Criminal History Screenings and Disparate Impact
To begin to understand why criminal history screening policies are the focus of disparate impact claims, we need to look at where we get our criminal history screening data from. We usually go to our screening companies, and they look at county, state, and federal criminal justice data. Then, we make our decisions accordingly. Unfortunately, the facts show that, historically, minorities in this country—particularly African Americans—have been arrested, prosecuted, tried, and sentenced at a much higher rate for a much longer time than other races. And there have been studies done that confirm that our criminal history data and criminal history processes in this country have not been consistent or fair. Any policy that a housing provider has that solely relies on that data can be challenged as having
a negative or discriminatory impact due to the fact that the data is prejudiced. To avoid even the appearance of disparate impact discrimination, a property’s policies and procedures should be carefully and thoughtfully curated.
TO AVOID EVEN THE APPEARANCE OF DISPARATE IMPACT DISCRIMINATION, A PROPERTY’S POLICIES AND PROCEDURES SHOULD BE CAREFULLY AND THOUGHTFULLY CURATED.
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