Maryland Bans the Box

Maryland will be the second state, joining Louisiana, to "ban the box," reported The Baltimore Sun. Last week, the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate voted to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a bill barring colleges and universities from asking about arrests and convictions on initial application forms.

The legislation is part of a national movement to make it easier for people who have been incarcerated to rebuild their lives. Proponents of the measure argue that it would remove a barrier deterring people with criminal records from even applying to college. Opponents, echoing Hogan's veto message, said that the measure could endanger students on campus by permitting violent offenders, including rapists, into their midst.

The legislation only applies to the initial admission application. Colleges and universities in the state would be able to inquire about arrests and convictions at later stages in the admissions process and to deny entry to applicants that they believe pose a danger, The Baltimore Sun reported. The bill would, however, prevent institutions from automatically barring admission based solely on an applicant's criminal history.


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The Baltimore Sun