Occupational Licensing

Fresh Start

Over 600,000 individuals exit the justice system each year, but more than 60 percent of these people remain unemployed one year after rejoining society. States should encourage those returning to their communities to become productive members of society by promoting work, yet across the nation, there are tens of thousands of licensing restrictions in place for those with criminal records.

Fresh Start changes that. This solution requires licensing boards to review their restrictions and update them in specific ways that balance public safety with economic opportunity. By cutting the red tape that makes it excessively difficult for those who have served their time to work, states can reduce the likelihood of these individuals re-offending, keeping them out of prison and off welfare.