This year, the A/TCRRT celebrates its ten year anniversary! The A/TCRRT has completed a strategic plan to launch our second decade of work. This plan, which draws upon the input of more than three dozen A/TCRRT Planning Council members, volunteers, and stakeholders, outlines the A/TCRRT’s strategic goals and objectives for fiscal years 2015 to 2017. This plan represents a sustained commitment by the A/TCRRT to work with our partners and stakeholders to promote the effective reentry and reintegration of formerly incarcerated persons and individuals with criminal histories.
On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the oversight authority responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination, issued an updated guidance to employers regarding the use of arrest or conviction records in employment decisions. As described in a recent A/TCRRT op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, what may constitute a civil rights violation, according to the EEOC guidance, is if hiring policies that exclude persons with a criminal record are not based on some kind of business necessity. In November 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit against the EEOC challenging the updated guidance. The suit sought an injunction blocking enforcement of the guidance issued by the EEOC. However a federal judge ruled on August 20, 2014, that the State of Texas cannot presently challenge the EEOC guidance, and therefore ruled that the case had to be thrown out of court.