One Way to Help Former Convicts in Missouri
Like many boys who were in grade school in St. Louis during the mid-1980s, I lived for the Zippo Awards on Friday night. So, even though I find “I’m just sayin'” on Channel 5 in St. Louis to be mostly annoying, I do like it when Zip Rzeppa does it (and when McGraw Milhaven hosts it, too).
Zip’s topic a few days ago was the issue of prisoners re-entering society after serving their sentences. (Thanks to Combest for the link.) This is a topic I’ve been interested in from a licensing perspective, because many licensed professions and trades forbid ex-convicts from entering. To give but one example, you can’t sell real estate in Missouri if you are an ex-convict.
Some people are attempting to change the common practices of preventing ex-prisoners from entering many professions, some of which are well suited for ex-cons. Zip thinks we should give ex-prisoners a little money when they leave the big house. He may be right, but it would be far better for Missouri and other states to make it easier for them to enter whatever profession they are best suited for, and eliminate licensing restrictions from many professions.
Note that I said “many” professions, not “every” profession. Limitations that directly relate certain crimes to certain jobs would still make sense in many instance; i.e., convicted child molesters should still be forbidden from working in schools.