On April 27, 2016, Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 367, an important bill that reduces barriers to reentry for thousands of returning citizens across Georgia. Georgia Justice Project advocated for several measures in this bill which improve opportunities for Georgians with a criminal record to find employment and stability following an arrest.
Senate Bill 367 implements the recommendations of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform and contains several measures that improve opportunities for successful reentry, including:
- Updates the First Offender Act to give those sentenced under the act a real second chance in the digital age, improving the odds for rehabilitated first offenders to secure jobs;
- Extends “ban the box” protections and improves the way criminal records are considered for state occupational licensing, allowing only reasonably related convictions to be considered;
- Allows retroactive reinstatement of driver’s licenses revoked for non-vehicle related drug offenses and driver’s license reinstatement fee relief for indigent individuals;
- Lifts the lifetime ban on food stamps for people with felony drug convictions, helping many of these people access proper nutrition.
- Encourages hiring of individuals on parole by providing employers a $2,500 income tax credit for each parolee hired.