housing. It has been proven that there has been strict discrimination toward ex-convicts setting up barriers toward housing and hiring policies. Is this the best way forward? Or should there be more intensive change with policies such as the "Ban the Box laws" and such.