In almost every job application, every licensing request, and seemingly every application for anything, is the question of whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. The question seemingly has value; a potential employer or licensing agency wants to know if someone has a background of which they should be aware.
There is a continuing belief that convictions that occur in someone’s past should not continue to haunt his or her throughout his or her life because as time goes on, the correlation between a conviction for certain crimes and someone’s moral fitness becomes more and more attenuated. That is coupled with the realization that the inability to get work or advance someone’s career leads to higher rates of recidivism.
Colleges May Not be Able to Ask Conviction Question