Why Do U.S. Cities “Ban the Box”?

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Michael Leo Owens

Michael Leo Owens (Emory University, Department of Political Science) and Anna Gunderson (Louisiana State University, Department of Political Science) coauthored the recently published study “Noncongruent Policymaking by Cities for Citizens with Criminal Records: Representation, Organizing, and ‘Ban the Box.'” The study, published by Political Research Quarterly, explains large cities’ adoptions of municipal policies between 2004 and 2019 that restrict the use of criminal records histories by public and private employers in the U.S.. It provides new insights into how and why a group with a negative social construction and limited political capital can (sometimes) achieve policy responsiveness from political institutions.

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