Who gets the job? Examining the relationship between automatic expungement policies and racial discrimination in NC

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2020-01-25

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Abstract

“Unmarking” processes are among those policies intended to facilitate a reduction in the barriers to employment for justice-involved ​American residents. Widely proposed unmarking policies include “Ban the Box,” or policies that remove questions about criminal history from initial applications; expungement policies that automatically clear certain convictions or arrests; and targeted jobs-guarantees for justice-involved populations. The following thesis isolates one specific unmarking policy—an automatic expungement policy—and investigates its implications for white and black men. Through an experimental survey distributed to 300 North Carolina adults via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the data provide preliminary answers to the guiding research question: “Would the implementation of an automatic expungement policy for non-violent charges at the state level influence disparities in job prospects for white and black male applicants in North Carolina?” By comparing differences in willingness to give candidate callbacks “before” and “after” the implementation of an expungement policy, the thesis will draw conclusions about the effectiveness of such policies in reintegrating—or “unmarking”—justice-involved North Carolinians. In the final section, this paper offers a series of policy recommendations for lawmakers interested in “unmarking.”

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Abrams, Leah (2020). Who gets the job? Examining the relationship between automatic expungement policies and racial discrimination in NC. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19774.


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