One of the consequences of a criminal conviction is difficulty in gaining employment the debt to society has been repaid. It is a referred to as a collateral consequence because it is not a part of the intended punishment – is a secondary effect.
A civil rights movement, known as ‘ban the box’ aims at persuading employers to remove from their hiring applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record. This article deals with the state of Arizona asking applicants if they have a prior criminal record.
Arizona law states a person shall not be removed from employment consideration by the state, unless the “offense has a reasonable relationship to the functions of the employment or occupation for which the license, permit or certificate is sought.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. §904(E). Deciding what offense bears a reasonable relationship to the employment is not always clear, and leaves substantial discretion to the hiring agency.
The author of the article makes the point that since so many professions require state certification, licensing, or a permit to operate, this statute touches many industries in Arizona.
Collateral consequences are hidden sanctions through federal, state and local statutes, regulations and policies that affect the rights and responsibilities of rehabilitated persons after the penalty of a criminal conviction has been completed. Collateral consequences place a continuing burden on individuals seeking a fresh start in life thereby making relief from the consequences more elusive.
Penny Wilrich, Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions – Employment in Arizona, SSRN Elibrary.