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Who Works for Prisons? Who Do Prisons Work for?

Should your university or company have the right to ask about someone's prior convictions in their admission or job application?

What others said

BackShape the Debate

Jaime Davidson

I think they should be allowed to look them up on the sex offender list, but otherwise the only purpose of this is to discriminate against people trying to improve their lives

4:16 PM | February 2, 2019

Justice Jones

If someone has already served their time in prison, why should they continue to be punished by society? How can we expect people to rehabilitate themselves and become productive members of society again if they can barely find a job after prison? This logically leads to people returning to illegal activity to make a living or to just get through each day.

4:16 PM | January 29, 2019

Kevin R Kelly

Decency, integrity, honesty, morals, and respect for authority and the law - those things all matter and contribute to the functioning of a structured Society. When it comes to hiring someone, I believe an employer should be able to discriminate for almost any reason at all, including gender, religion, height, looks,weight, race, citizenship, sexual orientation... as an employer, I should be allowed to put my team together to make my business the best that it can be (according to me). This is done under the current rules but now it requires lying, finagling, and smoke blowing by human resources administrators.

12:12 PM | December 18, 2018


Never. Post incarceration, the most extreme form of punishment, your debt to society should be fully paid.

8:08 AM | November 25, 2018


Unless there's a concern of human safety (such as working with vulnerable populations), a criminal record doesn't affect a person's ability to perform their duties.

10:22 PM | September 30, 2018

Heather M Kegler

I think it is prudent for an employer to know whether a potential employee has open criminal cases, BUT once their case is closed (no active warrants, probation, parole, etc...:ie, they've repaid their debt to society or successfully completed their sentence) it is irrelevant and shouldn't be a factor, regardless what the crime was.

5:17 PM | August 30, 2018

Ian Smith

It's an important part of people's past that institutions have a right to know about before engaging with an individual

1:13 PM | February 8, 2018


Because it is none of their business

4:16 PM | February 5, 2018

Carolyn W Herz

It prevents ex-prisoners from re-entering society.

2:14 PM | May 14, 2017


I think companies have the right to verify that an employee, not candidate, is suitable for the position. And, that includes background verification appropriate for position. Universities have a responsibility to protect all students, faculty, and staff from predators and violent persons. I do not think that inquiring at the application level can be fairly done.

6:18 PM | March 25, 2017