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05/23/2024 09:18 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: July 25, 2023 09:14 AM
From: Representative Emily Kinkead
To: All House members
Subject: Providing People Transitioning from Incarceration with Drivers Licenses and Work Permits Prior to Re-Entry
Individuals who are transitioning out of incarceration face many obstacles during and after their re-entry, including obtaining employment, housing, and education. These steps to re-entry can be especially challenging for individuals who do not have a copy of their birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license, or some other form of government ID.

Access to legal employment is key to reducing recidivism in a world that is increasingly struggling to fill myriad job opportunities. Our unwillingness to support the people who are transitioning out of incarceration, who have paid their debts to society, in receiving the bare necessities to even apply for employment harms our communities as much as it does these individuals.

If we can make the re-entry process just a little bit smoother, these individuals will be better positioned to get back into their community and the workforce. Thus, I plan to introduce legislation which would require the Department of Corrections to work in concert with the Department of Transportation and Department of Human Services to help transitioning individuals obtain a driver’s license, Pennsylvania state ID, and/or work permit.

It is time we assist individuals transitioning out of incarceration with their reentry process and help them take necessary steps to obtain employment, housing, and education. Assisting them in this manner will combat recidivism and reincarceration and add to the overall wellbeing of these individuals and their communities. Numerous other states already offer this assistance.

I hope you will join me in supporting this legislation to aid incarcerated individuals with reentry.

Introduced as HB1601