SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, to promote equity and justice in employment recently passed both houses and awaits the governor’s signature.
“Once someone has completed their sentence, their punishment should be over,” said Slaughter. “Far too often, our returning citizens unfairly face discrimination in employment, housing, and education. By providing our non-violent ex-offenders with an opportunity to secure gainful employment, we are not only bettering a single life rather we are making entire communities safer by successfully reintegrating into our communities and reducing recidivism.”
Slaughter’s Senate Bill 1965 will remove a barrier to employment for returning citizens convicted of non-violent crimes. This legislation amends the Healthcare Worker Background Check Act and allows jobseekers to request a waiver when they would be otherwise disqualified due to prior convictions. This bill seeks to address shortages throughout the state in the healthcare industry and reduce the revolving door problem with our criminal justice system.
“Illinois, like the rest of the nation, is facing an unprecedented shortage in the healthcare field,” said Slaughter. “Unfortunately, like the rest of the nation, we also unduly inflict extra barriers to employment on our citizens returning from incarceration. This legislation will address both concerns at once. I am proud that we now have a governor who cares for all of our citizens and believes in second chances.”