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MI: How occupational licensing laws harm public safety and the formerly incarcerated

[ – 5/31/18]

Key Points

1) Many occupational licensing laws condition employment on “good moral character,” but how exactly one demonstrates “good moral character” is entirely undefined.

2) Vague language affords boards extensive latitude in denying otherwise qualified people for reasons that may be entirely unrelated to the responsibilities of the job.

3) Not only do these practices fail to increase public safety, recent research has shown that they may make communities less safe by increasing the odds that a person will return to a life of crime.

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People meet sex offenders every day, unknowingly, but most likely they are not on the registry. Most people are ignorant of this, so they want their plumber to not have a past offense. This is a big mistake and It is only enabling and hiding offenders (actual, not former).

Reading this, it brings to my mind the scene from Shawshank Redemption where Red has to meet with the parole board. If you recall there are a couple instances in the movie where he was much younger when they denied him parole and then much older when they granted him parole. First instance is where he feels he’s met their definition of rehabilitation, then the second instance is he tells them pretty much it doesn’t matter what they think because he knows inside already he rehabilitated was long ago. Bring forth all those metrics and assessments, it truly is the… Read more »

Actually these requirements even exist at the federal level.

Requirements like these were embedded in the Federal Communications Act of 1934 and have recently been revived in amateur radio license application forms.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x