Cincinnati’s Criminal Justice Commission, a volunteer group of judges, attorneys, law enforcement, elected leaders, and residents, is working to create a “Certificate of Rehabilitation” that would be a diploma, of sorts, that shows an ex-criminal is ready to re-enter the workforce, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The idea is still in its infant stages. Details such as what someone must do to earn a certificate are be decided.
“We want to create a comprehensive program for people who are serious about putting the past behind them,” said Stephen JohnsonGrove of the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, a non-profit law firm focusing on criminal justice reform. Will businesses buy into the idea? It’s unclear. The University of Cincinnati, which employs about 15,700 people, said it’s difficult to say what impact a Certificate of Rehabilitation would have on hiring. “There are certain areas where a prior criminal record could be a really big problem, and others where it perhaps would not be,” said university spokesman Greg Hand.