In an effort to bring effective rehabilitation and meaningful opportunity for nonviolent incarcerated individuals in Florida, Orlando State Senator Linda Stewart, a Democrat and Miami-Dade Democratic Representative Kevin Chambliss have introduced SB 42 and HB 133: Professional Licensing Requirements for Barbers and Cosmetologists.
This legislation seeks to address the challenges faced by nonviolent offenders who are reentering the workforce after serving their sentence. Under this bill, if a former inmate applies for a barber or cosmetology license and has served time for a nonviolent crime three years prior to the application, that persons’ incarceration may not be used as grounds of disqualification for the license.
Furthermore, this bill allows for any program credits earned during an inmate’s incarceration to be applied towards earning their barber or cosmetology license.
“I’m proud to reintroduce this bill” said Senator Stewart. “By offering inmates the chance to learn new skills and trades that were previously kept from them, we are giving them opportunities to rebuild their lives upon release and contribute to their community.”
The proposed legislation is focused on rehabilitation, workforce development, and reducing recidivism. By joining education and vocational training with the correction system, this bill gives inmates in Florida a chance to reintegrate into their communities with a new career.
“It is crucial that we begin to remove the barriers that reformed inmates face,” said Representative Chambliss. “In filing this legislation, we are making a crucial first step in establishing a system that allows for inmates to transform themselves into contributing members of society.”