Goal #9

Explore criminal justice reform for fair and equitable enforcement of laws for adults and juveniles

1. Explore removing the criminal history background question from the initial employment application

• Conduct a City Council Work Session to discuss potential City and business-community policies related to the criminal background history question on initial employment applications | Human Resources | Start FY 2021 Q2 | Complete FY 2021 Q2

• Conduct a Town Hall Meeting to discuss potential policies related to criminal background history questions on employment applications | Human Resources | Start FY 2021 Q2 | Complete FY 2021 Q2

2. Review enforcement of marijuana-related offenses

• Conduct a City Council Work Session to discuss the City’s procedure for enforcement of marijuana possession | Police Department | Start FY 2021 Q3 | Complete FY 2021 Q3

• Conduct a Town Hall Meeting to discuss City procedures for enforcement of marijuana possession | Police Department | Start FY 2021 Q3 | Complete FY 2021 Q3

3. Provide a report to the City Council at a Work Session on the outcomes of the Citizens Police Advisory Committee | Police Department | Start FY 2021 Q4 | Complete FY 2021 Q4

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2nd Quarter Update
April 2021

The Council has adopted a “Fair Chance” hiring ordinance restricting questions regarding criminal history on initial job applications. This policy will first become effective for the City and will apply to businesses in DeSoto beginning January 1, 2022. Staff is developing internal implementation policies and public information efforts to educate business and residents about the new regulation. The City Council has reviewed and considered the City’s marijuana enforcement procedures and decided to take no further action at this time.

1st Quarter Update
January 2021

Staff has performed research regarding current City practices and industry best practices related to the consideration of criminal background information during the hiring process. That information and policy options will be presented to the City Council at a Work Session in early February for discussion and feedback. A Town Hall will be held in March based on Council’s discussion to seek feedback from the community regarding policy options in this area. Staff has met with members of Council and community advocates regarding marijuana possession practices and outcomes and is performing research based on those discussions. That effort will support a Work Session with the City Council to be scheduled in the first quarter of 2021.