A bill moving in the New Jersey Senate legislature would prevent former offenders from being disqualified from consideration for public sector jobs or state-issued professional licenses.
Senator Sandra Cunningham says her bill would allow offenders who’ve completed their sentence to petition a court so they could once again get a professional license or be hired for a public job.
“There are some people who were barbers or hairstylists and they lost their license when they were incarcerated. And what happened was when they came out of incarceration they couldn’t get their license back. So this bill addresses some of those issues.”
Cunningham says the goal is to ensure people who’ve been rehabilitated can support themselves and their families and be productive members of society.
“We can’t bring people out of jail and tell them okay you’re free now, but what does that freedom mean if you can’t get a job in the kind of business that you were employed because you’ve lost your license to do that?”
Those with convictions for more serious crimes would not qualify.