New state law could help convicted felons get jobs upon release

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Convicted felons in Alabama could soon benefit from a new state law aimed at helping them get jobs once released. 

The new law stops an occupational licensing board from automatically denying an application based on a criminal conviction.

Lawmakers say there are about 700 sections of Alabama code that restrict the jobs people can get after prison.

Those jobs are things like cosmetology, working as a licensed physical therapist, or even a karate instructor.

“If you’re in prison and you have the ability to say if I do the right thing, I get training that the state of Alabama will not stand in my way when I get out, and they will actually help me find employment in that area,” said Chris England, (D-Tuscaloosa). 

Under this new law, if someone is denied an occupational license, they can petition the court to review the matter. The new law goes into effect September 1st. 

Click here for a list of jobs former inmates were restricted from getting. 

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