Louisiana Becomes First State to Ban Criminal History Questions From College Apps

June 21, 2017

The movement to “ban the box” is often touted as a way to help ex-convicts find employment after incarceration. If employers, or states, get rid of the box on a job application where they ask about previous criminal history, that history won’t prevent people who have served their time from reintegrating into society, the argument goes.

Louisiana's governor signed the state's own ban-the-box law earlier on Friday, this time prohibiting state higher-education institutions from inquiring about a potential student’s criminal history during the application process.

The law makes exceptions so that colleges can ask about sexual violence or stalking convictions, according to a local Fox affiliate, though there is also an appeals process for students denied under those questions. Additionally, colleges can ask about criminal history after a student has been admitted, including for the consideration of financial aid and campus housing.

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