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Arizona agencies to remove criminal history question on job applications

FILE - In this April 22, 2015 file photo, a job seeker fills out an application during a National Career Fairs job fair in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

PHOENIX —  Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order on Monday that will instruct state agencies to remove a question on job applications that asks prospective employees about their criminal history.

According to a press release, the executive order would have state agencies ask about an applicant’s criminal record once they have submitted an application and received an initial interview.

The order was implemented to provide a “second chance and increased employment opportunities to Arizonans who have served their time and been released,” the press release said.

According to Ducey, an estimated 1.5 million adults in Arizona have arrests or convictions on their records. Having a criminal conviction on a job application reduces the chance of a call-back by nearly 50 percent, research has found.

The executive order will attempt to reduce the recidivism rate, save taxpayer resources and boost the economy in Arizona by allowing those offenders to find employment.

In a statement, Ducey said all Arizonans “deserve the chance to make a living and a better life for themselves and their families.

“If you served your time and paid your debt to society, you should have the opportunity at a real second chance,” he added. “This is not only right, it will mean more people with jobs, and less people returning to prison.”

Ducey’s office also said it would partner with Uber to help people looking for a second chance get to work.

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