Allow ex-convicts to earn opportunity to be employed

When people who have broken the law are released from prison — paid their debt to society — they should be given an opportunity to become productive citizens.

That, of course, is far easier said than done. Being a convicted felon carries a stigma that makes it difficult to find a job.

Those who don’t find jobs after being released from prison are far more likely to reoffend and find themselves behind bars again.

Unfortunately, it’s a clear problem with no easy solution.

Earlier this year lousy legislation was proposed aimed at giving ex-inmates a better chance of finding work. Called the Fair Chance Act, or “Ban the Box,” it would ban employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is deemed qualified for a job.

Although employers could find out about the arrests and convictions if they opted to do a background check.

This would only force more employers to do background checks so they can be confident they are not hiring people with a criminal past.

But another piece of legislation with a similar goal would seem to be more effective. House Bill 1553 would allow released felons to earn a “certificate of restoration of opportunity” by staying out of trouble for a probationary period after their sentences have been served.

Read More: http://union-bulletin.com/news/2015/mar/09/editorial-allow-ex-convicts-earn-opportunity-be-em/