House lawmakers have passed legislation that aims to improve job opportunities for former prisoners on parole.
The House unanimously passed two bills Tuesday that would allow the Michigan Department of Corrections to issue a "certificate of employability" to a parolee who completes a course and doesn't have a significant misconduct record. The certificate would need to be considered if a board or agency were determining a parolee's "good moral character."
The third bill passed 65-45 and would provide legal protections for employers who hire parolees. The bills now go to the Senate.
Republican bill sponsor Rep. Klint Kesto of Commerce Township says the legislation "will help reduce the 78 percent unemployment rate among Michigan prison parolees." He says employing parolees keeps them from "returning to crime."