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Colyer Adds Kansas To The List Of States Supporting 'Ban The Box'

Stephen Koranda
Kansas News Service
The order signed Wednesday by Gov. Colyer will prevent state agencies from requiring people seeking jobs to disclose on their applications whether they've been convicted of a crime.

Gov. Jeff Colyer signed an executive order Wednesday supporting the "Ban the Box" initiative.

The new order requires state agencies to remove a checkbox from their job applications that asks whether someone has a criminal record.

Colyer says the goal of the order is to help formerly incarcerated people find work.

Credit Courtesy photo
Durell Gilmore, an activist with Wichita's Sunflower Community Action.

He says the state's overall recidivism rate is nearly 36 percent — with the rate dropping almost in half among those employed.

"We can clearly see that, given the time and opportunity, those offenders who have jobs lead better lives and become a full member of our community," Colyer says.

Durell Gilmore, an activist with Wichita's Sunflower Community Action, says the decision removes an employment barrier.

"It fulfills that social contract that once I've paid my debt to society, I can return to society and build a life for myself and my family," Gilmore says.

The executive order will still allow state agencies to ask applicants about their criminal history during an interview.


Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.