Hiring Ex-offenders? The Case of Ban the Box

Publication Date


Document Type



Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that affect how managers assess the importance of criminal history for job seekers with criminal records in Ban the Box states.

Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a phenomenological investigative approach to examine narrative interview data obtained from 18 human resource professionals in organizations in five Ban the Box states.

Findings: Contrary to previous research, the findings presented in this paper show that managers are inclined to hire applicants with a criminal history. However, study findings indicate that those hiring decisions are positively influenced by: (1) perceived value of criminal history, (2) concerns about safety and cost, (3) characteristics of the offense, (4) motivation to hire, and (5) evidence of applicant growth. Furthermore, a lack of systematic evaluation processes among hiring managers may present a barrier to employment.

Originality/Value: This paper explores a poorly understood area of the human resource management and employment inclusion literatures—the identification of factors that influence evaluations of applicants with a criminal history.

Original Citation

Griffith, J. & Jones Young, N.C. (2017). Hiring Ex-offenders? The Case of Ban the Box. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal 36(6), 501-518. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-04-2017-0066