On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, Idaho State Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb and the ACLU of Idaho held a press conference announcing Senator Buckner-Webb’s intention to sponsor statewide Ban the Box legislation. Senator Buckner-Webb stated that Ban the Box was brought to her attention by community members who had formerly incarcerated family members. “Everybody should have another chance,” the Senator said, “I really believe that.”
This will not be Idaho’s first rodeo, as prior versions of the statewide Ban the Box law were not passed during their legislative sessions. However, this time the lawmaker is introducing the Ban the Box proposal on the heels of a comprehensive report published by ACLU of Idaho arguing for the state’s need for Ban the Box. The ACLU of Idaho distributed copies of the report to Idaho lawmakers.
Some of the report’s key findings include a finding that Idaho’s Ban the Box law will assist approximately 361,000 Idahoans with prior criminal convictions. Further, despite representing only .8% of Idaho’s total population, Idaho ranks fifth in the country for the highest incarceration rates of black prisoners per 100,000. Ban the Box is a key piece of legislation that must become law in 2020.