Rep Trone Introduces Second Chance Bills

They would assist former prison inmates looking for jobs.

Washington DC (KM) Legislation to assist  former  inmates who have been released from prison to find jobs has been introduced by Representative David Trone (D-6th).

The Workforce Justice Act would encourage states to “ban the box” on employment applications which means applicants  would not hive to disclose any r criminal history they may have. A second bill, The Reentry Act, gives states the ability to restore access to health care, including addiction and mental health treatment, through Medicaid, to inmates up to 30 days before they’re released from prison. The SNAP Second Chance Act of 2023, would limit the authority of the US Department of Agriculture to deny small business owners with a previous criminal history to become Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program retailers. A fourth bill, the Free to Grow Act, would end the drug felony prohibition for hemp farmers.

Trone says making it easier for former inmates to obtain jobs after they’re released  would save taxpayers money. “Every hundred jobs that we get to a person who comes out of prison we save $2 million in what would cost to keep them in prison for a year,” he said.

In addition, Trone says 75 percent of the former inmates who don’t get a job often end up back in prison; whereas, a former inmate who secures a job has a  less than a 10 percent chance of ending up behind bars again.

Earlier this year, Representative Trone established the Bipartisan Second Chance Task Force to promote policies that remove barriers to former inmates trying to land jobs. “I got 20 Republicans, and 20 Democrats. So it’s totally balanced,” he said. “We’re working across the board. Everything is bipartisan. It’s where you make your country safer if we keep people employed.”

“Our task force is introducing bipartisan legislation and working with leading voices to bring attention  to this problem and drive solutions,”; says Representative Trone’s Office in a statement.

By Kevin McManus