Ban the Box at DePaul University

Ban the Box at DePaul University

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Students Against Incarceration At DePaul University started this petition to DePaul University’s Division of Enrollment ManDePaul agement and Marketing (EMM)

We ask that DePaul University’s Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing (EMM) honor the Vincentian mission, uphold equal access to education, and remove the checkbox that inquires about criminal history on the admissions application.

DePaul University offers the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to students enrolled at the university as well as to those experiencing incarceration in Stateville Correctional Center outside Joliet, Illinois and at Cook County Jail on the Southwest side of Chicago. This program grants college credit to students on both the outside and inside. While the university grants college credit to those serving time, they hinder their acceptance to the university once released.

Currently, DePaul University uses the Common Application for prospective students applying to the university. On this application, the university has chosen to include a supplemental question asking about students’ criminal history. Although indicating a criminal history does not automatically deny a prospective student admittance to DePaul University, it acts as a deterrent. Those who have a criminal record may see the box and decide not to apply due to the stigma attached to having a criminal record.  

In 2007, “nearly 1 in 100 adults—lived behind bars, five million others were on probation or parole, more than ten million were booked into jail, and nearly one in three U.S. residents had a criminal record” (Beckett). Otherwise stated, a large portion of the population has a criminal record; therefore, there is a potentially large pool of applicants being deterred.

Beckett, Katherine. “Mass Incarceration and Its Discontents.” Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, vol. 47, no. 1, 2017, pp. 11–22., doi:10.1177/0094306117744801

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