Colorado clarified that the rehabilitation and work opportunities available to those who are incarcerated are to promote the person’s successful rehabilitation, reentry and reintegration into the community. The act distinguishes between external programs, which occur in partnership with employers outside of department facilities, and internal programs, which occur inside a department facility and may be in partnership with employers outside the facility.
Connecticut required the commissioner of Economic and Community Development to evaluate workforce development programs for people in prison and people reentering the community and create an employer toolkit as a resource.
Louisiana removed a number of eligibility restrictions for participating in the workforce development sentencing program. Those who have been deemed “habitual offenders” and those with sentences longer than 10 years can now participate in the program. Additionally, the law expands program eligible convictions.
Utah required the Department of Corrections to ensure that appropriate educational or career readiness programs are made available in prisons as soon as certain conditions are met, to provide women with substantially equivalent educational and career readiness opportunities as men, and to provide reasonable access to resources to apply for grants or other financial aid.
Alabama directed its Bureau of Pardons and Paroles to establish a pilot program to assist individuals exiting the correctional system by providing training in consultation with J.F. Ingram State Technical College. Training focuses on how to establish and fund small businesses.
Oklahoma passed two laws addressing employment readiness. The first says the Department of Corrections may establish a hospice care and certified nurse assistant training program to provide those in prison with education, training and clinical experience to prepare for career opportunities upon release. The second law allows certified copies of birth certificates with consolidated record cards to serve as valid forms of photo identification.