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Felons to feds: Obama orders government to hire ex-cons

Douglas Ernst

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Nov. 2, 2015

The Obama administration has a two-pronged approach to handing federal inmates: Release them and then make it easier for ex-convicts to work for the government.

Obama’s “ban the box” executive orders announced Monday follow a massive release of up to 6,000 convicted drug felons Nov. 1. The measures delay the ability of federal hiring personnel and federal contractors to find out if job applicants have a criminal record.

“The president has called on Congress to follow a growing number of states, cities, and private companies that have decided to ‘ban the box’ on job applications. We are encouraged that Congress is considering bipartisan legislation that would ‘ban the box’ for federal hiring and hiring by federal contractors,” the White House said in a statement. “In the meantime, the president is directing the Office of Personnel Management to take action where it can by modifying its rules to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.”

What do YOU think? Sound off on Obama’s order to open government jobs to ex-convicts

Changes in federal sentencing rules for drug crimes made by the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2014 may eventually free up to 46,000 inmates, the Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 6. The White House maintains it is only freeing nonviolent offenders (mostly from California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas).

“We’re fooling the public when we tell them we’re releasing nonviolent drug offenders,” Steven Cook, head of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, told Politico on Monday.

Get the details on Obama’s activities in “The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration.”

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports recidivism rates at 68 percent within three years and 77 percent within five years, Breitbart News reported Monday.

Those statistics may be why a prison reform bill is stalled in the U.S. Senate.

“When police officers across this country are under assault right now, are being vilified, when we’re seeing violent crime spiking in our cities across the country, I think it would be a serious mistake for the Senate to pass legislation providing for 7,082 convicted criminals potentially to be released early,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Monday, Politico reported.

(Photo: Southern California Public Radio)

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