Miller, Bullock bill would provide certificate for former inmates to re-enter the workforce

HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – A bill authored by state Reps. Dan Miller and Donna Bullock to improve access to jobs for former inmates and reduce recidivism will soon be introduced in the PA House.

The bill would require every person to receive a reentry certificate after leaving incarceration. The certificate would serve as proof to employers of the person’s achievements in skill development, rehabilitation, education and their readiness for safe reentry.

“When a person pays their debt to society and simultaneously acquires or hones a skill to help them when they re-enter that society, we should provide them with every opportunity to do so,” said Bullock, D-Phila. “This is a bill that not only helps a person put their life back in order, but also provides employers with a workforce that is ready to go. It is a plus for everyone.”

The legislation would also provide protections for employers in relation to negligence actions based solely on the hiring of a person with a criminal record. Applicants would still have to pass required clearances for employment.

“This certificate would provide employers with one less reason not to take a chance on someone committed to bettering their future,” said Miller, D-Allegheny. “It helps ease the often-difficult transition back into the workforce and the community, as well as reduces the chances for a person to reoffend or return to prison.”

Miller and Bullock are seeking co-sponsors for the legislation.