With Business Help, Texas Bills On Prisoner Re-Entry On Way to Governor


Bills that attempt to make it easier for ex-offenders to find jobs once they are out of prison are headed to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s desk, reports the Texas Tribune. As they made their way through House and Senate committees, they had the usual input from groups that focus on criminal justice reform. They also got special attention from the Texas Association of Business, which specifically put criminal justice issues on its legislative agenda for the first time. Many of the bills supported by the business association passed, making it easier for some former prisoners to gain work skills and find jobs. Others withered under opposition. The association worked to address the concerns of businesses that are willing to hire former prisoners haven't done so in the past. One bill would limit to law enforcement information in the statewide registry of sex offenders about employers, which can cause businesses to be hesitant about hiring people. The Texas Association of Broadcasters criticized the bill, saying it would make it difficult to inform the public about dangerous people in its midst. Another bill sent to the governor would limit the liability of businesses that hire ex-offenders.

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