The Vera Institute of Justice has created a fact sheet titled “Looking Beyond Conviction History.” The fact sheet was created by Vera collaborating with multiple PHAs across the country. It provides eight recommendations for PHAs that want to rethink their admission policies for people with criminal conviction histories. While the full fact sheet offers additional details and rationales, the recommendations are the following:
- Shorten the lookback period to three years or less;
- Screen for a limited number of convictions and not for arrests;
- Conduct an individualized assessment of applicants’ conviction histories;
- Discontinue the use of “one-strike” policies and adopt a case-by-case decision-making approach;
- Allow people on probation or parole to live in public housing;
- Limit the use of past evictions to determine successful tenancy in public housing;
- Specify and limit denials connected to illegal drug use; and
- Include absence as a result of incarceration as a permitted temporary absence and allow people to stay housed while completing diversion or alternative-to-incarceration programs.
The website hosting the fact sheet can be found here.
The full fact sheet can be found here.