“The U.S. Department of Education today urged America’s colleges and universities to remove barriers that can prevent the estimated 70 million citizens with criminal records from pursuing higher education, including considering the chilling effect of inquiring early in the application process whether prospective students have ever been arrested.” Link
As part of the Obama administration’s effort to liberalize college admissions for applicants with criminal records, on Monday, the ED simultaneously released a 50 page guide titled “Beyond the Box, Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals.” The guide addresses admissions and the need to support students who have some involvement with the justice system post enrollment. It is part of the administration’s broad effort to tackle the problem of mass incarceration and promote citizenship and social integration among the formerly incarcerated and others with criminal convictions. Besides this particular effort, parallel work is being done through the EEOC, the Justice Department, and in other areas within the White House.
Education Secretary John King traveled to UCLA to make this announcement, and was joined there by University of California President Janet Napolitano. The formal announcement also quotes Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on this topic.