California Bill Clears Path For Ex-Inmates To Become Firefighters

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs Assembly Bill 2147 after he toured the North Complex Fire zone on Friday. The bill allows inmates who have worked as firefighters to ask the court to dismiss their charges to make it easier for them to find a job once they are released. People convicted of certain violent or sex crimes would not be eligible. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill allowing inmate firefighters to have their records expunged, clearing the path for them to be eligible for firefighting jobs upon release. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes, lets prisoners who received "valuable training and [placed] themselves in danger assisting firefighters to defend the life and property of Californians" to petition the courts to dismiss their convictions after completing their sentences. That will make them eligible to receive EMT certification, a hiring requirement of municipal firefighting departments. However, one that former inmates are prohibited by state law to pursue. CA’s inmate firefighter program is decades-old and has long needed reform. Inmates who have stood on the frontlines, battling historic fires should not be denied the right to later become a professional firefighter. Today, I signed #AB2147 that will […]

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