Nixon directs state agencies to refrain from criminal history questions for applicants

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Governor Jay Nixon.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is directing state agencies not to ask about candidates’ criminal history in initial job applications.

Nixon traveled to St. Louis on Monday to announce the “ban-the-box” policy.

Nixon’s executive order directs departments, boards and commissions under the executive branch to strip questions about criminal history from initial job applications. There would be an exception for crimes that would make an applicant ineligible.

It’s aimed at helping those who have spent time in prison compete for jobs. The state’s Department of Corrections says the unemployment rate for those on parole last year was 44 percent.

The advocacy group National Employment Law Project says 21 states have implemented similar policies.

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