Source: News & Observer

Governor Cooper signed a new executive order to “ban the box,” a persistent goal of criminal justice reformers, according to the News & Observer. The order will remove a question from job applications for state jobs that asks whether applicants have a criminal record.

“People who have made mistakes often deserve a second chance, and having a job helps turn lives around,” Cooper said.

North Carolina joins most other states in removing the question from state job applications. A number of local and county governments in North Carolina had already made the change, the News & Observer reports.

According to the governor’s office, 1.7 million North Carolinians have a criminal record in some capacity — one in five adults. The initiative is also expected to lower crime rates, according to Cooper, given the new opportunity for gainful employment that may have been difficult to attain for these North Carolinians, the News & Observer reports.

“Not only will this help reduce recidivism, it will give state government access to more qualified job applicants who now don’t even get the chance to show what good employees they would be,” Cooper said in the statement.

Read the full story from the News & Observer.