At the urging of New Castle County Council Pro Tempore Penrose Hollins, County Executive Tom Gordon signed an executive order removing criminal conviction history information from the County's non-uniformed employment applications.

County Executive Gordon's executive order endorsed the national and statewide effort to "Ban the Box" ( i.e. the checkbox that asked, "Have you ever been convicted of a violation of Federal, State, County or Municipal laws or ordinances?") from job applications.

In lieu of this question, New Castle County will only conduct criminal background investigations on job applicants who have received a conditional offer of employment for a non-uniformed position with the City.

"No Department or Office within the New Castle County Government shall automatically exclude applicants from consideration for employment due to criminal history, but rather, henceforth shall balance the nature and severity of an applicant's criminal history with other factors, such as the length of time since the infraction(s), the known applicable surrounding circumstances, remorse, and documented evidence of rehabilitation," Gordon wrote in Executive Order No. 2014-03.

"I agree with the Americans for Democratic Action of Delaware and Councilman Penrose Hollins that a criminal history should not automatically disqualify an individual for consideration of employment within New Castle County," Gordon said. "When people have paid their debt to society, they are ready to work and become contributing members of the community once again."

New Castle County Councilman Hollins, who is a board member of the Wilmington Hope Commission, commended the Executive's order

"This is a great first step, but there has to be greater support from the business community," Councilman Hollins said.

County Executive Gordon signed the executive order on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.