Norfolk drops conviction query from job application

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Associated Press & 13News Now

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 7:06 AM

NORFOLK (AP) -- Applicants for most city jobs in Norfolk will no longer be asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Norfolk is the latest Virginia locality to join the "ban the box" effort promoted by advocacy groups for former inmates. Richmond and Newport News have also made the change and Virginia Beach is in the early stages of doing so.

Norfolk officials say the question could disappear from most city job applications by Sept. 1. It will still appear on applications for public safety jobs and those involving the care of children, the elderly or disabled.

Also, city officials will continue to conduct fingerprint background checks and drug screening.

According to the city, someone's criminal history currently doesn't prevent that person from being hired. Criminal history is evaluated on the gravity of the offense, the length of time since conviction, and whether it is applicable to the job, they said.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

AP-WF-07-25-13 0631GMT

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