Fair Chance Act boosts job prospects of ex-prisoners; based on research of Case Western Reserve econ

A newly-passed U.S. law—based on research and advocacy by economist Daniel Shoag—establishes a practice known as “banning the box” as federal policy for hundreds of thousands of public and private jobs.

Studies show that delaying criminal background-checks in the hiring process can boost the job prospects of a worker pool with particularly stubborn rate of unemployment: ex-convicts looking to re-enter the labor market.

Daniel Shoag--an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University--is available to comment.

Please contact Daniel Robison at CWRU media relations, at 216-368-6515 or

More information and quotes:

Ban the Box policies—already adopted in 35 states and more than 150 cities—eliminate criminal-history questions on initial employment applications and have been shown to increase a candidate’s chances of landing a public-sector job by 30%.

In a study by Shoag, the policies increased employment by as much as 4%, largely on gains in the public sector, for residents of high-crime neighborhoods.

Known as the Fair Chance Act, the new law applies to federal agencies and contractors and was included in the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Donald Trump late last month.

“This is a great example of how research can inform the legislative process,” said Shoag. “Our findings helped craft a policy that can help scores of people who otherwise may be unemployed or under-employed.” FULL ARTICLE