AB 1720 would ensure people living with an old arrest or conviction record have a fair chance to apply for state-run caregiving jobs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s Senate Public Safety Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that creates a fair chance for people with old arrest and conviction records to access caregiving and other jobs governed by the Department of Social Services (DSS).

AB 1720, authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) and co-sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice and the Occupational Licensing Coalition, would streamline the licensure process to ensure qualified people living with an old conviction record are not prohibited from securing employment. The bill would not make significant changes to the procedure for licensing foster family homes, certified family homes or resource family homes of a licensed foster family agency.

The following can be attributed to Tinisch Hollins, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice:

“If we as a society believe in a person’s ability to rehabilitate themselves and return to the community, we cannot continue blocking them from opportunities to do so. More than eight million Californians who have done their time and paid their debts are still being punished by a system that is preventing, not enhancing, public safety. AB 1720 is a major win for all Californians. Our state – like so many across the nation – is dealing with a severe shortage of care workers and it is in no one’s interest to block qualified, rehabilitated people from access to these jobs.  Removing employment restrictions on people with past convictions will help our economic recovery, improve public safety, and support these critical areas of our economy that are in desperate need of workers.”