Illinois House Votes to Reform Health Care Licensing For Ex-Offenders

Each year, over 30,000 people leave Illinois prisons. About 48 percent return within three years.  One major reason for the high recidivism rate is a lack of employment. Without work, former offenders are likelier to resort to crime to make ends meet, perpetuating a cycle of incarceration. Survey data have suggested that as many as 60 to 75 percent of former offenders are unemployed a year after their release. This piece invokes research by the Urban Institute to advocate increasing employment opportunities for non-violent ex-convicts. The more people who have access to work and employment, the less money taxpayers will have to spend on Illinois’ corrections system, and the safer Illinois’ streets will be. Expanding economic opportunity through licensing reform is a common-sense way to improve public safety and advance economic growth.

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