By Opening Career Doors, Legislation Seeks to Improve Public Safety & Reduce Taxpayer Costs
The Senate Commerce Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado that would allow for limited professional and occupational licenses to be issued to convicted criminals who successfully complete training courses while incarcerated and maintain good behavior both before and after their release.
Sen. Kristin Corrado’s legislation has advanced that would allow for limited licenses to be issued to convicted criminals who complete training courses and maintain good behavior. (SenateNJ.com)
“We should support the efforts of those who have demonstrated their desire to get their lives on track and become contributing members of society,” said Corrado (R-40). “If we provide more opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals to learn valuable skills and find stable financial footing upon their releases, we increase the likelihood that they won’t return to crime or to jail. That’s good for public safety and great for taxpayers.”
It costs approximately $50,000 to keep an inmate incarcerated in a New Jersey prison.
Corrado’s bill, S-2612, would allow a board, committee, or any New Jersey State body that issues credentials for a profession or occupation to issue a limited license to individuals with a criminal conviction. The legislation requires those individuals to complete training offered by a county correctional facility or the Department of Corrections that is necessary in order to practice the specific profession or occupation.
An individual seeking a limited license would be able to show their fitness for the license by submitting evidence to the applicable entity that demonstrates successful completion of training, a record of good behavior while incarcerated, and no violations of parole or probation.
The legislation provides that conditions are to be set by the licensing entity to limit the scope and location of the individual’s practice and to assign a supervisor to the individual at the place of employment to monitor their continued progress. The limited license would be revoked if the individual is convicted of a crime of the first, second, third, or fourth degree, or a disorderly persons offense.
If the individual complies with the terms of the limited license for the length of its duration and continues the meet all of the other qualifications for licensure, they would then be permitted by the legislation to receive an unrestricted license to continue working in their profession.
“Those who have successfully rehabilitated should not be limited to entry-level jobs,” added Corrado. “The steadiness of a paycheck and the chance to build a solid career will help these individuals to better serve their families and communities. Showing people that there’s hope after they’ve paid for their mistakes is good for everyone.”
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