12.17.14: Bills signed to create parolee work certificate
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation allowing Michigan inmates released on parole to be given a work certificate if they complete a career and technical education course and meet other requirements.
The “certificate of employability” would be good for four years and is geared to helping reduce the high unemployment rate among parolees.
They could show the document to potential employers as evidence of job training, no major misconduct in prison and that they passed work skills assessments. The state Corrections Department would have to revoke the certificate if a prisoner commits another felony.
Snyder said in a statement after Tuesday’s signing that: “Finding employment … helps parolees become productive members of society and it saves taxpayers money.”
The legislation requires the state to give released inmates documents regarding their criminal convictions, history behind bars and whether they obtained degrees or completed other programs while incarcerated. It also would let employers cite a certificate of employability as evidence that they were not negligent in hiring someone with a criminal history.
Meanwhile, Snyder signed a bill that seeks to modernize licensing practices and requirements and defines common phrases across the debt management industry. Snyder’s office says the bill brings Michigan more in line with current business practices.
Snyder also signed legislation to enable Michigan and Indiana to continue working together through Jan. 1, 2018, to survey the Michigan-Indiana state line. The original partnership calling for shared responsibilities and costs was established in 2010 and was due to expire.