FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/15/2015
Councilmember Harrell to Pursue Proposal Allowing Formerly Incarcerated People Access to Vocational Jobs
Seattle – Councilmember Bruce Harrell will introduce a draft resolution Wednesday to pursue a new certificate program to help individuals with criminal histories gain access to jobs that require a vocational license. Currently, a person with a criminal record cannot attain jobs in more than 90 career paths that require vocational licenses, including barbers, commercial fishers, or dental hygienists. The Certificate for Restoration of Opportunity Program (CROP), which is being pursued by Councilmember Harrell, would allow an individual to file for a civil motion certifying that the required time had passed, without any new arrests or convictions, and had met all the terms of their sentence.
The CROP proposal expands on Council’s efforts to improve public safety and access to jobs. Data from the 2013 Job Assistance "Ban the Box" Legislation has demonstrated laws helping individuals gain access to jobs benefits Seattle’s economy and reduces recidivism.
Legislation to enact the CROP program statewide was introduced during the 2015 State Legislative session. House Representative Brady Walkinshaw was successful in unanimously passing HB 1553 out of the House, but the bill did not pass out of the Senate Committee. The bill will be re-introduced in 2016.
Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity discussion at the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee
Wednesday, September 16
Council Chambers, 2nd floor
Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Ave., Seattle 98104
Columbia Legal Services