Advocacy Call on Occupational Licensing

Advocacy Call on Occupational Licensing

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On Thursday, June 21, 2018, NACDL hosted a discussion about the model legislation and a review of states that have enacted occupational licenses. Speakers included Lee McGrath, Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Minnesota office and IJ’s Senior Legislative Counsel; and Joshua House, an attorney with the Institute for Justice.

The Institute for Justice has developed a campaign including model legislation that serves as a resource for state legislatures to institute laws designed to alleviate the barriers those with a conviction are faced with in applying for licenses. NACDL is supporting the occupational licensing model legislation (“Occupational Licensing Review Act”) and the “Model Collateral Consequences Reduction Act.”


One of the primary barriers for those formerly incarcerated who are reentering the workforce is the ability to obtain an occupational license. While incarcerated, many individuals are trained and employed in industries that require a license. However, even upon reentry they are unable to apply for these licenses that would enable them to work in those very fields that could essentially help end the ever-revolving recidivism door.


Institute for Justice Model Collateral Consequences Reduction Act

Turning Shackles into Bootstraps: Why Occupational Licensing Reform Is the Missing Piece of Criminal Justice ReformCenter for the Study of Economic Liberty at Arizona State University, November 2016

Institute for Justice video re: Occupational Licensing

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State Legislative Reforms

Learn more about NACDL's State Criminal Justice Network. Angelyn C. Frazer-Giles, Host. Doug Shaner, production supervisor.  Music I Will! Rise Above (Jared C. Balogh) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

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