Philly legal aid group urging colleges to stop asking applicants about criminal record

One of Philadelphia's largest legal assistance organizations, is pushing area colleges and universities to stop asking prospective students about any crimes in their past.

News Story (Pennsylvania)

Aaron Moselle
August 31, 2017

Tags: Criminal Records, Education

Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia


In a report released Wednesday, lawyers with the nonprofit argue that questions about convictions and adjudications — while a juvenile or adult — strongly discourage applicants, especially students of color, from completing the process for acceptance to a college or university. It’s similar to the way job seekers with criminal records often become disheartened because they know the impact it has on their chances for employment.

“Having this type of deterrent for people — that’s really unnecessary — only further makes our four-year colleges and institutions inaccessible, less diverse, less representative of the communities in which they’re situated,” said CLS staff attorney Jamie Gullen.