Relevant Policies

We have curated a list of policies useful to formerly incarcerated persons and our community. Please use for your reference and share with whomever could benefit.

Photo by  Terrah Holly  on  Unsplash

fair housing policy

Housing stability is essential for breaking the cyclical relationship between incarceration and homelessness and supporting a formerly incarcerated person’s successful return to his or her community. To reduce the risk of recidivism, programs that prioritize family reunification and do not use a person’s criminal history as a deterrent to housing access are crucial. We review policies in Chicago, New York, Richmond, Seattle, and Oakland in our Fair and Affordable Housing Policy report. Click the link below to read more.

Richmond CA since December 2017 passed new law lead by Safe Return Project  to protect people with criminal records from being discriminated against when looking for housing. This is how the law works: The law only applies to low-income housing (tax Credit, HUD subsidized) and households who are renting with section 8 vouchers. A landlord cannot ask housing applicants about:  ◦ A criminal conviction that happened more than two years ago. ◦ Any arrests that didn't result in a conviction ◦ A conviction that has been dismissed. ◦ Information about whether an applicant was convicted, arrested, or punished as when they were under 18. ◦ Whether an applicant have been in a diversion or deferral of judgment program. This law also allows for individuals returning home to be added to an existing lease by doing this Richmond has committed to protecting the low income housing status for families and not putting them at risk of losing their housing by illegally housing a loved one with and past conviction other than those restricted by Federal HUD policy.  

In the Press:


Photo by  William Stitt

Photo by William Stitt

Fair employment policy (california)

Richmond CA set the stage for progressive policy against employment discrimination in 2013. The purpose of this ordinance is to require that all contractors, lessees, recipients of City financial aid, and their respective subcontractors that employ the equivalent of ten or more full time employees in their total workforce and who desire to obtain contracts with the City of Richmond, remove any question regarding prior criminal convictions from their printed and/or on-line employment application forms and do not make any inquiry into an applicant’s conviction history.

AB 218 prohibits any state or local agency from asking a job applicant to disclose criminal convictions on the initial employment application until after it has determined that the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications for the position. AB 218 does not prohibit public agencies from inquiring about criminal conviction information later on in the hiring process. Rather, it requires the public agency to refrain from doing so until it has determined that the applicant is qualified for the position. To learn more, please click on the link below.

Effective January 1, 2018, California joins a number of other states and major cities in prohibiting private employers from making pre-offer inquiries regarding an applicant's criminal history (so-called "ban the box" laws). California employers should remove from their employment applications any questions or boxes that ask applicants to disclose criminal convictions and train managers not to ask about criminal history during the interview process. Employers should also continue to be mindful of the various laws that impact the use of criminal records in the hiring process, including the California Fair Employment & Housing Council's regulations on criminal history and adverse impact, other state fair employment laws, municipal ban-the-box ordinances (such as those in Los Angeles and San Francisco), and federal and state fair credit reporting laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

In the Press:

Huffington Post


National Employment Law Project