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10/17/2021 05:40 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=34570
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 5, 2021 02:54 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Donna Bullock
To: All House members
Subject: Improving Access to Jobs and Decreasing Recidivism
 
Finding gainful employment is often the key ingredient to a person’s successful reintegration into the community after incarceration. It is in everyone’s best interest that we help find ways to ease this often-difficult transition. The Department of Corrections offers an array of programing to provide opportunities for inmates to develop skills and obtain the treatment necessary to help them get back on their feet. This programming includes vocational education programs in such skills as welding, cosmetology and fiber optics, and can include state certifications.
 
Unfortunately, finding a job upon release can be challenging.
 
Our bill, based on successful legislation in Georgia, requires that every person receives a reentry certificate upon release from prison. This certificate would serve as proof of their achievements in skill development, rehabilitation, education, and their readiness for safe reentry. A similar document has proven beneficial to people in other states in helping them find work.
 
Additionally, our legislation provides protection for employers in relation to negligence actions based solely on the hiring of a person with a criminal record. The applicant would still have to pass required clearances, but an employer exercising due care in hiring would have one less reason to not to chance on a person who is committed to their future.
 
Getting these certificates into the hands of ex-offenders is an important step towards reducing recidivism that we can take today. Please join us in co-sponsoring this critically important legislation.

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Introduced as HB651