PCC APPLAUDS PASSING OF LEGISLATION TO GIVE EX-INMATES A SECOND CHANCE
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) applauds both the PA House and Senate for this afternoon’s passage of SB 637–sponsored by state Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin, Perry)–which will remove certain obstacles that prevent an ex-inmate from getting a professional license.
The House unanimously approved the measure around 2:30 and the Senate concurred a short time later.
“This is a great component of the criminal justice reform measures that the PCC has been working on,” said PCC Executive Director Eric Failing. “This is not getting soft on crime, this is helping prior offenders avoid more trouble. Once people have paid their debts to society we should not block them from becoming productive members of society. We think this will help lower recidivism and will help repair families by giving their loved ones a second chance.”
Over 30 occupational fields require a government license or registration in Pennsylvania. In an effort to combat recidivism, our state correctional institutions regularly train inmates in professional skills. Yet, after they have been released, the state often denies them a professional license to practice in the very industry we trained them in, due to convictions unconnected to their desired profession. Senate bill 637 corrects this discrepancy.