Ohio Justice and Policy Center LogoThe Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) publicly called for the City of Cincinnati to end its blanket policy of denying employment to otherwise qualified applicants with felony convictions. OJPC issued its called during the At Promise Summit, a conference co-sponsored by OJPC and Cincinnati State’s Black Male Initiative. In the next few weeks, OJPC hopes to get at least 1000 Cincinnati residents to sign the letter below calling for a change in the city’s policy. Sign and return the letter to OJPC’s offices, and please have your family members, colleagues, and friends do the same.

Copy and paste the letter below into Word, click print, sign and send back to the Ohio Justice and Policy Center.  


Ohio Justice and Policy Center
215 E. 9th Street, Suite 601
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 

Fax: 513-562-3200

City Council

City of Cincinnati

801 Plum Street

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 

Dear City Council: 

I join with the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and other civic leaders who are asking the City of Cincinnati to end its blanket policy of denying employment to otherwise qualified applicants with felony convictions.  

It is very important, from a community safety standpoint, that we do all we can to ensure that former offenders, who have been rehabilitated and are otherwise qualified for employment, be given a chance to work and become productive, law-abiding citizens.  

I encourage the City to adopt guidelines to help determine whether an otherwise qualified applicant with a felony record should be hired.  Among the facts and circumstances the City should consider in making the employment decision are:  (1) the nature and gravity of the offense(s); (2) the time elapsed since the conviction(s); (3) the age of the applicant at the time of the offense(s); (4) the number of convictions; (5) any evidence of rehabilitation or mitigation presented by the applicant; and (6) the degree to which the conviction(s) relate(s) to the duties of the job for which the applicant has applied.  These guidelines are important in making sure that only those former offenders who present minimal risk receive City employment.  

The City of Cincinnati should join the growing number of cities that are opening employment opportunities to people with felony records.  It is important for the City to show leadership on this issue to encourage more private sector employers to hire former offenders.