City of Atlanta stands behind second-chance employment policies - CBS46 News

City of Atlanta stands behind second-chance employment policies

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Source: City of Atlanta via Facebook Source: City of Atlanta via Facebook

The City of Atlanta is standing behind their decision to hire a man that had an arrest record and later confessed to throwing a brick through the window and leaving rats at the home of ER Mitchell, one of the people embroiled in a corruption scandal.

In February CBS46 learned Shandarrick Barnes had a rap sheet stretching back to 1994. In addition to felony theft and forgery charges in Florida, Barnes was also convicted of racketeering by stealing bail bond money in Dekalb County in 2009.

In a statement released to CBS46 Monday, Human Resource Commissioner Yvonne Yancey made the following comment regarding the city's second-chance policies:

The City of Atlanta stands by its policy of prohibiting questions to job applicants about their criminal history during initial interviews, because in our city, we know that crime’s costs can’t be addressed with improved policing alone. Nearly one in three United States citizens has a prior conviction. Ninety-five percent of incarcerated individuals are eventually released, and this year more than 600,000 ex-offenders will return to their communities, including Atlanta and the metropolitan region. 

When an employer adopts a second-chance hiring policy, it does not get to pick and choose which crimes make someone ineligible for employment; rather, per 2012 EEOC guidelines, the employer must evaluate the candidate based on the position they applied for, and this is precisely what the City of Atlanta does when evaluating all applicants.

The same year Barnes was convicted of racketeering in 2009, he was hired full-time with the City of Atlanta in the public works department. Records obtained shows Barnes made $25,000 as a yearly salary.

Second-chance policies have been incorporated by several agencies including the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia.

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