Excerpted from thestate.com, by Daniel J. Gross

An effort to give those convicted of a crime a better chance at employment is finding some interest in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Several City Council members have said they’re willing to explore a proposal that would eliminate the criminal background question on city job applications.

Meghan Smith, a Spartanburg resident who has advocated for ex-offender rehabilitation, has met with council members, city staff, pastors and nonprofits about the viability of a local ordinance.

The “ban the box” effort has gained national interest, with some states and jurisdictions passing laws that prohibit employers from asking about criminal backgrounds on a job application.

A ban the box bill was proposed in the S.C. legislature in January, but never made it out of committee. Smith said if the effort can’t be accomplished on the state level, starting at the local level may encourage others to follow suit.

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